New York

23 November 2020

Secretary-General's video message to 48th Session of the UNIDO Industrial Development Board

We live in deeply testing times.

Climate change, poverty, unemployment, inequalities and the digital divide were among the global challenges that we faced well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us.

They have all become more serious.

With less than 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on the most severe economic crisis in a century, threatening to erode decades of development progress.

While this year has exposed profound vulnerabilities, it has also revealed valuable lessons and opportunities for innovative solutions.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for gender equality, strong social protection networks and global solidarity.

It is a wake-up call for the international community to address inequalities and to rejuvenate our quest for sustainable development.

Within this crisis lies an opportunity to embark on a path towards inclusive, low-carbon, climate-resilient economies that generate investment, employment and progress for the benefit of all.

Inclusive and sustainable industrial development will play a critical role -- both in addressing the immediate socio-economic impact of the pandemic and in building back stronger and more resilient.

As with climate change and other global challenges, the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is best addressed by effective multilateral institutions and close cooperation with partners, such as the private sector.

I thank you for your commitment to the United Nations and its Industrial Development Organization.