Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Opening remarks
Briefing to Member States on the progress made on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism

Thank you, Mr. President.

It is a pleasure and privilege to brief all Member States on the progress made so far on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

The creation of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM for short) was a major outcome of the Addis Ababa conference and the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. It has the potential to become an important tool in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Developed and developing countries alike have very high expectations for this Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

Let me take this opportunity to reassure Member States that the Secretariat will do its very best to live up to those expectations, working in close collaboration with the UN system.

The Technology Facilitation Mechanism comprises three elements:

  • First, a UN inter-agency task team on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs, working with a ten-member advisory group;
  • Secondly, an on-line platform to be developed to facilitate the matching of technology supply and demand; and
  • Thirdly, a UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs, the STI Forum.

Inter-agency Task Team (IATT)

The Inter-agency Task Team now comprises 29 UN entities. The Task Team is still growing and receiving new members.

Since its establishment, the IATT has met three times. It adopted its Terms of Reference and decided to meet monthly. It is currently co-chaired by my Department and UNEP. Chairmanship of the IATT will rotate every two years among members.

For the sake of time, I will not go into details. Detailed information about the list of the IATT members and its Terms of Reference is available on a dedicated TFM website.

The Inter-agency Task Team is working with 10 eminent representatives from civil society, the private sector and the scientific community to support the implementation of the TFM and in particular to prepare the STI Forum.

The Secretary-General has already appointed the 10 representatives.

The biographical information of the 10 members has been posted on the TFM website. A press release in this regard was issued last Friday.

A first virtual meeting via video conference took place Monday, 2 February. It was an introductory meeting, where the group discussed their working methods going forward. The group also provided initial ideas and inputs regarding the organization of the STI forum, as per the mandate of the group.

A meeting of the group in New York will take place on 3 and 4 March. It will be a joint meeting between the UN Inter-Agency Task Team and the 10 eminent representatives.

The objective of the meeting will be to further elaborate the concept and implementation of the STI Forum.

The 10 representatives will also help the Inter-Agency Task Team with respect to other tasks, including the online platform.

With regard to the multi-stakeholder Forum on science, technology and innovation (STI Forum), the ECOSOC President has announced the date for the Forum for 6 and 7 June 2016.

The co-chairs of the forum are yet to be appointed.

The Inter-Agency Task Team is working on a concept note for the STI Forum. In coming weeks, the IATT will continue to work on this, with the support of the 10 representatives.

The Team will need guidance from Member States in order to devise a really innovative Forum.

The IATT and the 10 eminent representatives who support it will be ready to support the co-Chairs and delegations for the organization of this important event.

With regard to the online platform, according to the mandate in the 2030 Agenda, the platform will establish a comprehensive mapping of, and serve as a gateway for, information on existing science, technology and innovation initiatives, mechanisms and programmes, within and beyond the United Nations.

The IATT has explored preliminary options for an online platform, with different levels of ambition. An independent technical assessment will be the basis for the development of the Online Platform.

The independent technical assessment will need to be performed in an inclusive manner, through consultation with Member States, UN agencies, private sector and other stakeholders.

The IATT has been exploring possible ways to conduct this assessment. It has explored contacts with firms that would be willing to carry out the assessment pro bono, as there are no resources dedicated for it.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite delegations to help us in identifying suitable experts to lead this independent assessment, which is a critical building block for the Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

With regard to other tracks of work, the UN team has prepared an initial mapping of UN technology facilitation initiatives, which assessed more than 70 STI-related initiatives.

The Task Team is also engaged in an ongoing reflection on system-wide capacity building efforts on science, technology and innovation.

The IATT is also working to identify potential sources of funding, and to devise a strategy for mobilizing resources to support the work of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

Mr. President,
Excellencies,

Slowly, but steadily, the UN system, through the Inter-Agency Task Team, is now embarked on a difficult but promising mission.

If successful, this mission will lead to real, tangible benefits to Member States, making potentially significant contributions to the implementation of the SDGs.

In this undertaking, we are grateful for the guidance and support from many Member States. We will rely on your continued leadership and engagement.

On our part, we will continue redoubling our efforts to support the implementation of the mechanism.

We will keep you informed on the progress made on a regular basis.

I thank you.

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