UN Group says science, technology and innovation critical to leverage sustainable development

finance-development-conferenceScience, technology, and innovation are essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the overall post-2015 sustainable development agenda, stated members of the United Nations Inter-agency Working Group on a Technology Facilitation Mechanism during the Third International Conference on Financing for Development currently meeting in Addis Ababa.

 

Joint statement by DESA, UNEP, UNCTAD, UNIDO, ITU, WIPO, World Bank, and UNESCO

Delivered at the side event on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs at the FfD3

Science, technology, innovation (STI) and related capacity building are essential means to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the overall post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Similarly, they are essential elements of the Addis Ababa Accord of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. Innovative and affordable technology solutions will have to be developed, transferred and disseminated at an unprecedented scale, in order to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development at a global scale by 2030. In view of such challenge, special efforts will be needed to build STI capacity and enabling policy environments and to facilitate technology development, transfer and dissemination for inclusive sustainable development.

In 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) called for identifying options for a technology facilitation mechanism (A/RES/66/288). Member States continued discussions on the way forward, in particular in the form of eight “workshops” and “structured dialogues” convened by the President of the General Assembly in 2013 and 2014. Following up on the PGA’s recommendations from the structured dialogues, the Secretary-General in his “synthesis report” (A/69/700) of inputs into the post-2015 development agenda proposed to “establish an online, global platform building on and complementing existing initiatives, and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders.” The Addis Ababa Accord includes a decision to establish a technology facilitation mechanism which would be launched at the UN Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in order to support the SDGs. The mechanism comprises a multi-stakeholder forum on STI for the SDGs; an online platform as a gateway for information on existing STI initiatives, mechanisms and programs; and a UN interagency task team on STI for the SDGs which will promote coordination, coherence, and cooperation within the UN System on STI related matters, enhancing synergy and efficiency, in particular to enhance capacity building initiatives. The platform will also engage stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, and the scientific community.

We stand ready to support Member States’ ambition to establish the envisaged technology facilitation mechanism. In line with their guidance, we are committed to engaging all interested stakeholders, including governments, the UN system, scientific and technological communities, universities, academies of sciences, holders of traditional and local knowledge, NGOs and the private sector, and to support STI-focused partnerships for the SDGs. We will strengthen UN system inter-agency cooperation and networks on STI, including as founding members of the UN interagency task team to be created, and support locally appropriate solutions. We encourage all development banks to recognize the important place of STI initiatives in their work programs. We commit to continuing to support the building of STI capacities, especially in developing countries, including at the grassroots level where appropriate, in order to promote STI for all including the most marginalized and vulnerable. We will explore strengthening our respective organizations’ STI expertise through appropriate staffing practices. We will continue to enhance and integrate STI into our organizations’ work and to fully support and enable the development of the envisaged technology facilitation mechanism, including the online platform and multistakeholder STI for SDGs forum, as guided by our respective organizations’ mandates and work programs.

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