United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


4th Structured Dialogue on Possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies
July 23, 2014
Statement by Amit Narang, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations
Distinguished Co-Moderators,
Thank you very much for your leadership and stewardship of this important process. Thank you also for your Notes prepared for this Dialogue. We appreciate the presence of the panelists and their remarks.
We would also like to thank Prof. Ambuj Sagar and Mr. Arun Majumdar for their excellent and comprehensive paper outlining a proposal for an ARPA-SD, which is based on the national experiences of some countries, noting of course that this proposal comes from a noted academic and a noted entrepreneur representing the private sector.
The proposal for a Technology Facilitation Mechanism was, for this delegation, one of the most important decisions taken by our leaders at Rio+20.
As we have emphasized several times before, without a collaborative approach on international cooperation on technology issues, the global achievement of sustainable development will remain a mirage.
Technology holds the solutions to our myriad problems, and a more facilitative approach to the international flow of technology is imperative if we are to collectively achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
As noted by the panelists, the importance of technology development, transfer and facilitation has been re-emphasized by the outcome document of the OWG on SDGs, both directly and indirectly.
Target 17.6 clearly points to the TFM, when agreed, and not if agreed.
Even more importantly, the very ambition of this incredible document will be compromised if there is not a concomitant movement on technology. The objectives we have set ourselves will not be achieved merely by calling for them. We have to put in place a collaborative international system under the proposed TFM to allow these objectives to be met.
What the SDGs clearly point to is the global nature of the challenge that we face. Climate change affects us all and does not distinguish between those that have the technology to adapt to its effects and those that do not. Even more importantly, the way we produce and consume natural resources in one part of the world affect all others.
In other words, in terms of the sustainability challenge, we have now entered an era where we swim or sink together.
It is therefore all the more incongruous that in this scenario, some of us seem to be content with a fragmented manner in which we think and cooperate on technology. We can and must do better than that.
A public goods approach to global resources needs to be matched by an equally constructive approach to technology cooperation. This is a necessity, not an option.

In the view of this delegation, the mandate of this series of dialogues was to identify possible arrangements for a Technology Facilitation Mechanism including its possible modalities and organization.
Several proposals have been identified and there is convergence on a range of issues, as identified by the Co-Chairs in their Notes for this session.
India favors option 4 identified in your paper which is the most comprehensive and corresponds most closely with our mandate.
In our view however, options 1 to 3 are not exclusive to option 4, and in fact are stepping stones to this comprehensive option.
While we are willing to explore all options for a way forward, let me first say what for us is not an option. What is not an option to preemptively end these discussions with a meaningful conclusion. We do feel that there is a clear mandate from the General Assembly, notwithstanding the slightly different interpretation of this mandate by some delegations. We do therefore feel that this mandate needs to be taken to its logical conclusion, even if it takes some more discussion.
We also note that the discussion under these Dialogues build on the substantive deliberations we had under the workshops in 2013. So clearly, in terms of discussion, we have already a very rich basis having benefitted from an extensive engagement among member states, private sector, academics and civil society over 2 years.
To paraphrase my distinguished colleague from EU, doctors have already examined this patient quite extensively. However, when the patient is seriously ill and in need of emergency treatment, it is not a good idea to spend too much time in circular discussions.
What is needed is political will, and not another round of repetitive discussions on whether a global mechanism is required or not.
We would therefore strongly support that option 4 identified in your paper be unanimously recommended to the General Assembly for further action in making the Technology Facilitation Mechanism operational at the earliest.