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Wednesday, 08 February 2012

UNIDO strengthens strategic ties with the European Union

BRUSSELS, 8 February 2012 – UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, today met in Brussels with several EU Commissioners, including the Vice-President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani, as well as representatives from the private sector.

“Our partnership with the EU has considerably developed over the last ten years. From 2001 to 2011, the EU has approved more than EUR 100 million for UNIDO technical cooperation programmes. These programmes expand to more than 70 developing countries around the world, with particular attention to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacifi”, said Yumkella.

Ways to empower Africa were high on the agenda during all of the meetings, Discussions with Vice-President Tajanialso focused on industrial and SME cooperation between Africa and the EU, and the need to reinforce the role of agriculture and processing in Africa was brought up during a meeting with Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Energy as a fundamental force for development was at the centre of the discussion Yumkella had with Connie Hedegaard, the Commissioner for Climate Action. They spoke about the need for energy transformation and its importance for the Rio+20 Conference in June, as well as for climate change and global sustainability.

The same day, together with Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner for Development, Yumkella participated in the European roll out of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Ban’s initiative has set three interlinked targets to be achieved by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Commissioner Piebalgs is a member of the high-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All, co-chaired by Yumkella and Charles Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America. The Group is leading the effort to mobilize and facilitate commitments to action that will drive change on the ground. While the current UNIDO-EU collaboration focuses on trade capacity-building, including establishing industrial norms and standards for competitiveness and consumer protection, as well as on modernizing the private sector for jobs and wealth creation in poor countries, other areas like energy and climate change, as well as green industry and agriculture, have attracted the EU’s interest.

Yumkella also addressed some 30 high ranking representatives from the European private sector urging them to support the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

For more information, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communication Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
E-mail

UNIDO Brussels Office
tel:   +32 2 511 16 90
office.brussels@unido.org