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    UNIS/OUS/157
    4 October 2012

    Re-issued as received

    UNIDO and EU discuss "strategic" partnership

    BRUSSELS/VIENNA, 3 October (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said today that the partnership with the EU aimed to bring economic opportunities and prosperity for all.

    Yumkella held meetings in Brussels with EU Commissioner for Development , Andris Piebalgs, and other officials to review EU-UNIDO cooperation.

    "We are reviewing our strategic partnership, taking stock of our rich joint cooperation in areas, countries and regions, and discussing the future. This is essential in order to fully realize the potential of our cooperation for the benefit of the poorest, and, in turn, for the benefit of all of us. Our aim must be more economic opportunities, and more prosperity for all," said Director-General Yumkella.

    He noted that in the last six years, cooperation between the EU and UNIDO had grown substantially. "Currently, it amounts to more than one hundred million Euros invested in joint programmes, benefitting more than 70 developing countries and their regional institutions," said Yumkella.

    "Our most successful cooperation lies in Africa, particularly in West Africa, where we have been working together to strengthen regional integration, while creating the local capacity to deal with standards and norms, and to produce quality agro-industrial products that meet food safety standards and create sustainable, local jobs. We have jointly implemented the same approach in Asia and the Caribbean."

    Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The EU and UNIDO should work together with the clear aim of providing essential elements for sustainable and long lasting development of the post 2015 MDG world. We share the same vision of how development policies should be applied to generate prosperity. We have a sound and credible track record of our cooperation. Let us translate our shared vision into visible results. Our commitment to that collaboration will not wane as we pursue poverty eradication goals hand in hand with our UN partners."

    Yumkella also said that many joint programmes are now entering a second phase, which demonstrates the solid partnership on the ground between UNIDO and the EU in support of developing countries and their productive sectors. "We have initiated innovative approaches that are upgrading industrial sectors, structuring local entrepreneurs into clusters, and establishing vocational centres. These are precious experiences that can guide us in the future," said Yumkella.

    He added that UNIDO had created unique public goods that can be utilized to design new interventions by the EU and UNIDO, and by other development partners. He cited, as examples, a database that maps polluted sites in more than 30 countries, indicating the imminence of risks for the local population and providing information on the cost and nature of the remediation; and the investment surveys in 20 African countries that provide information about more than 7,000 enterprises and the quality investments that stimulate the long-term development of local small and medium enterprises.

    Yumkella also commended the EU's support for UNIDO's Green Industry Platform and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Commissioner Piebalgs was a member of the high-level group that designed the initiative, and has agreed to serve on the new Advisory group to be chaired by Secretary-General Ban and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

    "UNIDO connects 174 countries on sustainable energy and industry. This is our leverage. We help our Member States design smart industrial strategies that work in a globalized world and that can create jobs, while preserving the planet. We also support them with the implementation of their policies, while facilitating the transfer of the great wealth of experience that exists in the world, particularly in Europe," said Yumkella.

    The EU is currently preparing its multi-annual financial framework for 2014-2020, while the global community is addressing the post-2015 development agenda. "On our side, we are reviewing our programme with our Member States in order to design our future in accordance with the evolving framework for inclusive and sustainable development," said Yumkella.

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    For more information please contact:

    Mikhail Evstafyev
    UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
    Email M.Evstafyev[at]unido.org