United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Suggested talking points
On the GA series of 4 one-day structured dialogues to consider possible arrangements for a technology facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies
1- At the outset, I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing this series of 4 one-day structured dialogues to consider possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally I would like to start by welcoming the adoption of this sound technologies, in accordance with GA resolution 68/210
2- I would like also to congratulate H.E. Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland, and H.E. Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil for their designation as co-moderators of this series of the structured dialogues, and would like to assure them of our support to their work in crafting a meaningful and forward-looking outcome of these dialogues, including recommendations on the possible modalities and organization of the technology facilitation mechanism, to be submitted by the President of the General Assembly to the Assembly at its sixty-eighth session.
3- It is due to the determination of the Group of 77 and China and its relentless efforts, in cooperation with the other members of the UN, that the General Assembly is addressing for the second consecutive year this issue, in order to fulfill the mandate from Rio+20 Conference and reach a final conclusion on this matter.
4- The pivotal importance of science, technology and innovation (STI), Knowledge-sharing and capacity building for eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development has recently been confirmed at the Rio+20 Conference. STI can be the “game changer” of the socio-economic situation of developing countries. Development of STI capacities has been proven to be an important prerequisite for the social and economic transformations that enable sustainable economic growth, human development and poverty eradication.
5- As we embark on the process of sustainable development and look towards a global ‘transformative’ development agenda, technology plays a key role in addressing development challenges across a wide scope of cross-cutting sustainability dimensions.
6- Developing countries rely heavily on technology in order to shift to a more sustainable development path. To help developing countries overcome obstacles to economic expansion and growth to achieve specific development goals, it is imperative to bridge the technological divide to promote sustainable development and inclusive growth across the developing world.
7- Despite recent progress in access to technology, technological and innovation divides between countries and regions persist. Around 70 per cent of R&D spending worldwide, still takes place in developed countries. Disparities in scientific capacity and STI development levels between developed and developing countries remain significant.
8- Developing countries are still facing many obstacles, particularly with regard to access to finance, capacity building and training throughout different stages of the technology life cycle, from research to development, demonstration, market formation, and eventual diffusion in the marketplace. An effective technology innovation system is one that excels in each stage and seamlessly bridges the gaps between them. In such a system, capacity-building, finance and technology transfer can play an important role in all stages.
9- As we stress the need for a ‘transformational’ change in the framework of SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, it is difficult to envisage how it could take place without a break-through in international cooperation in the field of technology transfer. There is a need for a technology mechanism that can accelerate technology transfer and diffusion on a global scale and that is commensurate with the sustainable development challenge.
10- The Rio+20 Outcome Document recognized technology as one of the key means of implementation along with finance, capacity building and trade. It mandated in para.273 examining options for a facilitation mechanism that promotes the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies, taking into account existing models. The process to establish such a mechanism is an integral part of the Rio+20 package, and a third stream complementing the other two streams on SDGs and finance. However, this stream is the least fulfilled among the other Rio+20's outcome.
11- For this purpose the Secretary General issued two reports, and four workshops held in 2013 provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions. They validated the analysis contained in the report by the Secretary General recommending the establishment of an open-ended intergovernmental working group to decide on the modalities and organization of a UN global technology facilitation mechanism, and emphasized the view that what is being done currently is not enough and that a comprehensive approach to technology cooperation is needed.
12- Last year's workshops highlighted existing fragmentation in two levels. The first is related to the technology cycle itself, as according to the SG report (A/68/310), with the exception of the work of UNESCO, most technology-related international actions are focused on capacity-building. This relates to the later stages of the technology cycle, notably diffusion, while there is relatively little emphasis on strengthening the capabilities of developing countries to undertake earlier-stage activities, such as research and development. The SG report reaffirms that this is a serious issue, as one of the major constraints in most developing countries is the shortage of basic science and research capabilities. Even when a given technology can be transferred on preferential terms to a developing country, benefiting fully from it in a sustained manner usually depends on indigenous technological capabilities and the availability of numerous ancillary skills and management capabilities across the economy.
