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Thursday, 31 March 2011

African Ministers voice full support for UNIDO, urge UK to reconsider decision to withdraw funding

ALGIERS, 31 March 2011 – African Industry Ministers and heads of delegations from 42 countries of the continent that took part in a meeting in the Algerian capital today, urged the United Kingdom to reconsider its recent decision to withdraw funding from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Ministers at the 19th Conference of African Ministers of Industry (CAMI 19) said that the UK decision to withdraw from UNIDO, effective January 2013, would set “a precedent that is detrimental to the interests of UNIDO and sends a strong negative signal to other UNIDO Member States and other countries wishing to join the Organization”.

They appealed to the Government of the UK “to continue its active participation in UNIDO and remain a full-fledged member of the Organization”.

The UK’s decision was based on a review conducted by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

DFID’s assessment found that UNIDO played a positive role in supporting wealth creation and in country-level interventions in support of its norms and standards role. It rated the Organization well in terms of leadership; reform, cost and value consciousness; and partnership with governments, other UN agencies and the private sector.

However, DFID justified the decision to cut funding on the basis that UNIDO’s activities are of limited size and niche to meet DFID’s development objectives.

The Ministers stressed that “UNIDO lends its support to efforts towards economic growth and prosperity in general, and industrial development in particular; taking into account that the Organization is not only a practical partner, but also a provider of expertise and strategic support, which has played an important role in the development of the Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA).”

The African Ministers also stressed that due to a “common and shared responsibility, we should continue to work in the spirit of solidarity to achieve the goals of the multilateral system”.

The meeting delegated the Algerian Minister of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises and Investment Promotion, Mohamed Ben Meradi, to convey the appeal to the UK Government.

The theme of CAMI 19 was “Enhancing Competitiveness of the African Industries through Increased and Improved Value Addition”.

CAMI is a statutory conference established in 1975 as a pan-African response to promote accelerated and sustainable industrial development. Held every two years, CAMI serves as a forum for African leaders and other stakeholders to discuss and review progress made towards Africa’s industrialization.

Visit the CAMI 19 website at http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=1001467 

In French: http://www.cami-alger.dz/ 

To read UNIDO’s official response to DFID, please click here.

For further information, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Tel. (43-1)-26026-5021
Mobile +43-699-1459-7329
E-mail M.Evstafyev@unido.org