NEW YORK, 28 October 2022 – UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller engaged in the United Nations’ top inter-agency forums during his mission to UN Headquarters. This included the United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB) chaired by the Secretary-General and a meeting of Principals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General.
In a global context marked by exploding food and energy price crises, financial strains and the effects of the triple planetary crisis, the Director General used his visit to New York to express UNIDO’s full commitment to implement Secretary-General Guterres’ Common Agenda proposals. Our Common Agenda was put forward in 2021 in response to a request by Member States in the UN’s 75th anniversary declaration to report back with recommendations on how to respond to current and future challenges.
Against the backdrop of rapid developments in new digital technologies, Müller also pledged to use innovations in digitalization for a desperately needed productive transformation of developing countries’ economies and to provide young people with the skills of tomorrow.
The Director General also offered UNIDO’s expertise for the preparation of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, which will be held under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in September 2023. The summit will conduct a mid-term review of the SDGs and provide guidance for the remaining years for their implementation by 2030.
While in New York, Müller also held a number of bilateral meetings. Speaking with the new President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN, Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva of Bulgaria, he proposed a leading role for UNIDO in the global periodic review of SDG 9 on infrastructure, industrialization and innovation during the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) under ECOSOC in 2023.
During discussions, he also confirmed UNIDO’s support in preparing the 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report. An annual flagship report of the UN’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development, the 2023 edition will be devoted to the topic of advancing a sustainable industrial transformation globally.
Together with the Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Müller and Gunther Beger, Managing Director of UNIDO reiterated plans for more future cooperation, especially in the areas of sustainable supply chains, regional integration and market access. A dedicated working group will pursue talks for large-scale, joint projects with donors such as the EU.
A meeting with selected New York-based Permanent Representatives to the United Nations served to outline Müller’s vision for a reformed UNIDO that places innovation at the center of its work. UNIDO will advance solutions to the key concerns of developing countries such as access to energy, food security, the need for decent jobs, and fair supply chains. Ambassadors highlighted UNIDO’s key role in advancing a sustainable industrial and a wider economic transformation globally.