United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Group of 77 and China

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. SACHA LLORENTI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIRMAN OF THE GROUP OF 77, TO CONSIDER POSSIBLE ARRANGAMENTS FOR A TECHNOLOGY FACILITATION MECHANISM TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT, TRANSFER AND DISSEMINATION OF CLEAN AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGIES. (New York, April 29th, 2014)
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 the Group's 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 earlier in 2013 provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions. They validated the analysis contained in the first 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 a perceived 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, in addition to member states, experts, scientists, academicians and civil society the feasibility and need to have 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 Group of 77 ad China is concerned that the current program for the dialogues does not reflect this sense of urgency and necessity to move forward, and wishes that this be rectified as soon as possible, so that we can have better focused discussion building on previous work, instead of repeating it, thus ensuring better utilization of our resources.

17- G77 looks 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.
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