United Nations Industrial Development Organization Well Placed to Help Steer Human Family on More Sustainable Path, Secretary-General Tells General Conference

2 December 2013

United Nations Industrial Development Organization Well Placed to Help Steer Human Family on More Sustainable Path, Secretary-General Tells General Conference

2 December 2013
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Industrial Development Organization Well Placed to Help Steer Human


Family on More Sustainable Path, Secretary-General Tells General Conference


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s opening remarks at the fifteenth session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in Lima, Peru, 2 December:

Buenos dias.  Me complace estar en Lima con ocasión del quinceavo período de sesiones de la Conferencia General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo Industrial. [I am pleased to be in Lima for the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference.]

Quisiera expresar mi profundo agradecimiento al Gobierno del Perú por haber acogido esta importante reunión. [I would like to express my great appreciation to the Government of Peru for hosting this important event.]

Let me also congratulate Li Yong for assuming his post as the UNIDO Director General earlier this year.  I commend his leadership and strong commitment to mobilize UNIDO’s capacity in realizing inclusive, sustainable industrial development. 

Almost 40 years ago, delegations of all members of the United Nations gathered here in Lima and adopted the Lima Declaration on Industrial Development and Cooperation.  That declaration was a milestone.  It aimed to increase the developing countries’ share of world industrial production.  It also paved the way for UNIDO to become a specialized agency of the United Nations.  Both objectives were achieved.

At this General Conference, you will again decide on a milestone document — a second Lima Declaration calling upon UNIDO to support its member States as they strive to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

This new framework document will create the foundation for the coming decades of UNIDO’s important work as the central agency in the United Nations for all matters related to industrialization.

The world faces three overarching challenges at this time.  The first:  accelerating the progress of the Millennium Development Goals.  We have to meet the target of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.  Second, to define and establish, as soon as possible, this post-2015 development agenda.  Thirdly, to achieve and agree a universal legal agreement on climate change by the end of 2015.

The next two years will thus be crucial in steering the human family on a safer, more prosperous and sustainable path.  Industry and the private sector in general will play an important part in this effort.  I see three ways in which UNIDO is especially well-placed to contribute.  The first, UNIDO can help us build on the impressive progress we have made towards the Millennium Development Goals, and help shape the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

The world will cannot fully achieve our development goals without a close partnership with the industries that promote growth and jobs.  We will not eradicate poverty without the industries that promote innovation and technology transfer.  Industrial development can also be a powerful enabler, powerful engine, of social development by creating opportunities for women and young people.

Second, UNIDO and industry can create momentum for environmental sustainability.  Industry needs to take on greater responsibility for cleaner production and improved resource efficiency.  Industry must protect the planet’s resources and emphasize sustainable consumption and production.

Let us work together to realize the three goals of my Sustainable Energy for All initiative.  This initiative has three ambitious goals.  By 2030, we will have to provide universal access to energy to all the people around the world.  By that time, we will redouble the energy efficiency, and by that time we will have to double the use of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

These are ambitious but [it] can be done.  It can be achieved.  Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability and a stable climate.

That brings me to the third area where UNIDO can contribute:  meeting the climate challenge.  Climate change is a serious threat to the development and prosperity of all the nations.  The decisions adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw last month, eleven days ago, are an important stepping stone toward a universal legal document in 2015. 

But greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.  We need to progress further and safer and faster.  Climate finance will be crucial.  I will be convening a Climate Summit meeting on 23 Septembernext year in the United Nations.  I count on UNIDO to contribute its insights and technical expertise, supporting the necessary rapid transition of our global industries to adopt more climate-friendly business models.  The aim is to catalyze ambitious action on the ground and political support at the highest level for a 2015 global legal agreement on climate change.

Shortly after the Climate Summit in New York, Peru will host the twentieth Climate Change Conference here in Lima in December 2014.  Peru’s leadership, President Ollanta Humala’s leadership, will be crucial in laying the foundation for limiting the global temperature rise within and below 2° C by that time, and I count on the strong leadership and commitment of the President and the Peruvian Government, which will [serve as] a very important stepping stone to the Paris final meeting in 2015.

This is a pivotal moment in the world’s affairs.  We face 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.

These are formidable challenges again.  But we also face a wealth of opportunities for common progress.  Knowledge and technology of the twenty-first 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.

The world needs inclusive and sustainable industrial development to do its part in seizing the moment and contributing to the common good.  In that hopeful spirit, I wish all of you successful deliberations at this UNIDO General Conference, this time, to shape the future course of UNIDO’s hugely important work and mandate.

Let us work together to make this world better for all.  Let us shape our future, our own future.  That depends upon our political will and commitment.  We have a moral and political responsibility to deliver this planet Earth to our succeeding generations where they can live without any fear, where they can live with environmental and economic sustainability and hospitably.  That is our commitment and I hope that all of us work together with the United Nations.  We will be there to make this world better for all.  I thank you very much.  Muchasgracias.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.