ENB:05:06 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGY, COOPERATION AND CAPACITY-BUILDING

Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai introduced document E/CN.17/1993/10 and said that the CSD's comparative advantage in this area is its capacity to link technology, education, science and cooperation. India stressed the need to move from conceptual issues to mechanisms and modalities for technology transfer and endogenous capacity building. Korea said that the Secretariat's document insufficiently covers government policies and the work of the private sector. Sri Lanka suggested that the CSD survey available technologies in different sectors. Denmark, on behalf of the EC, said that the CSD should work closely with other UN organs on capacity building and relevant conventions should provide information on technology to the CSD as part of the programme of work.

Pakistan listed the major issues as: the dissemination of technology; the removal of barriers to the free flow of technology; and the provision of financial support for countries that wish to purchase technology. Japan described the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre that was set up in Osaka last year. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions stressed the need to give a high priority to employment and training and to ensure that introducing technology does not mean job losses. China supported the establishment of regional centers for environmentally sound technology. Sweden, on behalf of the Nordics, stressed: the importance of efficient operation and maintenance of technologies; strengthening the capacity to develop and adapt environmentally sound technology; the role of the private sector; and the CSD's discussion on technology should relate to the clusters under review. Germany mentioned the importance of the private sector and a favorable investment climate.

The US opened the afternoon session by announcing the free distribution of a software product that is designed to track the 2509 activities in Agenda 21 -- an example of technology transfer with no patents or copyrights. Egypt stressed the need to discuss technology both in conjunction with the sectoral issues as well as a cross-cutting issue. Mexico mentioned that a large part of technology is the product of transnational corporations. Algeria said that the costs of technology and protectionist policies only make the situation worse. The US stressed an integrated approach to technology, including development, transfer, needs assessment, institution and capacity building.

The Philippines outlined problems faced by developing countries and supported the creation of a data bank. Colombia, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that the CSD should set up regional centres to ensure access to environmentally sound technologies and monitor implementation of environmental conventions with regard to technology. The International Chamber of Commerce said that for technology transfer to work, there must be effective market mechanisms, a positive investment climate and a sound legal framework. The Ad Hoc NGO Working Group on Technology mentioned the need for exchange of appropriate technologies and the need to focus on technology development and capacity-building by local communities.

Australia saw the need for close links between the private sector and all other sectors of society. The UK described the Global Technology Initiative launched in Birmingham last March that transfers technology on commercial terms and provides information. Nigeria asked how to guarantee transfer of technology on a market-based approach in view of the critical burden of debt and trade restrictions. The Russian Federation suggested that the CSD study different technologies and how they can help or hinder sustainable development. Singapore stressed the need for: access to information on available technologies; a favorable business climate; technology assessment institutions; greater policy coordination; resource development and local capacity building. Uruguay mentioned the importance of culturally appropriate technology and the need to adapt technology to endogenous settings. The Women's NGO Caucus said that the vital socio-economic contribution of women and the indigenous sectors was omitted from the document and listed the ways in which women should be involved in the planning, design and transfer of appropriate technologies. Brazil said that any intersessional mechanism should abide by the intergovernmental nature of the CSD.

Morocco said that many developing countries are sold obsolete technology and often do not receive the know-how to make the technology a reality. Malaysia said that governments must create the atmosphere to produce good technology and supported regional networks, clearinghouses and collaborative networks to facilitate technology transfer. The International Council of Scientific Unions described its work on capacity building and the participation of scientists in decision-making. Senegal stressed the need to take into account the role of women in technology transfer. Tunisia mentioned a need to find a medium between market prices and intellectual property rights.

The Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia said that the CSD must take stock of technology developed at the ground level. Bolivia said that financial issues, institution building and technology are the pillars of the CSD's work. Benin said that the CSD must communicate with other UN bodies, NGOs and the private sector on this issue.

[Return to start of article]