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General Conference, Eighth session (GC8)

Vienna, Austria, 29 November - 3 December 1999

Conference with a Difference

The eighth Session of the General Conference marked the culmination of a far-reaching transformation process of UNIDO, under the leadership of Carlos Magariños, who was appointed Director-General by the seventh Session of the General Conference, in December 1997. Initiated at the seventh Session, overhaul of administrative structures and procedures matched by development of a client-oriented approach to providing industrial services have put the Organization at the forefront of United Nations reform.

The cornerstone of this transformation has been the Business Plan for the Future Role and Functions of UNIDO adopted by Members States at the seventh Session. The eighth Session of the General Conference set the agenda for industrial development in the new millennium. For the first time, the debate focused on the wider issues of the past, present and future of industrialization at the Forum on Sustainable Industrial Development, held during the General Conference, as well as on how the United Nations specialized agency for industrial development would shape its programmes to meet the challenges ahead.