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At the General Conference: debate, discussions and knowledge-sharing about an array of industrial development issues

30 November 2023

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VIENNA - The 20th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has continued with debates and discussions as representatives of Member States provided guidance on UNIDO’s current and future planning and heard experts share knowledge and ideas about an array of industrial development issues.

In a session on driving a just hydrogen transition, speakers explored the potential of green hydrogen to help achieve net-zero industrialization in renewable-rich countries and looked at what it will take for the transition to be a just and fair one.

Later on day two, government ministers from Peru, Uruguay and Zimbabwe joined private sector representatives to look at ways to ensure that women and men equally lead and benefit from the decarbonization and digitalization which are redefining industrial production. The event concluded with the presentation of UNIDO’s Gender Equality Mobilization Award, recognizing the success in empowering women achieved by the UDAY-PRIDE project in India and the CAPFish-CAPTURE project in Cambodia.

GC20 gender award winners

In a discussion about critical minerals and metals, experts delved into responsible mining and downstream development, and explored the balance between economic imperatives and sustainability goals.

A dialogue between representatives of middle-income countries addressed the gaps hindering progress on structural transformation and saw the exchange of experiences with innovative solutions for sustainable industrial development.

On day three, the ‘Building resilient supply chains for the energy transition’ side event considered how the increase in the projected demand for critical raw materials and clean energy technologies can open opportunities for developing countries to reduce imports by building local manufacturing. Speakers also explored the roles that governments have in supporting Global South countries in the development of supply chains for clean energy technologies.

IDR2024 close up

At a pre-launch event for UNIDO’s flagship publication, the Industrial Development Report 2024, participants heard how progress on industry-related Sustainable Development Goals in relation to clean energy, decent work and innovation has been slower than hoped for. The Report presents model solutions for developing countries, such as supply chain development in the green minerals sector, skills development for local digital solutions to improve advanced manufacturing, and strategically fortifying trade infrastructure to attract Foreign Direct Investment.

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