Technology Bank for LDCs Officially Established
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The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a draft resolution on the ‘Establishment of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs) (A/71/L.52), which officially establishes the Technology Bank as a subsidiary organ of the UNGA.

The resolution is in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 17.8, which calls for fully operationalizing the "technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for LDCs by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology."

23 December 2016: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a draft resolution on the ‘Establishment of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs) (A/71/L.52), which officially establishes the Technology Bank as a subsidiary organ of the UNGA. The resolution is in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 17.8, which calls for fully operationalizing the “technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for LDCs by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology.”

The Technology Bank seeks to, inter alia: assist the world’s poorest countries in building their national and regional capacities in the areas of intellectual property rights (IPR) and technology related policies; facilitate the transfer of technologies on voluntary and mutually agreed terms and conditions; and accelerate integration of the LDCs into the knowledge-based economy. The Technology Bank was called for by the Programme of Action for the LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 (Istanbul Programme of Action) in 2011. The initiative has been supported by the UN Office of the High Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), and its Charter was prepared by the Governing Council of the Bank, which provides support to the UN Secretary-General towards the operationalization of the Technology Bank.

Through draft resolution A/71/L.52, the UNGA: reaffirms its acceptance of the offer by Turkey to host the Technology Bank; welcomes the pledge made by the Government of Turkey to the trust fund for the operationalization of the Technology Bank; and invites UN Member States and other stakeholders, including the private sector and foundations, to provide voluntary funding to the trust fund. It urges the UN system and other relevant international and regional organizations to support “in a coordinated manner” the operationalization of the Technology Bank and its activities, while respecting the relevant provisions of the intellectual property rights-related agreements.

The UNGA reaffirmes its acceptance of Turkey’s offer to host the Technology Bank, and decides to adopt the Bank’s Charter.

By the text, the UNGA also decides to adopt the Charter of the Technology Bank, as set out in the UN Secretary-General’s note on ‘Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries’ (A/71/363). The Charter includes ten articles on: establishment, objectives, beneficiaries, organization, Council, Managing Director, personnel, capital and recurrent costs, status and authority, and the amendment of the Charter. The draft resolution requests the UN Secretary-General to prepare a report after three years to inform the UNGA about the results achieved by the Technology Bank. The Assembly also decides to review, as appropriate, the arrangements required for the effective functioning of the Technology Bank.

The Assembly adopted the resolution at a plenary meeting on 23 December 2016, during which the UNGA also adopted several other resolutions, including those recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). Introducing the draft resolution on the Technology Bank, UNGA Vice-President Zohrab Mnatsakanyan (Armenia) said the Bank is particularly important for LDCs, where he noted that fewer than seven percent of househoulds have access to the internet. [UNGA President Letter and Draft Resolution] [UNGA Draft Resolution A/71/L.52] [UN Meeting Coverage] [OHRLLS Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Technology Bank Draft Charter]

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