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4 June Side Event on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism: “Technology Access and Assessment – The Trillion Dollar Challenge” conducted by UN-NGLS and ETC Group

arton4449On the occasion of Structured Dialogue 3 on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) convened by the President of the General Assembly on 4 June, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and ETC Group, an international civil society organization specializing in technology issues, conducted a side event on the subject from 1:00-2:45pm in Conference Room 9 in the Conference Building (Floor 1b), UN Headquarters. Lunch and beverages were provided to participants.

Documentation: UN-NGLS produced a background note on the Technology Facilitation Mechansim and technology assessment, available here. It contains:

I. Background on the Call for a Technology Facilitation Mechanism, Stemming from Rio+20
II. References to Technology in Existing International Agreements
III. References to Technology in Proposed Sustainable Development Goals
IV. The Technology Facilitation Mechanism Should Include Technology Assessment
Annex: Mentions of Technology in draft SDGs proposed by the OWG Co-Chairs on 2 June

ETC Group provided papers on technology assessment and specific emerging technologies relevant to proposed SDG focus areas:
1) Technology Transfer in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda
2) UN Technology Assessment: A Note for Discussion

Background: The total annual global public and private sector investment in Research and Development (R&D) is now over USD$1 trillion, and emerging new technologies play a role in each of the proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) focus areas. In the Rio+20 Outcome Document, “The Future We Want,” governments called for both UN technology facilitation and technology assessment. In order to ensure safe and effective transfer and use of clean and environmentally sound technologies, is there a need for a cross-cutting UN level Technology Facilitation Mechanism? How are governments addressing technology assessment today? What is the experience in EU member countries and in the European Commission? What is the current capacity in the UN system?

Recent reports in scientific and business journals suggest that as much as 85% of global R&D in healthcare, for example, is not optimized, and that substantially more than 90% of research is focused on the particular needs of advanced economies. If the SDGs are to be realized, research must become more efficient and effective and more of the world’s R&D must be harnessed to address socio-economic priorities.

Programme:

1:00 - 1:30 pm: Light lunch available outside room

1:30 - 2:30 pm:
• Welcome and Introductions: Susan Alzner, Officer in Charge, New York, UN-NGLS

• ETC Group and the TFM and post-Rio processes: Silvia Ribeiro, Latin America Director

• TFM – the Trillion-Dollar Challenge: Pat Mooney, Executive Director, ETC Group

• Remarks by Mr. Mohammed Khalil, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt

• Comments from Invited Member States

• Open Dialogue

2:30 pm: Concluding Remarks: Pat Mooney, ETC Group and Susan Alzner, UN-NGLS

The flyer for the event is available here.

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to develop constructive relations between the UN and civil society organizations.

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