13- The second level of fragmentation is linked to the lack of coordination and coherence among international efforts. Discussions at the workshops have highlighted fragmentation of capacity-building and, in general, of all international technology facilitation efforts in this area.
14- Therefore, in our view, one of the important conclusions of last year's workshops is that fragmentation, lack of coordination and coherence, whether with regard to international efforts, or to different stages of the technology cycle itself is a major challenge which needs to be addressed in order to maximize the impact and benefits of technology cooperation.
15- Last year's workshops examined at length, with the participation of member states, as well as experts, scientists, academicians and civil society the feasibility and the need to establish a global technology facilitation mechanism, after taking stock of what is currently existing, and the related gaps and challenges. We should not be repeating the same discussions this year, in order not to waste our resources. This year's dialogues should take the discussions and the debate forward by focusing on how the Technology Facilitation Mechanism could be established, what are the different options and arrangement for its modalities and organization, what are the functions it should undertake to bring added value, ensure synergy, coordination and coherence, as well as its institutional placement within the UN system.
16- The program for the dialogues should reflect this sense of urgency and necessity to move forward, so that we can have better focused discussions building on previous work, instead of repeating it, thus ensuring better utilization of our resources.
17- A global technology facilitation mechanism should :
a) Better coordinate and support the implementation of technology-related international commitments, agreements and conventions
b) Facilitate the exchange of experiences, best practices and lessons learned across agreements and sectors.
c) Address gaps throughout the full technology cycle, from research to development, demonstration, market formation and diffusion;
d) Foster truly global, cooperative technology undertakings and partnerships that engage all interested Governments and major groups, including the private sector;
e) Improve technology transfer, and recommend actions and measures for this purpose, including between developing countries;
f) Examine how to address in a pragmatic manner possible intellectual property rights constraints/challenges for technology transfer, wherever they exist, including by exploring innovative voluntary approaches;
g) Promote technology needs assessment;
h) Build and expand open international networks of collaboration in research, development and demonstration that allow for the participation of all countries, in particular the poorest;
i) Better coordinate capacity-building work by the United Nations to identify synergies, avoid duplication and improve effectiveness of capacity building activities

18- A global technology facilitation mechanism should consist of:
a) A global mechanism, with a technology development fund, in order to strengthen global research, development and demonstration cooperation, technology transfer and participation of developing countries;
b) Network of technology transfer, innovation and information centers, based on existing global and regional centers, online platforms, clearing houses, international conventions with technology provisions and economic partnership agreements;
c) Public-private partnerships including on collaborative intellectual property systems and licensing;
d) Capacity development programmes and knowledge platforms, and technology needs assessment
e) A management and coordination structure within the United Nations, including regional and sub-regional cooperative mechanisms and national coordination units, which could be assisted by an advisory team composed of experts and stakeholders.

19- The international technology facilitation mechanism should coordinate ongoing efforts and build on them. For example, WIPO and UNESCO are conducting capacity building activities, whereas UNEP/ UNIDO/ IRENA are undertaking technology assessment efforts. In addition, UNESCO and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) are involved in Universities and research centers networking.
20- In our view, what will bring us closer to agreement is to move away from the political discussion and "positioning" and to rather focus on examining this question based on technical merit, to address in concrete manner the gaps and challenges facing international technological cooperation. This is the reason why, we would like to suggest the Co-facilitators identify elements based on the debates and discussions of the first two dialogues, on the basis on which we could resume the work in the second phase of the structured dialogues, in order to identify possible options, modalities and organization for the technology facilitation mechanism, thus fulfilling the mandate from GA resolution 68/210
21- We look forward to engaging constructively with all other participants during the dialogues with a view to moving the discussions forward expeditiously for the early establishment of the technology facilitation mechanism.
Thank you.