New York

26 May 2016

Note to Correspondents: Press Release on Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries moves closer to establishment

Press Release

Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries moves closer to establishment

New York, May 2016 – A Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries has moved closer to starting operations following the UN Secretary-General’s appointment of members to a Governing Council.  A dedicated Trust Fund has also been established to support the preparatory phase of the Technology Bank in the lead up to its establishment by the General Assembly.  This Trust Fund is open to contributions from Member States and other stakeholders, including the private sector and foundations.

The Governing Council will provide support to the Secretary-General in undertaking the necessary steps towards the operationalization of the Technology Bank.  It will in particular formulate principles and policies governing the activities and operations of the Technology Bank, including preparing its Charter for consideration and adoption by the General Assembly.

Professor Mohamed H.A. Hassan (Sudan), President of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and former Chairman of the Council of the United Nations University will serve as Chair of the Governing Council. Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya (Nepal), Under Secretary-General and High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States will be the Secretary-General’s representative in the Council, serving as vice-chair. His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Yero Balde, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Guinea and Professor Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Adviser to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and member of the Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board, will be part of the Governing Council.

Other members of the Governing Council are Dr. Ann Aerts (Belgium), Head, Novartis Foundation and member of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development; Professor Aggrey Ambali (Malawi), Head, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Science Technology and Innovation Hub; Ms. Sonia Bashir Kabir (Bangladesh), Country Director, Microsoft Bangladesh; Ms. Bitrina Diyamett (Tanzania), Executive Director, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization; Professor Xiaolan Fu (United Kingdom), Director, Oxford University Technology and Management Centre for Development and member of the United Nations Group to support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism; Ms. Rosibel Ochoa (Honduras), Executive Director,
von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center, University of California San Diego; Mr. Frank Rijsberman (Netherlands), Chief Executive Officer, Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research; Mr. Alfred Watkins (United States), Chairman, Global Solutions Summits; and
Mr. Orkun Hasekioðlu (Turkey), Vice President, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK).

In 2011, the Istanbul Programme of Action called for the establishment of a technology bank and a science, technology and innovation supporting mechanism dedicated to least developed countries.  This has been a long-standing priority of the LDCs confirmed in the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda and in Sustainable Development Goal 17.  The Government of Turkey generously offered to host the Technology Bank in Gebze, Turkey.

Media contact: Louise Stoddard,