Welcome

Statement at the 48th session of the UNIDO Industrial Development Board, 23 November 2020

Speech

UNIDO – 48th Industrial Development Board

Statement by H.E. Mr Martin Jäger

Secretary of State

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

23 November 2020

Agenda Item 3 – Annual Report of the Director-General for 2019

Excellencies, Director-General, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank Director General Li Yong and his Secretariat for preparing and hosting this virtual meeting, and for giving me the floor this morning. I also wish to congratulate the Chair of this Industrial Development Board.

Germany fully supports the statement by the European Union and its member states. I would just like to add the following points:

As we have seen from challenges like progressive environmental degradation and the COVID-19 pandemic, go-it-alone concepts cannot offer the solutions that are required in a globalized world. We therefore need strong multilateral institutions more than ever before

And we have to get closer to our common goals – the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and of the SDGs. In order to achieve those goals, we have to become quicker and work together even more closely. This decade really must be a decade of action.

Excellencies, Director-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Based on UNIDO’s new Abu Dhabi Declaration, the German government entered into a Strategic Dialogue with UNIDO last year. A roadmap was signed in September this year. It aims at reinforcing our partnership with UNIDO, highlighting key areas of our cooperation. And we are already putting the roadmap into action: a new programme on job creation and vocational training in Africa has been launched. This is one of the biggest partnerships Germany has ever had with UNIDO: 8 million euros, with a planned extension of a further 6 million euros for next year. The focal countries are the countries with which UNIDO started its PCP Partnership Programme. Many PCP partner countries are also focal countries of our own “Partnership with Africa”.

As part of the efforts to fight COVID-19 in developing countries, Germany is now supporting the joint UNIDO-WHO programme to deliver and produce personal protective equipment in Africa with a contribution of 1 million euros.

Excellencies, Director-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to commend UNIDO for this year’s Annual report! Its clear analytical work and the presentations that are, in our view, comprehensive, transparent, easy to grasp and well-grounded in data, are directly related to your Medium-Term Programme Framework. We also see it as a good step that the Annual Report now reports directly against the SDGs. This move and other steps are bringing us closer to results-based management.

UNIDO certainly has to focus on LDCs, especially in Africa. This is what we are doing in our development cooperation ourselves, just to mention the Compact with Africa. But we must never forget that every country has to be able to achieve a higher level of industrialization in their economies. It is of particular importance to ensure that countries who’ve prospered over the past decades and are now middle income countries become more resilient to global economic crisis and will not fall back. Here as well, UNIDO has an important role to play.

UNIDO became more and more a priority for us during the last years. And in doing so we learned that UNIDO really has to be the key player in the field of inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

From this background I would like to announce that the German government will be nominating a qualified, experienced and high-ranking candidate for the post of Director General next year, namely: Dr Gerd Müller, currently the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Gerd Müller has many years of experience working in the field of international cooperation. He has been Germany’s Development Minister since 2013, a position in which he has focused in particular on cooperation with the private sector and fostering vocational education and training, cooperation with Africa, sustainable infrastructure and increasing international climate action. Just recently he initiated an Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme.

Germany has a long history in dealing with transformation processes in industrial development. In presenting our candidate, we would be honoured and willing to play a leading role in making UNIDO even stronger, building on the tremendous achievements of Director General Li Yong and his team over the last years.

Thank you very much.

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