Draft UN Post-2015 Development Goals: Future Must Not Be ‘Business As Usual’, Including IP Rights07/12/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.Last week’s United Nations draft report for the post-2015 sustainable development goals under negotiation calls for continued progress toward sweeping improvements in the lives of all people and the health of the planet, including ensuring that intellectual property rights are respected but do not get in the way. According to a UN announcement, “in an informal 4 December briefing to the 193-Member UN General Assembly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented his synthesis report, The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” [pdf].Ban spoke alongside the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa “who also addressed delegates, describing the process of intergovernmental negotiations that fed into the report’s compilation to set the stage for agreement on the new framework at a September 2015 summit and stressing the “historical responsibility” States faced to deliver a transformative agenda,” it said.The announcement said the synthesis report “aims to support States’ discussions going forward, taking stock of the negotiations on the post-2015 agenda and reviewing lessons from pursuit of the MDGs. It stresses the need to ‘finish the job’ – both to help people now and as a launch pad for the new agenda.”The final parameters of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda will be negotiated by UN member states in the coming months, Ban said.Keeping Patents in Their PlacePublic funding often subsidizes private sector research, at times leading to the public being priced out of the benefits through disadvantageous licensing and patent – UN secretary-general’s ‘synthesis report’ on post-2015 development goalsThe report contains several references to intellectual property rights, calling for them to be applied appropriately for all levels of development and in ways that do not detract from human rights and the public interest. The report urges that member states create a technology platform and technology bank, and observe flexibilities for developing countries under international IP rights trade rules.“We live in a period of unprecedented technological innovation and change,” the report says under section 4.2 (p. 33) of the nearly 50-page document. “New technologies are unlocking possibilities for sustainable development. The solutions they can generate, and the levels of access that they can enable, will be crucial to our vision for the world beyond 2015.”But, it says, “[A]ccess to vital and environmentally sound technologies is today unevenly spread, both within and between countries, with the poor and many developing countries essentially locked out.”“Large amounts of public resources are allocated to military budgets, while comparatively less is spent on research and development for public goods. Public funding often subsidizes private sector research, at times leading to the public being priced out of the benefits through disadvantageous licensing and patent,” it says. “This also leads to frequent subsidies of innovations that are not aligned with promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns.”“A sustainable future will require that we act now to phase out unsustainable technologies, to invest in innovation and the development of clean and sound technologies for sustainable development,” it continues. “We must ensure that they are fairly priced, and broadly disseminated and fairly absorbed, including to and by developing countries.”“Developing countries, and LDCs in particular, will need the support that will allow them to benefit from enhanced access to these technologies, and, ultimately, to expand domestic innovation and the development of their own technological solutions,” it adds. “Historically, significant technological advances have often resulted from multistakeholder, solution-driven initiatives. Achieving our sustainable development goals will similarly require solution-driven technology partnerships among a variety of actors.”The report calls for establishing “effective modalities for multi-stakeholder cooperation and sharing the costs for the Research, Development, Demonstration, and Diffusion (RDD&D) for new technologies across all stakeholders: public, private, civil society, philanthropic, and other sectors, and inclusive of indigenous knowledge. We must move to prepare concrete initiatives, including those leveraging technology, ready to launch at the commencement of the new agenda and set bold technological goals and resource mobilization targets.”“And,” it said, “we must facilitate access to the benefits of technology for all, including the poorest, while ensuring that intellectual property regime creates the right incentives for the technological innovation needed for sustainable development. The urgency is particularly great in the case of low-carbon technologies as part of our efforts to mitigate human-induced climate change.”New Technology Platform, Bank Ban proposed to establish “an online, global platform building on and complementing existing initiatives, and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, in order to: (a) map existing technology facilitation initiatives, needs and gaps, including in areas vital for sustainable development, including agriculture, cities and health; (b) enhance international cooperation and coordination in this field, addressing fragmentation and facilitating synergies, including within the UN system; and (c) promote networking, information sharing, knowledge transfer, and technical assistance, to advance the scaling up of clean technology initiatives.”He also called on all member states to “(a) urgently finalize arrangements for the establishment of the proposed Technology Bank and the Science, Technology, and Innovation Capacity Building Mechanism for LDCs, (b) significantly scale up cooperation for the sharing of technologies, strengthening knowledge and capacity building for usage, innovation capacities, including ICTs, (c) make the adjustments necessary in the national and international policy frameworks to facilitate these actions, (d) substantially progress in the development, transfer, and dissemination of such technologies and knowledge to developing countries on favorable, concessional, and preferential terms; (e) ensure that our global intellectual property regimes and the application of TRIPS flexibilities are fully consistent with and contribute to the goals of sustainable development; (f) make specific commitments to shifting public resources out of harmful technologies, and into our sustainable development goals; and (g) promote the accelearation [sic] of the innovation-to-market-to-public good cycle of clean and environmentally sound technologies.”TRIPS flexibilities refer to agreed flexibilities for developing countries in applying the protections in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).On health, the report says, “The agenda must address universal health-care coverage, access and affordability,” and includes to “ensure the availability of essential medicines.” It also singles out non-communicable diseases for reduction.No Business as Usual“This enterprise can therefore not be business as usual,” the synthesis report summarises.“People across the world are looking to the United Nations to rise to the challenge with a truly transformative agenda that is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country, and that places people and planet at the center,” it states. “Their voices have underscored the need for democracy, rule of law, civic space and more effective governance and capable institutions; for new and innovative partnerships, including with responsible business and effective local authorities; and for a data revolution, rigorous accountability mechanisms, and renewed global partnerships. People are also stressing that the credibility of new agenda rests on the means that are available to implement it.”“We know that forward-looking companies are taking the lead by transforming their business models for sustainable development, and that we have only scratched the surface of the potential for ethics-driven investment by the private sector,” it says. “With the right incentives, policies, regulations and monitoring, great opportunities could abound.”The document lays out actions taken in the lead-up to the new goals. For instance, it mentions: “In a series of structured dialogues on technology in the General Assembly, possible arrangements were considered for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer, and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.”In summary, the synthesis report looks forward with a list of 17 overarching goals:Sustainable development goalsGoal 1End poverty in all its forms everywhereGoal 2End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agricultureGoal 3Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all agesGoal 4Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for allGoal 5Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girlsGoal 6Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for allGoal 7Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for allGoal 8Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for allGoal 9Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovationGoal 10Reduce inequality within and among countriesGoal 11Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainableGoal 12Ensure sustainable consumption and production patternsGoal 13Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*Goal 14Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable developmentGoal 15Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity lossGoal 16Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levelsGoal 17Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. Image Credits: United NationsShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."Draft UN Post-2015 Development Goals: Future Must Not Be ‘Business As Usual’, Including IP Rights" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.