1.7 United Nations Strategies for Facilitating Technology Transfer
Agenda 21 (UN, 1993) outlines several strategies for promoting the transfer
of technologies, some of which are summarised as follows:
(a) government policies that create conditions favourable for technology transfer
in both the public and private sectors; (b) setting up of information networks
and clearing houses that disseminate information on technologies, and provide
advice and training; (c) collaboration between technology research and demonstration
centres; (d) collaboration agreements between private businesses for direct
foreign investment and joint ventures; (e) support for national and international
organisations to undertake training in the assessment, development, and management
of new technologies; and (f) international programmes for cooperation in capacity
building related to technology research and development.
The United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UNCSD) has set up
an Ad Hoc Working Group on Technology Transfer and Cooperation. The group has
identified inadequate financial resources, shortage of suitably trained manpower
and of appropriate institutions as major difficulties in technology transfer
(UNECOSOC, 1994). The Working Group suggested several mechanisms for implementing
many of the actions suggested in the preceding paragraph. The Group recommended
ways to facilitate the transfer of technologies in the public sector, and also
recognised the crucial role of the private sector in the transfer of technology.
Subsequent Reports of UNECOSOC (1995, 1996) have elaborated on this theme, and
proposed activities by governments that would contribute to the dissemination
of information, capacity building and institutional development, financial mechanisms,
and partnership arrangements.