United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Japan

I would like to join my colleagues in thanking the co-moderators and their teams for their respective notes and efforts. I would also like to thank the resource persons for their presentations.

To begin, please allow me to reiterate our position that technology is the key for achieving sustainable development. Indeed, my government has been making the utmost efforts in this field, and we are very serious about it. Therefore we are keen to learn and understand how technologies have been disseminated so far, and how they might be further developed and disseminated in the future; including what factors can encourage and promote private companies, who most often own these technologies, to disseminate or employ them on the ground in developing countries. Nevertheless, I sense some limitations in our discussion on this topic.

Firstly, so-called “mechanism” has been discussed by some, mainly Governments, who do not actually have any authority to decide on the transfer of technology, because Governments do not generally control these technologies. Rather, private companies and individual inventors own these technologies.

Secondly, the message from last year’s workshops and this year’s dialogues – according, at least, my understanding - is that enabling environments, such as a stable legal and regulatory regime, infrastructure and education, are necessary for both the development and dissemination of technologies. This very point was just reiterated by the resource representative from the private sector. Though such environments might not themselves be technologies per se, we must recognize their essential necessity as foundations; otherwise this issue cannot be properly addressed.

Thirdly, we need to discuss the scope of the technology. What kind of technologies we are referring to? As many have pointed out, there are already many existing initiatives and programs on technology that have been initiated by governments, international entities and NGOs all over the world. For its part, the Government of Japan has already been contributing to many technical cooperation programs through our ODA, but I am sure that none of them are programs in which the Government of Japan has forced private companies or NGOs to transfer their privately-owned, state-of-the-art technologies; rather they all rely on technological sharing made on a voluntary basis. In addition, most of the programs related to technical cooperation are not related to the issue IPR; rather most of these programs are based on knowledge-sharing or best-practices sharing. There is a lot of important and useful work that can and should be done, other than creating some sort of new “mechanism”. We should think about this work seriously.

Finally, with regard to the options proposed in the note by the co-moderators, my delegation believes some of the elements in options 1 and 2 could be further examined.

In conclusion, I found the dialogues to be useful and informative; however I still feel that we need more information and more discussions with all the various stakeholders, including the private sector, and we need to develop a broader picture surrounding this topic.

I thank you.

Stakeholders