United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

H.E. Dr. Abdul Momen

Opening Technical Remarks at the Third and Fourth Workshop on the
“Development, transfer and dissemination of clean
and environmentally sound technologies in developing countries”

by H.E. Mr. Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh
Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly
30 May 2013


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to welcome you to the third and fourth technology workshops under the overarching theme “Development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies in developing countries”.

These workshops have been convened by H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, the President of the 67th Session of the General Assembly, in accordance with Resolution 67/203. Their goal is to advance discussions on the critical issue of environmental technologies as mandated in the outcome document, “The Future We Want” of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro last year.

It is important to recall that technology plays a key role in addressing sustainable development challenges across a wide range of cross-cutting issues, including food and agriculture, water, energy, industrial development as well as chemicals and waste management. Technologies and product and process innovations can be major enablers in efforts to address resource scarcities generated by existing economic and social trends. They can also make tangible contributions in the social dimensions of sustainable development in the fields of health, education and poverty eradication as a whole.

The objectives of the workshops, according to the afore-mentioned resolution, are to identify the technology needs of developing countries, options to address those needs, capacity-building and options for a technology facilitation mechanism. In addition, the Secretary-General has been requested to present a report for consideration by the General Assembly at its 68th Session, based on the discussions and recommendations stemming from these workshops. The report will chart a way forward and will include additional inputs from Member States, the United Nations system and other major actors.

On 30 April and 1 May, in the context of our discussions on the follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference, we participated in two productive workshop sessions on the technology needs of developing countries and the options to address them. The workshops have been successful in terms of generating interactive and lively discussions among invited experts, Member States and representatives of other stakeholder communities.

The picture which emerged from presentations and discussions is a rich and complex one. Some were in favour of "systemic solutions" in order to tackle the problem of promoting the deployment of clean and environmentally sound technologies. It was suggested that technology needs, issues and gaps are very much differentiated and determined by factors such as geography, income or age groups.

In workshop 3 we will seek to identify the most promising opportunities offered by existing international institutions and programs to facilitate research and development cooperation, as well as more rapid and widespread global transfer and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies. In workshop 4, discussions will focus on possible technology transfer mechanisms and the enhancement of international cooperation to this end.

The workshops, to be held today and tomorrow, will look at how to build capacity within the developing world to promote these technologies. A key issue includes intellectual property rights in relation to development. The workshops will also consider the global landscape for cooperation in the field of sustainable development and examine whether the needs of developing countries are being adequately met. Discussions will also focus on whether there is a need for new mechanisms of technology transfer and how these transfers could be regulated.

A report detailing the findings and containing a summary of all four workshops will be issued in due course and also be uploaded to the UN sustainable development website.

We are extremely fortunate to have brought together such a knowledgeable group of experts and field participants from across different regions. We are grateful to them for accepting to share their expertise with us. We are certain that this exercise will contribute to the ongoing discourse on promoting environmentally sound technologies in developing countries.

I wish you all very productive workshop sessions.

Thank you for your attention.