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Gerd Müller of Germany chosen as next UNIDO Director General

12 July 2021

Gerd Müller of Germany chosen as next UNIDO Director General

From left to right: Ambassador Dominika Krois, Permanent Representative of Poland to UNIDO and President of the Industrial Development Board; Gerd Müller, Director General-elect of UNIDO; at the forty-ninth session of the Board on 12 July 2021.

VIENNA, 12 July 2021 – The Industrial Development Board of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today recommended Gerd Müller of Germany to be the Organization’s next Director General.


The Board’s recommendation will be forwarded for approval to the General Conference – the Organization’s highest policymaking organ – at its nineteenth session, which will take place from 29 November to 3 December 2021.


“I am thankful for the great confidence that was bestowed upon me to lead the United Nations Industrial Development Organization after the upcoming General Conference,” Müller said.


“A strong multilateral answer is required to overcome the global crises. I am absolutely convinced that the pandemic that we are witnessing is a wake-up call for us all. The battle against COVID-19 and climate change demands a greater commitment of industrialized countries towards developing countries. We need more innovations and investments as well as global technologies and knowledge transfer. Our goal is a fair globalization, a sustainable industrial development as well as job creation and perspectives for a prosperous future for developing countries.”


Müller added: “UNIDO can and should become the leading agency to implement the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action. The SDGs show us which path to take. We are faced with daunting challenges – especially developing countries. But we have the opportunity to become stronger together and to act together, united for a better future!"


Gerd Müller, currently Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, was running against Bernardo Calzadilla Sarmiento of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Arkebe Oqubay of Ethiopia.


The election was the focus of the first day of the forty-ninth session of the Industrial Development Board, which is meeting from 12 to 15 July 2021.


Müller is set to succeed LI Yong of China, who has led UNIDO as Director General since 2013.


The previous heads of UNIDO were Kandeh K. Yumkella of Sierra Leone (2005-2013); Carlos Magariños of Argentina (1997-2005); Mauricio de Maria y Campos of Mexico (1993-1997); Domingo L. Siazon Jr. of the Philippines (1985-1993); Abd-El Rahman Khane of Algeria (1975-1985); and Ibrahim Helmi Abdel-Rahman of Egypt (1967-1974).


For more information on the candidate recommended by the Board, please refer to his curriculum vitae here.


For more information, please contact:

Secretariat of the Policymaking Organs



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