An Indian MP proposed that the United Nations create a "Clean Technology Acquisition Fund" so poorer countries will be able to access crucial technologies that will be clean and "significantly impact the realization of sustainable development goals." Presenting before a United Nations Committee, Indian delegate and Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi argued that globalization make poorer nations more vulnerable to technologies that may be granted or denied by those who posses them.
Gandhi's idea is such a fund will free them from the demands made to adhere to "intellectual property rights and trade regimes as well (sic) conditionalities imposed by the World Bank and the IMF." He says that this will preserve their "autonomy and flexibility to evolve policies and strategies for their economic growth and sustainable development." Gandhi believes that such autonomy "is critical to eradicating poverty and achieving Millennium Development Goals."
Arguing against tight Intellectual Property rights (IPR) regimes, Gandhi says that "technologies necessary for pursuing the global imperatives of sustainable development are placed in the limited public domain and made accessible to the developing nations." At the same time, there must be conservation, protection, and sustainable use of genetic resources.
While the idea of a common fund to hold public domain knowledge is done in the spirit of global development, it is idealistic, impractical, and fundamentally flawed. Firstly, how will nations that cannot agree on levels of subsidies governing trade agree to give up technology they assiduously created for the benefit of the world? Secondly, how will nations compensate those who own copyrights and IPR to these technologies? Thirdly, who will fund the management of this fund and how will it be sustainable? Fourthly, what will be the incentive for companies and nations to invent, innovate, and create if their creation will automatically be relegated as a gift? Fifthly, given the globalization that has already taken place and growth of incomes and affluence in the world, how will such an impractical fund be acceptable?
It is not clear if this idea reflects the desire of the Indian state or a personal view of Gandhi. If the latter, it would have been wise for the nation to have used the slot to present a much more immediate need such as water-sharing protocol or a global sustainable development protocol that would build on top of Kyoto Protocol.