United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


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United Nations General Assembly
67-th session
Workshop 4
The way forward: Strengthening the
international architecture for
environmentally sound technology
development, transfer and dissemination
31 May 2013
Statement by
Yury Yaroshevich
Deputy Director General for Multilateral Diplomacy
Head of the Department for Economic Cooperation and
Sustainable Development
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished colleagues,
This is not a power-point presentation. I’m going to use only soft power which is
very popular today.
Wise men say that among all people you have met or you have listened to
usually you are able to recall only those who were in the beginning and in the
end. Being one of the last speakers of the event I do hope that you will
remember me as well as – and this is much more important – some modest
prepositions and thoughts that I’ll share.
During the general debate of the 62 session of the United Nations General
Assembly the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus noticed that
the most promising way of addressing the dilemma 'economic growth –
environment' is to establish international cooperation on global proliferation of
technologies of energy saving, alternative and renewable sources of energy. More
than 5 years ago he suggested that an integral and key element of such
cooperation should be the ensuring of fair access of all Member States to these
technologies through the creation within the framework of the United Nations of
the appropriate regulatory mechanism.
Let me quote his speech delivered here in New York in 2007 and you will see for
yourself how up-to-date and relevant it sounds in terms of our discussion. And I
“We are convinced that it is time for our common Organisation – the United
Nations – to begin looking for the ways of dealing – based on engagement, of
course, – with the de facto the most topical problem of mankind – the energy
problem. Antagonism of suppliers and consumers of energy resources and the
price race do not solve the energy problem. And this antagonism itself is a
superficial phenomenon. At the end of the day we all are consumers of energy.
And in this, in principle, we have common interests.
How to solve this problem in conditions of fast growth of the world economy and
the rush for energy sources it provokes? It is clear that the future belongs to the
alternative and renewable sources of energy.
This means that it is today that the United Nations must work out practical
arrangements for the transfer and distribution of technologies of alternative and
renewable energy sources on a global scale. This is the major prerequisite of the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Such practical measures
should include the methods of dealing with the obvious problem of concentration
of these technologies in the hands of a sufficiently small group of states.
Otherwise, tomorrow the pricing for these technologies will emulate today’s
exorbitant prices for traditional energy resources.” End of quote.
Our event is clear evidence that the Belarusian idea expressed almost six years
ago has received a powerful backing and pronounced support. Yes, today it looks
updated and tuned. But its global substance remains unchanged. On these
grounds I would suggest to consider carefully other ideas of my delegation here
in New York. It might be the case that we don’t have to wait another six years to
implement them.
Before considering the issue “if there is a need for a new and additional
mechanism to facilitate the transfer and deployment of clean and
environmentally sound technologies” we should deeply analyze reasons of the
specific, non-transparent situation with the implementation of existing
international legal instruments which mechanisms contain provisions urging the
transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
I take this opportunity to bring your attention to the Framework Convention on
Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol to this Convention – legal instruments
that stipulates promotion of the transfer of environmentally sound technologies,
know-how, practices and processes pertinent to climate change.
Last sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Conference of the Parties
serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8)
(November 26 – December 8, 2012, Qatar, Doha) have in fact excluded a number
of countries, first of all the countries that are undergoing the process of
transition to a market economy (including Belarus), from the list of potential
recipients of clear and green technologies in accordance with the mechanisms
under the Kyoto Protocol as the adopted amendments to that document doubts
the participation of the above mentioned group of countries in the second
commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
Our analysis of the outcomes of the Doha Conference shows that the
amendments were adopted despite the deviation from accepted procedure of
adoption of such decisions. Moreover certain important provisions of the Doha
amendment contain internal contradictions and could not be unambiguously
That fact causes our concern. And if we are discussing mechanisms
of facilitation of the transfer of environmentally sound technologies I would like
to stress that creation of such artificial barriers in this field is unacceptable
within the UN system framework.
Careful reading of the report presented by Secretary General on possible options
of technological facilitation mechanism proves that the United Nations system is
an able creator of ideas on how to make a decisive technological leapfrog in
global scales and to sustain the progress made. Unfortunately, again we need
more time and energy to understand its rationale to start approaching their
In particular the report states that “in the absence of an effective coordination
mechanism, coordination between United Nations organizations occurs primarily
on an informal level”. We should change it. Otherwise all our agreements in the
field of sustainable development will remain simple words in the air.
It is clear that to combine the efforts of all stakeholders, including governments,
private sector and major groups this facilitation mechanism should be
intergovernmental in nature. This will provide necessary coherence and
effectiveness in coordinating technological cooperation at global and regional
The facilitation mechanism should have a substantial research component
networking scientists from developing, developed and middle-income countries.
The facilitation mechanism needs adequate support, including financial one in
order to encourage development of technologies and to provide their
affordability to all Member States, including to least development countries and
middle-income countries.
For this purpose a global voluntary fund needs to be established. The fund
should be open to contributions by states, civil society and private sector. Its
primary responsibility could be financing of international R&D and introduction
of technologies in all Member States, requested for such assistance, striving for
global transition to clean and environmentally sound technologies.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that facilitation mechanism should follow a
systemic approach shaping the critical mass to provide global transition to
sustainable development. Our discussions here in New York demonstrated that
this is not the case, as the role of middle-income countries, as well as their needs
and challenges they face in introducing clean and environmentally sound
technologies are underestimated. Despite of a considerable scientific and
industrial basis supported by an effective national governance, those countries
need further technological support to make a leapfrog in the technological
development and sustain it for the future of the planet.