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International R&D Cooperation The U.S. Approach to the U.S.-EU S&T Agreement Melinda Kimble Acting Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs U.S. Department of State Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this special event an an- nouncement and celebration of the signing of the U.S.-EU S&T agreement and the kickoff of the implementation phase. As Under Secretary Eizenstat has men- tioned, the signing of the agreement was a fulfillment of a commitment made by Presidents Santer and Clinton in 1995 when they signed the New Transatlantic Agenda. After two and a half years of negotiations and six months of preparation for the joint consultative group meeting, the United States and the European Union have a right to celebrate. We also have a responsibility to pursue implementation expeditiously in order for the United States to realize the agreement's full poten- tial for this transatlantic partnership. This gathering should add impulse and in- sight to the task. I commend our hard-working delegates on both sides, the Na- tional Academy of Sciences, and all participants to engage actively as we embark on this mission of cooperation. I will speak briefly about our strategy for implementing the agreement and touch on the State Department' s approach to science and technology, in general, a topic my bureau, the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), has been studying seriously for some time. The State Department, and specifically OES, is the custodian for some three dozen framework S&T agreements and hundreds of MOUs (memoranda of un- derstanding), with more arriving each day, that form the basis of bilateral S&T cooperation worldwide. We take this role very seriously. For example, in the Western European area this past year alone, we have had important and success- ful bilateral review meetings or consultations with Finland, Italy, Spain, and Por- tugal. These activities will continue since there are activities in these arrange- ments that are more appropriately performed at the member-state level. Sir Leon 28
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MELINDA KIMBLE 29 Brittan recognized the compatibility of the U.S.-EU S&T agreement with other bilateral agreements at the December 5, 1997, signing ceremony, underscoring that the S&T agreement shall not impinge on or prejudice existing bilateral agree- ments with the United States but rather would complement them. That said, the U.S.-EU S&T agreement could well become the largest of all S&T agreements owing to its potential and scope, as well as the billions of dollars in R&D involved. Moreover, cooperation between the world's best scientists on cutting-edge research will accrue enormous savings by avoiding duplicative ef- forts and will yield significant beneficial breakthroughs for the entire world. The agreement also provides for the protection of intellectual property rights an es- sential means of encouraging research and technological innovation. The U.S. government's approach to the S&T agreement can be summed up in one word: proactive. As the "executive agent" responsible for liaisoning with the European Commission and the catalyst for energizing over 15 U.S. govern- ment agencies to support the negotiation and implementation of the agreement, the State Department, specifically OES, is working hard to make the agreement operational. To exploit the momentum of the December 1997 signing, our strat- egy calls for: · the early convening of the joint consultative group (JCG) called for under Article 6 to jointly chart next steps in the implementation process; · the designation of priority areas for cooperation, which include four or five items under the "sectors for cooperative activities" found under Ar- ticle 4(a) of the agreement; and the publication and promotion of the agreement through our public affairs apparatus, including the posting of the agreement, joint statement, points of contact, and other information on the OES website: www.state.gov/ www/global/oes. . The first meeting of the JCG, to be cochaired by Professor Routti and myself will be held June 10 at the State Department. It will be an "informal" meeting of the JCG since the EC must still ratify the agreement. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we plan to hold the first official JCG in Brussels on October 21. The topics chosen for the informal JCG may sound familiar to those familiar with the agenda for this conference: endocrine disrupters, information science and technology, materials research, intermodal transportation and intelligent transportation systems, measurement equivalents, health and environmental ef- fects of radiation, and climate change prediction. These priority areas reflect our agencies' interest in cooperative projects (some actually have draft MOUs or other implementing arrangement documents ready to go); the importance and timeliness of these topics; and, after close consultation with our EU colleagues, a mutual acceptance of the appropriateness of joint projects on a priority basis in these areas. I can also report that we are working to identify several other priority
