VIENNA, 24 June 2014 – Over 300 participants, including ministers and government officials, representatives of UNIDO Member States and experts in the field, attended the First UNIDO Forum on strategies and instruments for achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development that ended in Vienna today.
“I believe that in order to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development, we need platforms, such as this Forum, to exchange experiences and knowledge and build partnerships. In this way, we can ensure that the strategies, policies and instruments for inclusive and sustainable industrial development we develop and implement will have a maximum impact,” said UNIDO Director General LI Yong.
“UNIDO believes that sustainable industrialization is universal, and our Objective is for industrialization to be a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal, within the overarching combined objectives of poverty eradication, shared prosperity, and stronger environmental safeguards. We believe that sustainable industrialization is necessary for achieving these three overarching objectives, by providing effective solutions to tackle economic deprivation, social inequality and environmental degradation.”
During lively debates, participants at the Forum agreed that governments have a vital role to play in supporting industrial development. They also agreed that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Speakers offered concrete examples of rapid industrialization as well as lessons, both positive and negative. They said that both hard and soft business infrastructure play important roles, and agreed that both developing and implementing strategies and instruments for inclusive and sustainable industrial development share equal importance.
“UNIDO offers a range of services to Member States. We have learned, also through my bilateral meetings with delegations, that many countries are planning to set up industrial parks and zones. We also heard from practitioners that this comes with opportunities and risks. The risks can be minimized through appropriate governance and partnerships, with the private sector, academia, governments and international organizations,” said Director General Li.
He added that UNIDO was committed to supporting Member States in designing and implementing strategies and policies for pursuing inclusive and sustainable industrial development. “We have a rich experience in industrial development and we are the only UN agency mandated with this role. But we cannot work alone. We will work in partnership with you, with other agencies and institutions,” he said.
The opening session featured a panel discussion that included Celestin Monga, Senior Advisor/Director, World Bank; Robert H. Wade, Professor of Political Economy and Development, London School of Economics, Justin Yifu Lin, Honorary Dean at the National School of Development, Peking University; LI Yong, the Director General of UNIDO; Hamidou Tchiana, State Minister, Minister of Mining and Industrial Development, Niger; and Michael Böheim, Senior Expert for Industry Policy and Competition Policy, Austrian Institute of Economic Research.
The two-day event initiated a strategic dialogue drawing on international expertise and regional knowledge with UNIDO Member States, development agencies, and other developed and developing countries on ways to operationalize inclusive and sustainable industrial development strategies and policies.
The Forum aimed at supporting UNIDO’s role as a facilitator of knowledge and advice on policies and strategies towards achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Photos from the Forum on Flickr
The Second Forum is planned for October. It will focus on mobilizing relevant stakeholders in order to develop a portfolio of concrete partnership opportunities on establishing soft and hard infrastructure, such as industrial parks, in several countries where UNIDO has already been implementing activities and accumulating relevant knowledge.
The concept of inclusive and sustainable industrial development was endorsed by UNIDO Member States through the Lima Declaration during the 15th session of the Organization’s General Conference held in Lima, Peru, in December 2013.
For more information on the Agenda of the 23-24 June event, please go here
For more information on UNIDO’s vision of inclusive and sustainable industrial development, please click here
For more information on the Forum, please contact:
UNIDO Senor Advisor on Partnerships
Chief, UNIDO Europe and NIS Programme