Press Releases

    UNIS/OUS/RI/007
    23 June 2009

    Re-issued as received

    Kandeh Yumkella to serve second term as Director-General of UNIDO

    VIENNA, 23 June (UN Information Service) - Kandeh K. Yumkella of Sierra Leone was today recommended for a second term in office as the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

    The recommendation was made during the thirty-sixth session of UNIDO's Industrial Development Board which comprises 53 countries out of the 173 Member States. The Board, one of three policy making organs, reviews the implementation of the Organization's work programme and the budget and makes recommendations to the General Conference on policy matters, including the appointment of the Director-General.

    Mr. Yumkella, the first Director-General from Sub-Saharan Africa, will be nominated for confirmation by the Organization's General Conference at its thirteenth session scheduled to take place in Vienna in December.

    Member States thanked Kandeh K. Yumkella for reinvigorating and refocusing the work of the Organization over the last four years adding that he needed a second term in office to fully implement his vision and leadership.

    "UNIDO faced severe financial problems in the late 1990s and at a certain point its existence was in question, but now we are back on a fast track, doing what we do best: working hard across the globe to lift countries out of poverty through industrial development," said Mr. Yumkella.

    "The latest financial crisis has shown that we can't just rely on markets alone. Many countries are now revisiting the industrial policy debate, reviewing the role of the State and looking at rebalancing their economies. UNIDO can't afford to be a backbencher. We have very relevant ideas we can provide to Member States. We must be a vital part of the intellectual debate and offer strategic advice on economic development and growth."

    "For a UN agency to add value it must move upstream. UNIDO is not just a technical cooperation agency. We must enhance our normative function and the powerful potential of our convening role," said the Director-General.

    UNIDO has been supporting UN efforts to "seal the deal" in Copenhagen in December on a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. "UNIDO promotes renewable energy, cleaner technologies and green industry which can generate new jobs. Energy is the other side of the coin of climate change, and central to manufacturing," said Yumkella. Referring to the words of the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, he said that "energy should become a Millennium Development Goal".

    On 17 June, Yumkella was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to lead a new high-level advisory group consisting of business leaders and experts who will advise on energy and climate change challenges. Mr. Yumkella also chairs the inter-agency mechanism known as UN-Energy.

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    UNIDO is a specialised agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 173 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. More information is available at www.unido.org

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    For further information, please contact:

    George Assaf

    Spokesperson, UNIDO

    Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-3849

    Email: g.assaf@unido.org

    Website: www.unido.org