INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR KINGSLEY MAMABOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, TO THE JOINT SESSION BETWEEN FFD AND POST-2015 PROCESSES TO CONSIDER THE TECHNOLOGY FACILITATION MECHANISM AND OTHER SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION ISSUES (New York, 22 April 2015)
The Group would like to start by thanking Ambassadors Paul Seger and Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota for their briefing and for their role and leadership during the General Assembly Structured Dialogues on the possible arrangements for a technology facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.
From the onset, it is worth reiterating what the Group of 77 and China has said on numerous occasions. The call to establish a technology facilitation mechanism is one of the most important decisions that emanated out of Rio+20 as a result of the realization that a global technology facilitation mechanism would prove one of the most transformative means to implement sustainable development.
The briefing we have just received from the co-moderators of the Structured Dialogues, coupled with the report they issued after the Structured Dialogues and a number of recommendations from other sources, such as the UN Secretary-General's synthesis report (A/69/700) give a clear indication that we do NOT need another round of discussions on whether a technology facilitation mechanism is needed or not. What is urgently needed, as was mandated by Rio+20, is the bringing into reality of a global mechanism whose core function will be: the development, transfer and dissemination of technologies for the implementation of the SDGs. In this regard we are looking forward to hearing from our development partners their views on the practical steps we should take to ensure that this objective is realized in the context of the post 2015 development agenda.
Furthermore, the Group of 77 and China notes with appreciation the work carried out by the inter-agency Group on technology facilitation, comprising UNDESA, UNEP, UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNESCO, ITU, WIPO and the World Bank.
In the context of the Post-2015 negotiations, the Group believes that we should focus on the establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism under the United Nations, agreeing on the scope of its mandate, its functions and institutional arrangement.
We are NOT here to consider broader systemic or regulatory issues related to technology, science and innovation, which belongs to the preparatory process for the Third Conference for Financing for Development.
The Group of 77 and China understands that the scope for the technology facilitation mechanism encompasses the breadth and depth of the 17 sustainable development goals, as technologies are crucial for the implementation of each and every SDG.
The Group of 77 and China is open to consider proposals aiming at enhancing the role of science and innovation in the context of a Global Facilitation Mechanism. We believe innovation and science - as well as education - are relevant for a technology facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of technologies for the implementation of the SDGs.
The Group believes that a Technology Facilitation Mechanism should provide an effective platform for concrete action by the Member States and the UN System, with the engagement of other stakeholders, in contributing to the development, transfer and dissemination of technologies for the implementation of the SDGs.
As the Secretary-General's synthesis report (A/69/700) points out, while technological innovations are widening the possibilities for sustainable development, developing countries and the poor remain unable to tap into or benefit from this because access to this technical innovation is unevenly spread.
For this reason, the Group wishes to reiterate that the core mandate for a technology facilitation mechanism should be to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of technologies for the implementation of the SDGs.
Towards this end, the recommendations from the Structured Dialogues on the immediate deliverables of a global mechanism remain instructive in identifying the initial functions for the mechanism. These functions are:
- Develop an online platform to undertake a thorough mapping of existing technology facilitation mechanisms, framework and processes; - Improve coordination within the UN System; and - Perform analysis of needs and gaps in addressing them;
These recommendations are mutually beneficial and not necessarily exclusive in the implementation thereof. It is also worth noting that there are already efforts underway towards implementing some of them. For instance, the interagency group on technology facilitation and the proposed initiative by the Secretary-General to establish an online global platform should be commended as they address and respond to some issues raised by the report emanating from the Structured Dialogues. The stated intention of the Secretary-General's online global platform is to "(a) map existing technology facilitation initiatives, needs and gaps; (b) enhance international cooperation and coordination and address fragmentation and facilitate synergies within the UN system; and (c) promote information sharing, knowledge transfer and technical assistance to advance the scaling up of clean technology initiatives."
One of the features that has always been acknowledged throughout the discussion on the need for a technology facilitation mechanism has been the levels of fragmentation across different geographical areas and within the UN system.
It is thus encouraging for the G77 and China that there is an initiative that UN agencies have undertaken - Inter-agency Working Group for a Global Technology Facilitation Platform - that should assist not only in supporting the initiative of the Secretary-General to establish an online, global platform, but also to improve coordination within the UN system on technologies for the implementation of the SDGs. The often-stated view that questions the need or feasibility of global technology facilitation is thus found wanting. What is needed is a concerted effort from member states towards the fruition of the Rio+20 mandate for a technology facilitation mechanism.
It is worth recalling that the Open Working Group report on Sustainable Development Goals, which has been adopted by the General Assembly as constituting the basis for the integration of SDGs into the post-2015 development agenda, contains within it the following targets:
- 17.6 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, particularly at UN level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism when agreed; - 17.7 promote development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed; and - 17.8 fully operatinalise the Technology Bank and STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) capacity building mechanism for LDCs by 2017, and enhance thwe use of enabling technologies in particular ICT.
The G77 and China reiterates the view that technology has an essential and transformative role in bringing about sustainable development and that it constitutes a crucial part of the means of implementation. The ability of developing countries to sustain healthy levels of economic growth has been affected by the lack of adequate technology infrastructure. If tangible results are to be harvested from the outcomes of the Financing for Development and post-2015 development agenda processes, then the means of implementation thereof should have concrete mechanisms for the transfer of technology.
The Group of 77 and China requests co-facilitators to include provisions for the establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism in the zero draft for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Such provisions should include the mandate, core functions and the institutional arrangement for the establishment of such mechanism.
The Group reaffirms its commitment to work constructively toward the establishment and effective functioning of a technology facilitation mechanism. We look forward to contributing toward this end.