VIENNA, 27 November – LI Yong was today re-appointed for a second term as the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) at the opening of the seventeenth session of the Organization’s General Conference.
In his opening speech, Director General LI said he felt humbled by the trust placed in him to lead UNIDO for another four years adding that he felt “a sense of profound responsibility”.
LI said, “The global community is still facing a number of unresolved and urgent challenges. Poverty, unemployment, and hunger remain the most persistent and daunting tasks for our world. Climate change, resource-depletion and environmental degradation, as well as the potential impact of the latest technological revolution, add another dimension.”
LI said these issues can be confronted together, stating that “the only way to solve the challenges ahead of us is in partnership…in partnership with governments, UN sister agencies, the private sector, and civil society.”
The seventeenth session of the General Conference is themed “Partnering for impact — achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. From 27 November – 1 December, UNIDO’s initiatives, achievements and partnerships will be showcased through a range of events. Hundreds of participants are attending, including Heads of State, ministers and other high-level government officials from around the world, senior representatives of other United Nations organizations, and prominent leaders from the private sector, civil society and academia.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated Director General LI Yong on his re-appointment in a video message. Guterres said that UNIDO is “a key voice on technology transfer, investment flows and skills development”, adding, “Your efforts can help support economic transformation in Africa and in other regions, and, as we combat climate change, your work can facilitate the transition to low-carbon growth”.
Miroslav Lajčák, President of the United Nations General Assembly, also congratulated LI on his re-election and said he looked forward to working with him.
Lajčák told the General Conference that “Industrialization of the past may have earned a bad name. It may have made us think of pollution, waste water or labour exploitation. But when industrialization is inclusive and sustainable, the results are positive”. He added that “it leads to decent jobs and improved livelihoods. It fosters youth employment. It allows resource preservation and environmental protection,” noting that “these outcomes propel us towards eliminating poverty and hunger and reducing inequalities”.
The General Conference, UNIDO’s highest policymaking organ, brings together representatives of the Organization’s Member States. It will also approve the programme and budgets for the forthcoming biennium.
During the conference, interactive discussions will explore issues such as gender, circular economy, and industry 4.0. Furthermore, the Organization’s continued emphasis on Africa will turn the spotlight on UNIDO’s leading role in the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).
The conference will offer a fully immersive experience for participants, including innovative formats for the events, integrated exhibitions and networking spaces.