Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron highlights the crucial role of science, technology and innovation in promoting people’s well-being, as well as development and sustainable economic growth.

While addressing the 3rd South Summit, organised under the framework of the Group of Developing Countries (G77) Plus China, he said that never before in human history has mankind used science and technology to create such great wealth.

The January 21-22 summit, held under the theme “Leaving No One Behind”, took place in Kampala, Uganda, according to the ministry’s January 22 press release on the outcome of the gathering.

“Through the use of science and technology, we can find sustainable and innovative solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change, promote the use of renewable energy sources and further [economic] development without harming the environment,” he said. 

The minister warned, however, that while the tech revolution has reduced distances and made the world smaller through modern transport and communications technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, it has not reduced the widening gap between the rich and poor, or between developed and developing countries.

“The challenges we are facing today are enormous, but our determination and commitment to address them is also strong. I believe that based on the vision and commitment of the group of developing countries to the future of humanity, we must share our knowledge and make more efforts to promote better cooperation among developing countries in the context of multilateralism,” he said.

He called on each of the attending nations to harness the power of technology to build a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for all mankind.

Hong Vanak, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s Institute of International Relations, said on January 22 that he acknowledged the contributions to economic growth and people’s well-being that science, technology and innovation have made.

By way of example, he noted that although the use of modern technology in Cambodia is not as widespread as in many developed countries, it is already common for wet market vendors to display QR codes and accept electronic payments.

“In terms of public services, the Cambodian government is also constantly updating the technology. In this era of globalisation, we must embrace all of the technologies that empower the economy, both locally and globally,” he said.

Vanak suggested that as technology continues to develop, the government should increase the speed of internet access so people can use the new technologies more efficiently.