by Sharief

The 20th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has commenced, focusing on the theme of “Fair Globalization: Innovative Solutions for the Industry of Tomorrow.” This conference aims to explore new avenues for sustainability, digital inclusivity, and economic resilience. By emphasizing inclusive and sustainable industrial development, UNIDO aims to support sustainable supply chains, mitigate climate breakdown, and contribute to the eradication of global hunger.

In his opening address, UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller emphasized the need for increased global solidarity and a reimagining of the global economy. He stressed the importance of fair globalization that provides development opportunities for all, urging industrialized countries to fulfill their promises and commitments. Müller also highlighted the reforms undertaken by UNIDO, making it a leaner, more efficient, and effective organization. The implementation of technical cooperation, progress in gender equality and empowerment of women, and strengthened regional approaches were among the key accomplishments mentioned by Müller.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, shared the extensive growth-focused reforms his country has undertaken, emphasizing the pursuit of inclusive and sustainable industrialization and economic diversification. He expressed his belief that these efforts will lead to prosperity, reduced inequality, and a better future for both Ethiopia and the world.

Paula Narváez, President of the UN ECOSOC, highlighted the potential of sustainable industrialization and inclusive industrial policy to generate economic growth while addressing critical socio-economic needs and protecting the planet’s health. Dennis Francis, President of the UN General Assembly from Trinidad and Tobago, commended UNIDO for its role in facilitating knowledge sharing, technology transfer, training, and capacity building, emphasizing the organization’s high impact delivery of these services.

Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, delivered a passionate address, acknowledging the urgent need for change in the face of global challenges. She emphasized the crucial role of UNIDO and its member states in driving action, policy directions, financing, partnerships, compassion, and opportunities for small countries to be heard and seen.

The conference also featured an Industrial Innovation Forum, where high-level speakers from governments, industry, academia, and financial institutions discussed tangible solutions to shared challenges. The forum focused on food system transformation, sustainable supply chains, and the threats posed by climate change. UNIDO’s Müller concluded the forum by reiterating that the solutions already exist; what is lacking is the political will to act decisively. He emphasized that industry is not part of the problem but rather central to the solutions.

As the 20th General Conference of UNIDO continues, it serves as a platform for global leaders to come together, share insights, and collaborate on innovative strategies for fair globalization, sustainable industrial development, and a better future. By fostering partnerships and demanding political will, UNIDO aims to drive impactful change and create a world where industry plays a pivotal role in addressing global challenges.


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