Remarks by H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly


23 November 2021


Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

I am delighted to speak at the 2021 Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit hosted by the Government of UAE, and UNIDO.

The GMIS offers a platform to discuss economic transformation through manufacturing, technological innovation, skills development, public-private partnerships, and global cooperation.

This year’s summit is taking place at a critical time, as the world recovers from a devastating pandemic, which has taken a heavy socio-economic toll on our communities. 

Recovering better from the pandemic, through sustainable rebuilding is a key element of my ‘Presidency of Hope’.

Tangibly, this requires not only broader access to vaccines, adequate financing, and reinvigorating global trade – but also investing in innovation and technology, particularly green technology.

Investing in climate friendly technologies and addressing the stark digital divide between developed and less developed countries is vital to ensure that we recover better in an equitable manner, while preserving our planet’s resources.



COVID-19 disrupted manufacturing and supply chains in an unprecedented way.

However, this was on the horizon before the pandemic and was mainly driven by the fourth industrial revolution; climate change; and the reconfiguration of globalization.

The combination of these issues was already forcing companies to rethink their global manufacturing and supply chain strategies and COVID-19 played a major accelerator role.

On sustainability, companies are facing new concerns about the environment, with pressure coming from both consumers and regulatory bodies.

Manufacturing companies now need to make the transition to net zero emissions.

The good news is that fourth industrial revolution technologies are playing a major role when it comes to cutting emissions, water and materials consumption, and the optimization of waste management.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted stark disparities in our ability to recover from the pandemic.


Dear Friends,

The developed countries are adjusting to a new normal, facilitated by their better access to vaccines, and economic resources.

The poorer and more vulnerable countries, encompassing LDC, LLDCs, and SIDs, with limited resources and vaccine accessibility, struggle to turn the page on the pandemic – even as they contend with other serious challenges, including the climate crisis.

And stark discrepancies in technological capacities and digital connectivity are exacerbating these challenges for poorer, more vulnerable countries.   

During my Presidency of Hope, I will do my utmost to ensure not only that we recover better sustainably, but that we do so equitably, with no one left behind.

I call upon countries to invest in climate-friendly technologies that will spur recovery efforts, while respecting our planet’s health – and to share these technologies with developing countries.

And I also call upon countries with the means to invest in the digital infrastructure of poorer countries. This will enhance their connectivity and capacity to innovate, while helping them transition to greener and bluer economies of their own accord.

In that same spirit it is vital to ensure the global stimulus funds allocated for recovery from the pandemic – which has now reached up to $3.5 trillion – is divided more equally among global communities.

This will help governments, private sectors, and other relevant stakeholders, working in tandem, to leverage those funds to multiply their positive impact on communities: by boosting employment, strengthening social infrastructure, and upgrading technological capacities.  

Trust that during my ‘Presidency of Hope’ I will continue to support all efforts to recover better and invest in technological and economic transitions that will help meet our sustainable development goals, in a fair and equitable manner.

Thank you.




Throughout our disarmament efforts, it is my conviction that women and youth can make a meaningful contribution. Let us take special pains to ensure that women and youth, as well as civil society, are more actively engaged in this work going forward.

Abdulla Shahid

President of the UN General Assembly