United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

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United Nation General Assembly
Structured Dialogue 4 on a Technology Facilitation Mechanism
23rd July 2014
Statement by the European Union
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
Mr. President
First, we would like to thank co-facilitators, Mr. Seger, PR of Switzerland and Mr. Patriota, Ambassador of Brazil for their tireless efforts throughout these dialogues. We realize that their task is not an easy one. Looking back we also realize, that together we have made some progress in identifying functions that will promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.
During these dialogues we have considered it to be crucial to have a good understanding of the current situation and issues, before we seek to improve the situation, in the same way a doctor will examine a patient before prescribing medicine. What the first dialogues in April did reveal was that there are already a lot of technology transfer initiatives, programmes and mechanisms in operation, focusing on the needs of developing countries at different stages of the technology cycle, including many led by the UN system and under the Rio Conventions. We need to be careful that what we set out to do does not duplicate these processes and mechanisms, but rather capitalize on existing expertise and supplement and enhance synergies and coherence.
Another important element in our discussion is that the modalities for a possible technology facilitation mechanism can only be designed when we know the functions that it needs to perform.
Turning to the notes from the co-moderators prepared for our dialogue today and the four options outlined we believe that option 1. on "better information and mapping of existing facilitation activities" should be further examined. However, with the caveat, that the focus should not be confined to existing activities, but also include - importantly - dissemination of available open access scientific information relevant to clean and environmentally sound technologies (e.g. generated through publicly funded research) and building on existing global, regional and national knowledge sharing networks. This could be in the form of an online electronic knowledge platform maintained by an existing programme, body or platform. We believe such sharing of knowledge to be important to increase the uptake and impact of existing technologies and facilities, and of particular relevance to member states which have limited capacity to obtain and operationalize information from many different sources.
We are also ready to consider elements of option 2. on "Improving coherence and synergy between existing facilitation activities". More specifically we are ready to explore a UN inter-agency coordination mechanism for clean and environmentally sound technologies that, while respecting the mandates of these agencies, brings together and promotes synergies between existing relevant UN initiatives, programmes and mechanisms so as to maximize system-wide coordinated action and coherence, as well as effectiveness of UN efforts towards the dissemination and diffusion of clean and environmentally sound technologies. We do not agree to necessarily use UN Water or UN Energy as organization models for this function, neither to a possible role for HLPF, before further studies on the feasibility of these options have been undertaken.
On option 3. "conducting analyses of technology needs and gaps in addressing them" we note, that some functions described here are, in fact, already taking place, e.g. technology needs assessments which are undertaken, i.a., by CTCN, GEF, UNEP. We do, however, recognize the need for coordination of cooperation to promote science, technology and innovation capacity development in LDCs, as reflected in the proposal for a LDC tech bank and STI capacity building mechanism. Subject to the outcome of the feasibility study and of other steps outlined in the relevant resolutions, we are ready to consider how, on a voluntary basis, we can gather research agency representatives from different countries, including least developed countries, to coordinate research programmes and collaboration on development, transfer and dissemination clean and environmentally sound technologies.
We believe that the functions which we have highlighted in this statement include many of the elements contained under options 4. including strengthening of networks between existing technology facilitation activities and strengthening of knowledge sharing between research & development institutions, and furthering of coherence between UN agencies involved in technology facilitation. We find it premature, however, to consider any formal establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism such as the package proposal described under option 4 before we have reviewed the results of recently agreed technology facilities including those under the Rio Conventions and the LDC tech bank feasibility study.
Mr. President,
We have argued for support to three basic and complementary functions identified during our dialogues, which are currently not undertaken: a knowledge sharing and information network on clean and environmentally sound technology; a STI cooperation coordination mechanism, and a UN coordination platform on clean and environmentally sound technology. Subject to feasibility studies of organizational modalities, we believe that undertaking these functions is both realistic and achievable and together they have the potential, in synergy with existing initiatives, to significantly boost the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.
The European Union and its Member States will continue to engage actively in discussions on technology facilitation and believe that the resolution on Implementation of Agenda 21, which provides the mandate for our dialogues, is an adequate vehicle for that. We see no need or added value for a procedural resolution during the current GA.
Thank you Mr. President.