Apia, Samoa; 2 September 2014– The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), in partnership with the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), launched the South-South Technology Transfer Facility for the SIDS on 30 August 2014 during the Private Sector Partnerships Forum, a pre-conference event convened by the UN-OHRLSS on the occasion of the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States hosted by the Government of Samoa. The launching of this facility was formally announced on 1 September 2014 during the Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogues Session on “Sustainable Economic Development”.
The Facility, which will be implemented based on the model of UNOSSC’s flagship platform, the South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange (SS-GATE), was launched in a signing ceremony involving Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Director of UN-OHRLLS representing Mr. Gyan Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS and Ms. Teresa Liu, Chief of the Division of Development Solutions and Technology Transfer of the UNOSSC representing Mr. Yiping Zhou, Director of the UNOSSC and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation. The signing was witnessed by Mr. Haoliang Xu, Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
The main purpose of setting up this Facility is to transfer appropriate technologies from providers to recipient SIDS, in an effort to improve SIDS’ access to global market. The facility also aims to improve access to financing by setting up an investment scheme. Utilizing a Public-Private-partnership approach, technology providers and investors from both Southern and Northern countries can be matched with the relevant business opportunities in SIDS.
As an initial offering of the Facility, UNOSSC hosted an online and on-site business Matchmaking Space, which offered participants an opportunity to network and to communicate their needs and offers over the two-day duration of the forum. As a result of this service, 48 enterprises from 15 countries participated, representing a range of sectors including tourism, agriculture, clean and renewable energies, telecommunications and financial services. Three service agreements were signed which will help connect participating companies to the wider SS-GATE network currently spanning over 39 countries and 49 operational centres.
The establishment of a South-South technology transfer facility for the SIDS will help ensure that there is concrete follow-up to the commitments made during the conference, particularly in reference to the conference Outcome Document, which calls for strengthened technical assistance programmes through expanded South-South and regional partnerships (Draft Outcome Document Paragraph 109 Section E). As a response, the Facility has already mobilized local, regional, and international partners, including the UNDP, who have expressed an interest in supporting the Facility. A partnership MOU was signed between UNOSSC and the Pacific Island Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) to strengthen SS-GATE’s regional presence in the Asia Pacific.