The Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) has been regarded as a vital component in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls to enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism.
The 2030 Agenda calls for promoting the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed and to fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology.
As part of its commitment to meet the SDGS, Non-Aligned Movement has reiterated the need for establishing a global technology facilitation mechanism to accelerate technology transfer and diffusion on a global scale that is commensurate with the sustainable development challenge. The mechanism should address gaps throughout the full technology cycle – research, development, demonstration, market formation and diffusion – as well as all the steps involved in technology transfer, notably: (a) identification of the need and the technology of interest; (b) the potential sources, costs and negotiations for access; (c) the actual transfer of technology; (d) adaptation and learning to operate and maintain the technology; and (e) use and further upgrade of the acquired technologies.
NAM Member States have been pursuing policies to facilitate Global Technology Mechanism. India has called for enhancing international financial flows to deliver technology development, deployment, dissemination and transfer to developing countries.
The official Indian position states that barriers to technology transfer and trade inhibit the adoption of environmentally sustainable technologies in developing countries, highlighting the urgency for access to these technologies and the immediate and urgent delivery of technology development, deployment, dissemination and transfer to developing countries requires suitable responses including a continued emphasis by all countries on the enhancement of enabling environments, facilitating access to technology, and financing that leverages private sector financial resources.
In a similar vein, African countries, collectively represented by African Union (AU) in UN and other multilateral forums have called for an innovation fund during the early stages of the technology mechanism with focus on capacity building in the areas of education, and science and technology, and had also highlighted the importance of environmentally sound technologies and supported the idea of an online technology platform so as to support knowledge transfer and technical assistance.
AU has made calls to encourage North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and knowledge sharing and has recognized capacity building as a development need. It also underlined the critical need to reinforce national efforts in African countries in key areas. In the Caribbean, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has engaged with the UN to address technology as important to climate-sensitive development, but the region is constrained by trade, intellectual property rights, and limited capacity locally to manage and use technology, unsuitability and non-adaptability of technology to local conditions, and failure to recognize cultural and national contexts. Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has stated that technology facilitation should support the implementation of all 17 sustainable development goals and targets, not only those related to the environmental dimension of sustainable development. NAM Member States have thus realised that sustainable development and its components such as health care, climate change, energy access, can only be achieved if new technologies are available and if developing countries have access at affordable prices.