Explanation of Position by Terri Robl, Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC at the 68th UNGA Second Committee on Item 19(a) Agenda 21

Terri Robl
U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council 
New York, NY
December 11, 2013


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States joins consensus on this resolution and applauds efforts to promote sustainable development worldwide. We share the resolution’s stated goals in the economic, social and environmental fields; the need for synergy, coherence and mutual support for the post-2015 development agenda; and further mainstreaming of the three dimensions of sustainable development throughout the United Nations system. It is important to create an innovative climate that supports sustainable technology.

We have three concerns to express. First, the term “right to development” is used without an agreed international understanding. As my delegation has explained on many occasions, any discussion of rights relating to development need to focus on aspects of development that relate to human rights, universal rights that are held and enjoyed by individuals, and which every individual may demand from his or her own government.

Second, the resolution language regarding facilitation of technology transfer and diffusion does not emphasize sufficiently the need for recipient countries to build national capacities as part of an enabling environment that can absorb transferred technologies, including intellectual property rights protection.

Our third concern, also connected with facilitating the development, transfer, or diffusion of environmentally sound technology is that in implementing the resolution, we consider all appropriate existing provisions and mandates in the United Nations and other international systems to ensure that new provisions not be established that would duplicate provisions that already exist. The resolution provides helpful guidance in this respect.

To this end we are sharing, in the written version of this statement, a list of existing technology facilitation mechanisms, with their web links. The list is not exhaustive and is provided with the intent of demonstrating what is already being done – from World Intellectual Property Organization, OECD and other Green Knowledge Sharing Platforms to the Eco-Patent Commons - to contribute to diffusion of technology and knowledge, an important focus for the UN in crafting the future development agenda.

There are also many national-level programs, including some that fast-track green patent applications. Identifying best practices and overlaps will help the international community to determine how existing initiatives might be linked to make them more useful and limit redundancy.

List and Links for Existing Technology Facilitation Mechanisms:

Plans for a new technology bank in the “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” resolution agreed to this month

Committee on Sustainable Assessment (COSA) Certification Programs and Assistance Network

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)   

 Eco-Patent Commons

 European Patent Office (EPO) Clean energy patent classification

 International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Renewable Readiness Assessment

 OECD Green Knowledge sharing platform

 UNEP Technology Needs Assessments

 UNFCCC Climate Technology Center and Network

 WIPO ARDI (Access to Research for Development and Innovation program)

 WIPO ASPI (Access to Specialized Patent Information)

 WIPO GREEN knowledge sharing platform

 WIPO International Patent Classification (IPC) Green Inventory


 WIPO TISCs (Technology and Innovation Support Centers)

 World Bank Climate Innovation Centers


PRN: 2013/268