See <http://www.unsystem.org> for the official listing of the United Nations system of organizations' Internet servers. Numerous initiatives within the U.N. programs and specialized agencies directly assist scientists in developing countries through a variety of mechanisms. One example is the Sustainable Development Network Programme of the UNDP, which links government organizations, the private sector, universities, NGOs, and individuals in developing countries through electronic networks for the purpose of exchanging information on sustainable development (see <http://www3.undp.org>). Refer to the programs' and agencies' home pages for further details on other U.N. initiatives.
For example, the OAS RedHUCyT program is a hemisphere-wide interuniversity scientific and technological information network created in 1991 with the objective to connect OAS member countries to the Internet, "integrating an electronic network for the exchange of scientific and technological information among professors, researchers, and specialists, at different universities in the member states" (for additional information, see <http://www.oas.orglEN/PROG/RED/covere.htm>). OAS also sponsors a regional scientific and technological development program, which carries out a number of multinational and national projects that provide member states "with an opportunity to share experiences, to provide . . . mutual support and to engage in joint activities to further the advancement of science and technology and to promote integral development" (see <http://www.oas.org/EN/PROG/pa26e.htm>).
The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) was founded in 1983 to support scientific research in developing countries through provision of research grants, spare parts for scientific equipment, books and journals, and fellowships. See <http://www.ictp.trieste.it/TWAS.html/> for a description of TWAS activities and programs. The organization not only is closely coupled with the U.N., but also collaborates with the International Council of Scientific Unions (see next note).
The International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) was founded in 1933 to "bring together natural scientists in international scientific endeavor." ICSU works closely with UNESCO, WMO, FAO, and UNEP through formal or ad hoc collaborations (see <http://www.lmcp.jussieu.fr/-fabrice/icsu/> for additional information on ICSU). ICSU's Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries (COSTED) was created in 1966 to stimulate international scientific and technological cooperation in developing countries. It is a joint initiative co-sponsored by UNESCO and was merged with the International Biosciences Network, an activity with similar objectives, in 1994. For additional information on COSTED and its activities, see G. Thyagara (1995), "Cooperative Research for Development Is COSTED's Aim," The Hindu On-line (<http://www.webpage.com/hindu/960113/22/0820a.html>). ICSU also works to assist scientists in developing countries through its scientific unions and interdisciplinary committees; for example, CODATA recently established the Task Group on Outreach, Education, and Communication, which promotes collaboration, scientific information exchange, and technology transfer for individual scientists and technologists in developing nations.
Founded in 1972, the International Foundation for Science (IFS) provides support (in the form of research grants, equipment, regional workshops and training courses, and travel grants) to young scientists in developing countries in the following research areas: aquatic resources, animal production, crop science, forestry/agroforestry, food science, and natural products. See <http://ifs.plants.ox.ac.uk/ifs/> for additional information about IFS activities and programs.