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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development



Technology, science and capacity building are major pillars of the Means of Implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda and of the Rio+20 follow-up processes. The research, development, deployment, and widespread diffusion of environmentally sound technologies in the context of a Green Economy is also closely linked to other core elements and means of implementation, including innovation, business opportunities and development, trade of environmental goods and services, finance and investment, and institutional capabilities.

In order to eradicate poverty and reorient current unsustainable development trajectories over the period 2015 to 2030, affordable technological solutions have to be developed and disseminated widely in the next fifteen years. The Means of Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda could nevertheless provide an opportunity to address some of the gaps hindering the facilitation and transfer of these technologies.

In 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) called for identifying technology facilitation mechanism. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in its paragraph 123, decided to establish a technology facilitation mechanism. The mechanism will be launched at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda in order to support the sustainable development goals.

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  • Among its deliverables, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda identified a technology facilitation mechanism (TFM) which comprises a UN inter-agency task team and a multi-stakeholder forum on Science Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as an online platform, a global infrastructure forum to improve alignment and coordination among established and new infrastructure initiatives, multilateral and national development banks, UN agencies and national institutions, development partners and the private sector.
  • January 2015 SDG 17 -Technology
    SDG 17 focuses on strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development Technology. Its targets 17.6-17.8 are devoted to technology. In particular, target 17.6 aims to "Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism". Target 17.7 stresses on "Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed". Target 17.8 identifies the need to "Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology".
  • In the SG' Synthesis Report, the SG proposed the setting up of an online, global platform to “map existing technology facilitation initiatives, needs and gaps, including in areas vital for sustainable development, including agriculture, cities and health”. Furthermore, Mr Ban invited Member States to finalize arrangements for the proposed Technology Bank and the Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity Building mechanism for LDCs; scale up cooperation for sharing technologies and strengthening knowledge for innovation capacities; transfer technologies to developing countries; and ensure that global intellectual property regimes are consistent with and contribute to sustainable development.
  • In paragraph 273, Member States requested the identification of options for a facilitation mechanism that promotes the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies by, inter alia, assessing the technology needs of developing countries, options to address those needs and capacity-building". They also requested the Secretary-General "to make recommendations regarding the facilitation mechanism to the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly".
  • The GA Resolution "Keeping the Promise: united to achieve the Millennium Development Goals" highlights the need to mobilize efforts for ensuring adequate and predictable financial and high-quality technical support, as well as for promoting the development and dissemination of appropriate, affordable and sustainable technology as well as the transfer of such technologies on mutually agreed terms, which is crucial for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • The Copenhagen Accord is a political agreement which speaks to all of the core elements of the Bali Action Plan: a long-term goal; mitigation; adaptation; finance; technology; forests; and measurement, reporting and verification. As far as technology is concerned, the agreement establishes a new Technology Mechanism to accelerate technology development and transfer for both adaptation and mitigation.
  • January 2002 JPOI - Technology
    The JPOI first mentions technology in its paragraph 4 when it identifies technology transfer as one of the areas in continued need "for a dynamic and enabling international economic environment supportive of international cooperation" to reduce the gap between developed and developing countries. Technology is later described as tool to " increase food availability and affordability"( 7.k), "to develop waste management systems" (22.1), "promote concrete international support and partnership for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including in ecosystems, at World Heritage sites and for the protection of endanger red species." (44.f). The Plan also recognizes the role that globalization has in "offering new opportunities for trade, investment and capital flows and advances in technology, including information technology". Furthermore, technology is mentioned in regards to education and health.
  • January 1992 Agenda 21 (Chap. 31)
    Agenda 21 recalls in many sections the key role of technology and technology transfers as well as the importance of an evolution towards environmentally sound technology. Chapter 31 in particular focuses on the Scientific and Technological Community and on how to enable its members as well as policy-makers "to make a more open and effective contribution to the decision-making processes concerning environment and development".