By Tiamiyu Arobani
The UN General Assembly on Friday established a Technology Bank to accelerate the advancement of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Mr Gyan Acharya, UN High-Representative and Under-Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) disclosed this in a statement obtained by the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York.
Acharya said the new UN institution was viewed as a significant achievement for the development of science, technology and innovation in the world’s poorest countries.
He said the Technology Bank is intended to help least developed countries strengthen their science, technology and innovation capacities, foster the development of national and regional innovation ecosystems that could attract outside technology and generate homegrown research and take these advancements to market.
“The poorest countries in the world cannot eradicate poverty, achieve strong and sustainable development and build resilience without expanding their scientific and technological bases.
“They need to effectively utilise technology to leapfrog various stages of their development process in order to meet the goals of the Istanbul Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda.
“The global community has a responsibility to ensure that these nations are supported as they make progress towards strengthening their science, technology and innovation capacities for eradicating poverty, accelerating structural transformation and building resilience.
“The establishment of the Technology Bank is a vital milestone in this journey which my office has consistently supported.
“I thank the Government of Turkey for hosting it and call on the Government of Turkey and all the development partners to provide committed and sustained levels of support for its effective operationalisation,” Acharya said.
Resolution A/71/L.52, adopted on Friday by the UN General Assembly, which officially established the Technology Bank, recognised “the importance to improve least developed countries’ scientific research and innovation base, promote networking among researchers and research institutions, help least developed countries access and utilise critical and appropriate technologies”.
The resolution also recognised the importance of “building upon bilateral initiatives, the coordinated support by multilateral institutions, including the relevant entities of the United Nations system, such as the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, and the private sector”.
The Bank would be financed by voluntary contributions from Member States and other stakeholders, including the private sector and foundations.
According to the resolution, it is expected that the Bank would begin operations in 2016 with the headquarters in Turkey.
The Istanbul Programme of Action called for the creation of a Technology Bank as a new UN institution and this objective was reaffirmed in the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and Sustainable Development Goal 17.