4 June 2018: The Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was inaugurated at its headquarters in Gebze, Turkey. According to the UN, the Bank’s establishment marks the first SDG target to have been reached, among the 169 SDG targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Technology Bank, which was formally established in September 2017, is expected to support technology-related policies and facilitate access to appropriate technologies for the world’s poorest countries. It is part of SDG target 17.8 (‘Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017′).

The UN reports that the Bank is beginning its work in 16 LDCs. Science, technology and innovation (STI) reviews and technology needs assessments are under way in Guinea, Haiti, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Uganda, while projects aimed at improving digital access to research are also underway in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania, it says.

During the inaugural ceremony to mark the operationalization of the Technology Bank on 4 June 2018, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed noted that the UN Secretary-General and she are “fully committed” to advocating for and supporting the full potential of the Bank so it can fulfil its mission in all 47 LDCs. She described the Bank as “the instrument of and for” the LDCs to promote their full integration into the world economy, promote social progress and build resilience. She also appealed to UN Member States, the UN system and all stakeholders, including the private sector and philanthropic foundations, to “contribute generously” to the financing of the Bank.

The Technology Bank was initially called for by the Programme of Action for the LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 (Istanbul Programme of Action), adopted at a UN conference in 2011. It was then included among the ambitions of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on financing for development and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, both adopted in 2015. In December 2016, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted resolution 71/251 on the ‘Establishment of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries,’ and on 22 September 2017, the operationalization phase of the Technology Bank began with the signing of the host country agreement and contribution agreement between the Government of Turkey and the UN. On 20 December 2017, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) granted NOK 9 million (about US$1,070,550) to support the Bank as it set up operations.

The Technology Bank is guided by a 13-member Council of independent experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The current members will serve until 2019. [UN Press Release] [UN Deputy-Secretary General’s Remarks at Inauguration] [Technology Bank Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on operationalization of the Bank]