United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Group of 77 & China

Mr. President,
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. We would like to thank you for organizing these workshops. The Group welcomes the two themes of the workshops: "Enhancing countries' capacity to access and utilize environmentally sound technologies through international structures, institutions and initiatives"; and "the way forward in strengthening the international architecture for environmentally sound technology development, transfer and dissemination."
3. At the first two workshops, we focused our discussion on the national level, sharing experiences of some countries, mainly from the South. The Group is of the view that the next two workshops should focus on the international level. Sustainable development challenges are of global nature, thus they need global solutions with technology at its core.
Mr. President,
4. Developing countries rely heavily on technology to promote sustainable industrialization in order to shift to a more sustainable development path. On this note, the Group reiterates that the real source of economic wealth lies in a country's ability to promote innovative and creative ways of living, through new technologies and enterprises from creative and innovative knowledge that have commercial applications.
5. Technology and science are continuously evolving. On one hand, these dynamic changes have led to structural shifts in the world economy and its different market sectors and categories. On the other, the steady globalization of innovative activity and stringent intellectual property system with the concurrent rise in new actors and new ways and systems of innovation continues to retard the development of developing countries. As such, the G77 & China notes that existing technology and non-technological innovation also counts, and national and international innovation and technology policies, including the intellectual property systems, need to adapt to this evolving environment and address the special needs of different countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs).
6. Over the past 20 years, a system of capacity-building mechanisms for technology and sustainable development has emerged that is increasingly fragmented, including within the United Nations system. A recent survey of activities within the United Nations system illustrates the range of capacity-building activities, which remain largely uncoordinated and ad hoc in terms of objective, content and country coverage. There is no global framework, agreement, assessment or monitoring mechanism for science and technology for sustainable development.
7. In this regard, it is noted that a certain degree of work has been taken with regard to technology transfer in many foras such as WTO, WIPO, UNFCCC, but didn't lead to headways up till now. This clearly reflects the need for streamlining all these efforts, which are all related to sustainable development, as well as for making a breakthrough with regard to the issue of technology transfer. This gives more reasons why we need an international mechanism that takes in charge this task, taking into account existing models, and providing collective and coordinated solutions.
8. In this vein, the Group reaffirms its support for the findings of the SG report (A/67/348) and its conclusions with regard to the establishment of an intergovernmental working group to agree on establishing a global mechanism for technology facilitation, and welcome the support expressed by panelists and speakers during the first 2 workshops to establishing global technology facilitation mechanism, emphasizing the need for it.
Mr. President,
9. The Group of 77 highlights the dynamic rise of the digital era with accompanying diversity of innovators and creator interests and consumer demands, calls for structural changes to both the national and global economic policy and industry growth strategies and legal backings. The invincible goods model now used to track economic growth through use of R&D spending, patent count and educational statistics, still relies on the trade flow of physical goods and services, royalties and licenses. Data derived from such reliance may now be thrown open to challenges by the new technological advancement with the ability to separate inherent virtual rights from the physical goods and services.
10. The Group agrees with the conclusion that there had been more focus placed on "easy wins" and "needs and relevant of countries" like big power plants, renewable energy, and other forms of mitigations. Issues that may have the highest development consequences should also be considered and prioritized, even if they are more complicated, and/or their climate and sustainability benefits are lower. In this light, employment and other aspects of sustainable development and options for poverty eradication, with a special focus on agriculture and energy deserve realistic action.
Mr. President,
11. As we stress the need for a 'transformative change' in the framework of SDGs or the post-2015 development agenda, it is difficult to envisage how it could take place without making a breakthrough with regard to international cooperation in the field of technology transfer. The transformative change required for sustainable development cannot be achieved without adequate enabling environment at all policymaking levels.
12. The Group highlights technology transfer commitments in the UN Resolutions and provisions of international agreements and underscores that effective global technology facilitation mechanism needs to address developing countries' gaps throughout the technology cycle; from research to development, demonstration, market formation and diffusion. Against this backdrop, genuine and practical global cooperative undertakings and partnerships between countries and stakeholders, across all sectors to improve technology transfer and innovation is required.
13. The Group is of the view that a global technology facilitation mechanism should:
a) Address gaps throughout the full technology cycle, from research to development, demonstration, market formation and diffusion;
b) Foster a truly global, cooperative undertaking that engages all interested Governments and major groups, including the private sector;
c) Greatly improve technology transfer, including between developing countries;
d) Pragmatically address intellectual property rights constraints for technology transfer, wherever they exist, by exploring innovative voluntary approaches;
e) Promote technology needs assessment;
f) Build and greatly expand open international networks of collaboration in research, development and demonstration that allow for the participation of all countries, including the poorest;
g) Better coordinate capacity-building work by the United Nations through partnerships to achieve truly global reach;
h) Build partnerships to better coordinate and support the implementation of technology-related international commitments, agreements and conventions.
14. Furthermore, the Group also believes that a global technology facilitation mechanism should be:
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 and information centers, based on existing global and regional centres, online platforms, clearing houses, international conventions with technology provisions and economic partnership agreements;
c) Public-private partnerships 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 advisory team composed of experts and stakeholders, possibly drawing on a large pool of experts;
15. Due to the important role that private sectors and research communities play in technology transfer, the Group recognizes that the technology transfer mechanism should engage with the private sectors and research communities at all the required levels. In view of the ongoing challenges faced by developing countries in securing technology transfer and the achievement of sustainable development, it is imperative to identify and enhance collaboration between the relevant stakeholders. It also demonstrates the need for a coordinated approach, taking into account the flexibilities of the innovation system, the three pillars of sustainable development and trade variables, in order to ensure coherent decision-making in the area of technology and development at the international, regional and domestic levels.
16. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China reiterates the need for enhanced understanding of best practices that can be replicated in developing countries, the challenges developing countries face, and how to support developing countries efforts to advance sustainable development. On this note, transfer of technology merits continued attention and the need to have enough policy space for generating technology and genuine collaboration and partnerships.
Thank You.