Opening session of UNIDO's 50th Anniversary
Director General Li Yong,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored to join in this celebration of UNIDO’s 50 years.
When UNIDO was created in 1966, few could have predicted the magnitude of changes that have swept through the world’s political, social, economic and industrial arenas.
The past 50 years have seen the membership of the United Nations grow, from 123 to 193.
Indeed, UNIDO became a specialized agency in 1975 in response to this historic trend.
The multilateral world has never been more vibrant or dynamic.
But changes go beyond the political field.
The relationship between industry and the environment went from being a very marginal issue, to becoming one of the defining issues of our times.
Pollution, degradation of the environment, water contamination, loss of habitat and species, climate change – the list goes on.
UNIDO has navigated through those transformations. It has never failed to remind the world of the importance of sharing the fruits of industrial development in an equitable manner. Indeed, we are accountable for the consequences of unsustainable consumption and production.
In fact, UNIDO has been an early, global champion of clean production as a pathway to sustainable development.
UNIDO has never lost sight of the bedrock of enhancing productive capacity and industrial development – that is: people.
UNIDO has had the vision and courage to:
promote a human-centered industrial strategy
foster capacity building, improve skills, and
increase knowledge of science and technology
UNIDO has closely aligned its work with the UN family, supporting the achievement of the MDGs.
Today, UNIDO is focusing on promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in developing countries, and economies in transition.
UNIDO is the global champion of SDG 9, namely: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
I want to commend Director General Li Yong for his vision and leadership. He has embraced inclusiveness and sustainable industrialization, and is charting a new course for UNIDO, building on earlier achievements.
Today, UNIDO is a key player in our joint efforts to support countries towards a sustainable and prosperous future, where no one is left behind.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
UNIDO’s mission is more important than ever before. I join in today’s celebration with the firm belief that UNIDO will make even greater contributions to global sustainable development and the SDGs – not only SDG 9, but the entire 2030 Agenda.
Let us work together, for a sustainable future, through inclusive and sustainable industrial development.