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30 INTERNATIONAL R&D COOPERATION areas for joint cooperation for the October JCG, which will possibly include re- newable energy resources, biomedicine and health, telematics, and agriculture. In terms of publicizing and promoting the agreement the third element of our strategy we and our European partners have tried to make this agreement and its implementation a public/private enterprise to the extent possible. We real- ize much of the joint research will be done by government agencies in coopera- tion with private scientific laboratories, academic institutions, consortia, and small and medium enterprises. We also understand the interest of the business commu- nity in the agreement and what it portends for future R&D trends. There exists an interesting dynamic here, where we look to private industry as leaders in techno- logical advancement and engines for progress. I would imagine that they, in turn, are interested in our policy directions and to ensure we complement and rein- force their plans. This conference, part celebration and part mutual edification, will help all of us clarify our priorities and learn from our shared experiences regarding the potentials and pitfalls of cooperation between two very different, some might say incompatible, systems. Turning now to a more macro view, I would like to say a few words on the topic of science at the State Department. I am acutely aware of the criticism leveled at us over the past year from the perception that the department is Reemphasizing the S&T function both here and abroad. Quite honestly, there were legitimate grounds for these concerns, as in some cases mandatory down- sizing claimed its share of EST positions. The EST cone in the foreign service has become subsumed once again into the economic cone. This all occurred against a dramatic 84 percent increase in multilateral environmental negotiations. At a time when the FUR bureau was adding observers to Bosnia, OES was forced to sacri- fice the routine for the urgent. It is axiomatic to say that science undergirds all we are trying to do on the environmental side. Our climate change, toxic waste, and biosafety talks may get the attention and headlines, but without the science and technology that come from it there can be no appreciation for the magnitude of the problems or a plan for confronting them. With the climate change issue, for example, it was the consensus of 2,000 scientists from around the world that anthropogenic factors affected the world's climate; scientific and economic models which will allow us to map out a cost-effective strategy to meet the challenge; and scientific methods and technological innovations to monitor and contribute to a global reduction of . . green louse gas emissions. Besides our efforts in launching this impressive agreement with the KU, which we are commemorating this week, and maintaining the other bilateral S&T relationships around the world, allow me to mention our recent efforts and plans to bolster the science function at the State Department. As part of the department's environmental diplomacy initiative (inaugurated by Secretary Christopher and endorsed by Secretary Albright) to mainstream EST issues into U.S. foreign policy, we are establishing a global network of regional EST hubs that will facili
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MELINDA KIMBLE 31 late interaction between the U.S. government and other governments, nongovern- mental organizations, and multilateral organizations in a particular region. Our regional hub in Copenhagen, for example, will serve to galvanize and coordinate aspects of our Baltic EST policies with host governments, our embassies, and others in the region. OES will soon hire a science adviser who will report directly to me. It is envisioned that with this science adviser, the various bureaus in the department that deal with scientific matters, including offices in OES, Political-Military Af- fairs, Economic and Business Affairs, and others, will come together in an S&T working group or "science team" to coordinate our international programs inter- nally and then on an interagency basis. The OES 2000 plan is a blueprint for getting the necessary resources to better enact the concepts put forward in the Environmental Diplomacy Initiative. Fund- ing for the regional hubs to hold seminars on emissions trading and joint imple- mentation, to set up education and training centers, and to assist exchanges of information and scientific personnel are all part of the OES 2000 plan. The President's speech on information technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology highlighted the importance of computer literacy and glimpsed a vi- sion of a future where access to information and ideas will transform societies and enhance our quality of life. We are positioning ourselves to engage other governments and their scientific communities to initiate or enhance mutually ben- eficial exchanges. Under Secretary Thomas Pickering, in his April 30 speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (alluded to earlier by Under Secre- tary Eizenstat), acknowledged the hard choices ahead regarding the allocation of resources for science, technology, and environment at the State Department. He mentioned the review currently being conducted by John Boright of the National Academy of Sciences (and formerly of OES) concerning the role of science at the State Department. We look forward to Dr. Boright's report so that we can better meet the S&T policy challenges of the twenty-first century in order to, as Mr. Pickering put it, "better advance global economic and humanitarian interests . . . [resulting] in more science-based cooperation, a cleaner planet, a healthier world population, regional stability, and global economic growth." In closing, I would like to thank the Academy for its efforts in putting to- gether this impressive and important event and congratulate Professor Jorma Routti and all the European and U.S. participants for a good start on realizing the potential of productive cooperation under the U.S.-EU S&T agreement.
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