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INTERSESSIONAL WORKING GROUPS ON TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND FINANCE:

There are two intersessional meetings being planned for the period 22 February - 4 March 1994. Ad hoc open-ended working groups on financial flows and mechanisms and on technology transfer and cooperation, established at the CSD session last June, will each meet for three-five days, depending on the workload. The working group on technology transfer is expected to meet first. These working groups will be composed of governments, which will nominate experts in order to assist the Commission in its work. The findings of these two working groups will be reported back to the Commission. NGOs and major groups that are accredited to the CSD will be able to participate in the meetings of these working groups. Bearing in mind the expert nature of these working groups, their outcome will not be a negotiated text but an agreed list of policy options/recommendations for the consideration of the CSD at its 1994 session.

The provisional agenda for the ad hoc working group on technology is as follows: after election of a Chair and adoption of the Agenda, the working group will perform an overview of the current situation and trends relating to the transfer of environmentally sound technology (EST) in the context of Chapter 34 of Agenda 21 and in accordance with decision E of the first substantive session of the CSD. Issues for discussion may include: appropriate economic policies; trade related issues of technology transfer (including intellectual property rights); creation of a positive investment climate; respective roles of and interaction between the public and private sectors in the transfer of technology and ways and means to promote the transfer of EST that are publicly owned or in the public domain, as well as privately owned; and the usefulness of setting up information systems, clearing houses, and technology centers. The next agenda item is called "Access to information on EST" and will include discussion on (a) information on privately owned/public domain/publicly owned technologies, including state of the art technologies; (b) priority needs of developing countries; (c) new initiatives -- data banks, information systems, referral services; and (d) relevant experience gained in the use of particular technologies. This section is supposed to focus on the sectoral issues currently under review by the CSD. The last two agenda items deal with capacity building and financial arrangements and technological partnership -- including the removal of barriers and provision of incentives.

The provisional agenda for the ad hoc working group on finance contains the following items: Election of the Chair; Adoption of the Agenda; and Overview of financial resources and mechanisms in the context of Chapter 33 of Agenda 21 and in accordance with decision F of the first substantive session of the CSD. The next item will address ways and means to raise the effectiveness of the use of existing financial resources and to mobilize new and additional resources from all sources (domestic/external; private/public; traditional/innovative). This discussion will also consider international policy instruments, such as debt relief, terms of trade, commodity prices, market access and private foreign investment as well as to review mechanisms for innovated financing in the context of paragraph 33.16 of Agenda 21. The working group will also consider national policy instruments and specific experiences and initiatives in the sectors under review. The next item on the agenda is "Requirements, availability and adequacy of financial resources and mechanisms in the sectors under review: assessment and methodological questions." The last item is "Specific policy options for the mobilization of financial resources towards a balanced implementation of all aspects of Agenda 21 under consideration by the CSD in 1994, in the light of the discussion of the above items."

The provisional agendas for both working groups are subject to change. [Return to start of article]