New roadmap for UN agency stresses inclusive and sustainable industrial development

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at Opening session of the 15th General Conference of UNIDO- UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

2 December 2013 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today adopted a new roadmap which charts the agency’s priorities for the coming years and emphasizes the need to ensure inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

Almost 40 years ago, Member States gathered in Peru adopted the Lima Declaration on Industrial Development and Cooperation, which aimed to increase the developing countries’ share of world industrial production. It also paved the way for UNIDO to become a UN specialized agency.

The new Lima Declaration, which was adopted as UNIDO kicked off its week-long General Conference this morning, stresses the relevance of inclusive and sustainable industrial development as the basis for sustained economic growth.

“While integrating in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – we believe that the effective measures towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development should encompass enhancing productive capacities in a way that supports the structural transformation of the economy; encourages economic growth and the creation of decent jobs; enhances productivity and development, transfer and absorption of technology on mutually agreed terms; and supports related research and development,” states the document.

Speaking at the opening of the General Conference, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world faces inequality, volatility and uncertainty. “We see rapid urbanization. A growing world population means we need to produce more goods and services while using ever less resources and emitting ever less waste and pollution.”

While these are “formidable” challenges, the world also faces a wealth of opportunities for common progress. “Knowledge and technology of the 21st century continue to advance. We have growing examples of progress and success that can be scaled up with the right policies, incentives and wise investment,” said Mr. Ban.

“The world needs inclusive and sustainable industrial development to do its part in seizing the moment and contributing to the common good.”

He also highlighted three ways in which UNIDO is especially well placed to contribute to “steering the human family on a safer, more prosperous and sustainable path.” The agency can help build on progress made in reducing poverty and shape the future global development agenda; create momentum for environmental sustainability; and help meet the challenge of climate change.

The Lima Declaration states that UNIDO should serve as a global facilitator of knowledge and advice on policies and strategies towards achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

It also says the Vienna-based agency should focus on the three thematic priorities in which it has comparative advantage and expertise: productive capacity-building, trade capacity-building, and sustainable production and industrial resource efficiency.

Li Yong, the Director General of UNIDO, said the document is a manifestation of Member States’ support for and confidence in the agency, and highlights UNIDO’s critical expertise and experience in the field of inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and in forging new development partnerships.

“There is a diversity of ways to achieve sustainable development and each country has the primary responsibility for its own development and the right to determine its own development paths and appropriate strategies. UNIDO stands ready to support these needs,” he added.

Meanwhile, the latest statistics issued by UNIDO show that world manufacturing output increased modestly at 2.4 per cent during the third quarter of 2013 amid a continued recovery in industrialized countries, while manufacturing growth rates in developing and emerging industrial economies have slowed.

Manufacturing output in the United States of America grew by 2.3 per cent and in Japan by 2.0 per cent in the third quarter. However, the recovery in eurozone countries remained fragile and could not maintain the recently observed growth trend. Manufacturing output again dropped in France and Italy.

Among developing and emerging industrial economies, China maintained an exceptionally high manufacturing growth rate of 9.3 per cent. The combined growth rate of other developing and emerging economies was just 2.0 per cent in the third quarter.

“The slow pace of manufacturing growth has become a common phenomenon for developing and emerging industrial economies,” the agency said in a news release. “The major obstacles are related to high input prices, including energy costs, low demand and a reduced outflow of capital from industrialized countries.”

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