United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ms. Sujata Mehta, Secretary (M&ER), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

High Level Side Event on “Launching the Technology Facilitation Mechanism for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”

1500-1700 hrs, September 26, 2015
New York
Intervention by Ms. Sujata Mehta, Secretary (M&ER), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

Your Excellency Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France,
Your Excellency Mr. Mauro Vieiro, Minister of External Relations of Brazil,
Your Excellency Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored and privileged to participate in today’s event.

At the outset, I would like to warmly congratulate and thank the Governments of France and Brazil for taking this valuable initiative to celebrate the launching of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism.
This Mechanism is undoubtedly one of the most tangible and meaningful outcomes of this landmark Summit and we are glad that through this event, we are celebrating this achievement and by doing so, helping maintain the global spotlight on this issue.
It is of course only fitting that this event is being organized by Brazil and France, two delegations that played such a central role in incubating this issue and ensuring a successful outcome on it.
I would like to place on record our appreciation to the delegation of France for the special role they played in building bridges and bringing the two sides to a common understanding.
My own delegation has been one of the active participants in the debate leading up to the creation of the Mechanism. We played a central and constructive role in enabling an agreement on this important issue.
India has long maintained that without meaningful international collaboration on the issue of technology, our dream for a sustainable world will remain a mirage. The multifarious and integrated nature of challenges confronting a relentlessly globalizing world only serve to enhance the importance of technology as the golden key for solutions.
If the world has to end poverty within a generation, if the world has to enable a life of dignity to every individual on the planet, if the world has to combat climate change and put itself on a sustainable pathway, then meaningful collaboration on developing and sharing technological solutions is not an optional luxury; it is a fundamental necessity.
We are happy therefore that for the first time perhaps, the discourse on sustainable development and on technology in particular is moving from platitudes to action.
While there are several sectoral initiatives on technology, it is for the first time that we are creating a space for meaningful discussion and collaboration on technology at a macro and integrated level at the UN.
This is in keeping with the 2030 Agenda itself, the hallmark of which is integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Going forward, we expect this Mechanism to become the home for technology discussions in the UN, convening all stakeholders and looking at the entire landscape of technology – needs, capacities, assessment, showcasing, financing transfer, dissemination, and match-making – in order to promote meaningful results.
We are hopeful also that through this Mechanism, we will be able to overcome the largely infructuous debates over technology transfer and IPRs.
Meaningful collaboration on technology has long been held hostage by the apparent fears, mostly unfounded, about protection of IPRs. The importance of IPRs, which is but one aspect to the issue of technology cooperation, cannot be allowed to prevent discussion on a subject that is much wider in scope and can lend itself to meaningful solutions provided there is political will.
The success of this initiative will be judged by the tangible and concrete results it is able to produce – information disseminated, projects launched, partnerships and synergies catalyzed, technologies disseminated and innovations fostered.
It will depend crucially on the work of the Secretariat, who we trust will put its best foot forward in making adequate and necessary preparations for the first meeting of the Mechanism.
The success of this initiative will also be judged by the extent to which we can foster a climate of trust among delegations to look for solutions not problems, to work for the common benefit of all and not just gains of a few.
It will depend crucially on our constructive spirit in order to forge workable long term arrangements.
If the trust and constructive spirit that led to the birth of this Mechanism is something to go by, then we surely have reasons to be hopeful.
I need hardly emphasize Excellencies that you can count on India’s unstinted support to the Mechanism in the months and years to come.
We look forward to working closely and constructively with all delegations to ensure that the Mechanism becomes a shining example of the spirit of common purpose that defines the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
I thank you.