BRUSSELS, 25 March 2011 – Socially inclusive, competitive and green industrial development, energy, private sector investments in developing countries, and potential collaboration on climate change mitigation were among the main topics discussed during meetings between UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, and European Commissioners in Brussels today.
Yumkella met the Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani, the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard.
“In its Action Plan for 2011-2013, the recent Africa-EU Heads of State Summit in Tripoli in November 2010 recognized UNIDO as a major partner, and today we discussed with the European Commission ways to further develop our cooperation” said Yumkella.
“Since its establishment by an agreement in 1993, our partnership has considerably developed. From 2001 to 2010, the EU has approved around EUR 100 million for UNIDO technical cooperation programmes for the benefit of developing countries around the world, with particular attention to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).”
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.
Yumkella said he hoped that “our future cooperation with the European Commission would also include sustainable production and consumption, energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy for productive use”.
The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All. Director-General Yumkella said that this would signal the start of a global campaign on universal energy access. “I am confident in the support of the EU and the European Commission in this respect,” he said.
Yumkella chairs both UN-Energy, an interagency mechanism which promotes coherence within the UN family of organizations in the energy field and develops increased collective engagement between the UN and other key external stakeholders, and the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.
Ways to strengthen developing countries’ capacities to deal with climate change, low-carbon technologies and green industry were also discussed.
The Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship said he would attend together with Yumkella the Conference of African Ministries of Industry, taking place from 27 to 31 March in Algiers. The event will focus on the economic diversification and industrialization of Africa.
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