» Technology Facilitation Mechanism Launched at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development
28.09.2015 - Natural Sciences Sector

Technology Facilitation Mechanism Launched at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development

© Office of the Science Advisor, Malaysia Prof Zakri Abdul Hamid, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General, speaking at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in New York during the launch of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism

26 September, New York - As agreed at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa and reaffirmed in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, the Technology Facilitation Mechanism was launched today at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in New York. The Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) is seen as a key means of implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for the successful delivery of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development worldwide -- UNESCO is one of the convening UN agencies of the TFM.

The launch event was co-organized by the Governments of Brazil and France with the participation of H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France, H.E. Mr Mauro Vieira, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brazil  H.E. Ms. Sujata Mehta, Secretary for Multilateral and Economic Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, India, H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Ms. Meghan Smith, US Chief Technology Officer, and former Vice-President of Google, USA, among others.

“We are convinced that the TFM is an important tool for fostering scientific and technological collaboration needed for the achievement of the SDGs”, Mr Fabius stated in his keynote address.  While further highlighting the critical role of international collaboration for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, he noted that “access to affordable technologies remains a perquisite for the achievement of sustainable development globally”.

Minister Viera noted that technological progress also means building local capacity in science technology and innovation (STI), and in this context said that the “TFM should pave the way for enhanced scientific cooperation and help to reduce the technology gap between developed and developing countries.”

On her part, Ms Mehta noted that “the launch of the TFM is one of the most tangible and meaningful outcomes of the Post 2015 Summit”. She further reiterated that “without access to efficient and affordable technologies our dream of sustainable development will remain only a mirage”.
In the panel discussion that followed, Professor Zakri, member of the UN SG’s Scientific Advisory Board, reiterated the critical importance of investment in scientific research and development and in STEM education.

Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, the ADG for Natural Sciences, Ms Flavia Schlegel, noted the critical role that STI will play in the delivery of the SDGs. She expressed her great appreciation for the establishment of the technology facilitation mechanism and highlighted its 360 degrees perspective on technology, including the critical considerations of science, research and development as well as scientific education and capacity building and the enabling policy environment. UNESCO being an active member of the Interagency Task Team on STI for SDGs, Ms Schlegel reiterated the readiness of UNESCO to support the TFM through its international scientific programmes, and the large networks of UNESCO science, education and research centres.

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