Thursday, 09 October 2008

Trade and peace

UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella contributes to DIVA International magazine

Geneva, October 2008 - UNIDO Director-General Mr. Kandeh K. Yumkella contributes to DIVA International's special issue on trade and peace (Issue 3, 2008, No. 34), talking about the Organization's trade initiatives.

DIVA is a magazine dedicated to the international community, mainly in Geneva but also elsewhere – for example in Beirut, Nairobi or New York. It aims at becoming a magazine of interest to the international community by trying to propose a variety of articles that might concern the work of international civil servants, members of the diplomatic corps, the staff of NGOs – globally, regionally or even locally.

In his statement, the Director-General is highlighting the promotion of trade as a tool of development, such as the "Aid for Trade" initiative: "UNIDO’s Aid For Trade interventions are built upon the core objectives of the AFT. We would like to address developing country concerns about trade marginalization. World trade has seen a significant increase over the last two decades. However, the gains from trade have not been equitably shared. There are two key areas where UNIDO can help countries to expand their trade :

First, over 90% of global trade is in manufactures. At present, many developing countries do not have sufficient tradeable goods. They need to be assisted to develop supply capacity – in other words manufacturing capacity. Supporting industrial development in developing countries is our key mandate. We can thus make a unique contribution to the success of Aid For Trade.

Second, when products are exported, they need to meet the quality and safety standards of importing countries. With recent health scares generated by mad-cow disease, avian flu, and high antibiotic and pesticide residues in food products, global standards are getting stricter. Developing countries need to be able to comply with these standards through strong national institutional capacities for testing, certification, and calibration. UNIDO is the key agency providing technical support for the development of these capacities."

(Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO Director-General, 2008).

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