31 May 2013, New York, NY - the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office and Honeywell International, Inc. jointly carried out a side event at the United Nations Headquarters. Following the opening remarks, Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked, Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, spoke about how the lack of access to technology, and the capacity of people to implement and utilize technology affects different countries disproportionately. He stressed that it is in the interest of everyone that the business sector not only be a producer, but also a collaborator in the implementation of sustainable technologies.
Also, in the opening, H.E. Mr. Zsolt Hetesy, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations, and Co-Chair of the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development. Ambassador Hetesy spoke about technology transfer and the implementation of the 2015 agenda, saying that we have to form a universal, substantive, transformative plan for sustainable technology and we have to stick to the plan and monitor it. There is no perfect solution to the problems we are facing but inclusivity is the key.
Mr. E. Donald Elliott, Senior of Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP and Adjunct Professor of Law at Yale Law School, spoke on encouraging sustainable technologies at the international level. Mr. Elliott said that we need to come up with new ideas and also leave behind old ones.
Mr. Steven Bernhardt, PhD, Global Director of Regulatory Affairs for Honeywell International, Inc., mentioned, in particular, the need to reduce the use of HFCs in fluorine products and switch to the use of HFOs, which have low-global-warming potentials and no ozone depletion effect. Mr. Thomas Morris, Director of Commercial Development for Honeywell International, Inc., explained that refrigerants tend to be the most potent global warmers, and that Honeywell is happy to transition away from high global-warming potential refrigerants. Other speakers from Honeywell were Bryan Magnus, Global Business Manager, Hannelore Rittinger, Global Business Manager, who spoke about fluorine products such as aerosol and solvent products.
Following the conclusion of Honeywell’s presentation, the next speaker was Mr. David Payton who is a Senior Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme on Environment and Energy. Mr. Payton said that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are moving past the idea of waiting for others for grant funding and instead taking steps to solve sustainable technologies of their own. In relation to the private sector, Mr. Payton said that the producers of these products and services have to become sustainable otherwise they will go out of business.
The final speaker of the event was Mr. Ryan Hobert, Director for Energy and Climate Change for the United Nations Foundation. Mr. Hobart touched on one of the recurring themes of the event, which is that the private sector needs to become more involved with the implementation of sustainable technologies and that the private sector needs to be more involved on a global scale.