Monday, 10 September 2012

25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol marked in Vienna

VIENNA, 10 September 2012 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) marked today the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol and the 20th anniversary of UNIDO as an implementing agency of this Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol is a treaty opened for signature in 1987 which aims to restore and protect the ozone layer by phasing-out various substances known to deplete it.

During the ceremony, Marco Gonzalez, the Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said that the Montreal Protocol was a clear example of how a political commitment can address global challenges. He added that “UNIDO has been a successful implementing agency” and has carried out “innovative, ground-breaking work in many ways.”

Since the signing of the Protocol, the phase-out of ozone depleting substances used in a wide range of economic activities has made an invaluable contribution to protecting the ozone layer, significantly reducing the health and environmental effects related to its depletion. The Montreal Protocol has also substantially contributed to global efforts to mitigate climate change, due to the fact that most of the substances targeted by the Protocol are also potent greenhouse gases. For this reason, the Montreal Protocol is frequently referred to as the most successful international environmental agreement.

In 1992, UNIDO became one of the four implementing agencies of the Multilateral Fund, the financial mechanism for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. As such, UNIDO has played a key role in supporting developing countries in their efforts to phase out ozone depleting substances and replace them with sustainable alternatives.

“More than 100 countries have benefitted from UNIDO’s support,” said Wilfried Luetkenhorst, UNIDO Managing Director. “The comprehensive support provided to help strengthen institutions, build capacity, raise awareness and develop and introduce policy and legislation, is one of the keys to the Protocol’s success.”

UNIDO’s performance has continuously been highly rated by the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund.  In 2011, UNIDO was acknowledged as the top implementing agency (together with United Nations Development Programme), a distinction that the Organization has achieved in eight out of the last ten years.

Thomas Jackl, Deputy Director General of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, inaugurated an exhibition of international art posters and children’s drawings on global environmental challenges and the protection of the ozone layer.

The anniversary ceremony and exhibition are part of a week-long event from 6 to 14 September held at the Vienna International Centre, where UNIDO is headquartered, to celebrate the success in achieving reductions that will protect the atmosphere for generations to come.

For more information on the Montreal Protocol, please contact:

Sidi Menad Si Ahmed

Director, UNIDO Montreal Protocol Branch

For more information on UNIDO, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev

UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator

Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021, Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329


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