United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Joint Session of FfD and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
22 April, 2015
Statement by Ambassador Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, DPR of Brazil and co-moderator of the Structured Dialogues on Technology Facilitation Mechanism

Distinguished Co-facilitators, Ambassadors, delegates and representatives from capitals,

The outcome of Rio+20 Conference requested the Secretary General to “identify options for a facilitation mechanism that promotes the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies” (para 273).
In following up on this mandate, the Secretary-General prepared two reports and the General Assembly held workshops in 2013 as well as Structured Dialogues in 2014. This process provided us with a comprehensive assessment of existing experiences and a wide range of possibilities for scaling up technology facilitation as a means of implementation for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The Structured Dialogues were an effort to have more focused deliberations on the matter. Although the Structured dialogues did not have a mandate to result in an agreed outcome, the co-moderators adopted an incremental approach emphasizing possible deliverables that received broad support from member States.
Areas of convergence were identified in order to respond to the consistent request of developing countries that the United Nations can and should do more in facilitating access to much needed technologies and capacities for sustainable development.
Debates on technology cooperation can easily slip into a North-South divide, conveying the impression – which in our view is false – that an agreement on the matter is out of reach or actually contributing to no outcome at all. The structured dialogues helped to build confidence that an agreement is not only possible, but beneficial for all sides.
The majority of member States share the view that the United Nations is already engaged in numerous technology facilitation initiatives, but the efforts are still far below the scale of the challenge posed by the sustainable development goals.

Mr. Co-facilitators,
Following the Structured Dialogues and the launching of the Synthesis Report, a group of UN Agencies responded to the call of member States for improved coordination and greater access to information on initiatives related to technology facilitation.
The establishment of an informal inter-agency working group on technology facilitation, co-facilitated by UNDESA and UNEP, contributed to advance the first two recommendations arising from the structured dialogues, which focused on the establishment of an online platform to undertake a mapping of existing technology initiatives, as well as an improvement of coordination within the UN System on this matter.
The third recommendation from the dialogues refers to the analysis of technology needs and gaps in addressing them. In this regard, a technology facilitation mechanism could contribute to identify priority needs and gaps, facilitating policy measures and joint initiatives to address gaps and fulfill pressing needs in vital areas for sustainable development.
Such a task would require a continued work of member States and the United Nations System, while also benefiting from the active participation of governmental agencies and non-governmental entities that have a stake in technology-related cooperation.

Mr. Co-facilitators,
The fourth recommendation of the Structured Dialogues assembles several other functions that a technology facilitation mechanism could perform. It mostly contains proposals by the Group of 77 and China, on the basis of the Rio+20 mandate on a technology facilitation mechanism.
While we noticed enough support for advancing on the basis of the three first recommendations, we believed that greater political deliberation was need for the establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism to promote development, transfer and dissemination of technologies, as mentioned in Rio+20 Outcome Document and supported by developing countries.
In this regard, I believe that the added-value of the Structured Dialogues was to put forward specific recommendations that could lead to concrete mandates by September, while also paving the way for more ambitious commitments to be implemented in the following up of the Post-2015 Summit.
The General Assembly acknowledged the recommendations arising from the Structured Dialogues as the basis for further consultations on the technology facilitation mechanism, as agreed in resolutions 68/310 and 69/214 (Agenda 21), both adopted by consensus.

Mr. Co-facilitators,
On the way forward, there is a need to ensure a more holistic approach toward technology.
The mandate for the Structured Dialogues referred to “environmentally sound technologies”, a concept which has been used in the environmental negotiations, at least, since the adoption of Agenda 21, in the Rio-92 Conference.
An integrated framework of sustainable development goals does not allow us to single out environmental technologies, while leaving aside those related to social and economic dimensions.
Hardly any SDG can be achieved without significant progress in technology development, transfer and dissemination. At least 17 targets under 10 different goals explicitly refer to access to technologies, and many others relate to development, transfer and disseminations of technologies.
Any technology facilitation initiative in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda should address the SDGs in general.

Mr. Co-facilitators,
During the Structured Dialogues, concerns related to intellectual property rights have been kept at bay for most part, so not to derail the conversation into the traditional cleavage between developed and developing countries.
Not that IPRs are unimportant, but we believe an UN technology facilitation mechanism can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals without challenging, or putting into question, the intellectual property rights regime.

Mr. Co-facilitators,
There is a need to consolidate a common understanding on the complementarity between the Financing for Development and the Post-2015 Development Agenda with regard to the deliberations on the technology facilitation mechanism.
The FfD negotiations address systemic and policy issues related to technology, innovation and capacity building, in accordance with the framework provided by Monterrey and Doha. The mandate for the consideration of the technology facilitation mechanism belongs to the Post-2015 negotiations, in accordance with the General Assembly mandates adopted to that effect.
The institutional arrangement and modalities for a mechanism or other initiative on technology facilitation are to be fleshed out in the context of the negotiations of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Both processes have technology in their agendas, underlining the importance of maintaining coherence between them.

Mr. Co-facilitators,

The interagency group and the mapping exercise were extremely helpful in identifying leading agencies for scaling up technology cooperation around the SDGs. An online platform will also provide greater visibility and access to information on existing initiatives.
Both are important institutional components of a technology facilitation initiative within the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
A technology facilitation mechanism should also ensure the active engagement of other governmental agencies and non-State stakeholders, in particular research and development agencies, civil society organizations and the business community.
Capacity building efforts should be given priority, in particular in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Science and innovation are inextricably linked to technology at large and such links should be acknowledged when considering technology facilitation, keeping coherence with the outcome of the Third Conference on Financing For Development.
There is also need to cater to the specific needs of countries in special situation, in particular as regards the Technology Bank for LDCs.

Thank you, Mr. Co-facilitator.