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United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

What is UNIDO?

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a United Nations specialized agency that assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their industrialization efforts.  It also provides a platform wherein developing countries can fight, mitigate and counter marginalization in the globalizing world.
In order to contribute substantially in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UNIDO has identified three core functions:

  • Poverty Reduction through Productive Activities;
  • Trade Capacity Building and
  • Energy and Environment.

In each of these areas, UNIDO activities include technical cooperation, analytical activities and advocacy through fora and publications.

The policy-making organs of UNIDO are the General Conference (GC), which meets biannually, the Industrial Development Board (IDB) which meets twice in non-GC years and once in GC years, and the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) which meets once every year. Currently, South Africa serves on the IDB for the term 20011-2015.
The 2013 General Conference will be held in Lima, Peru, under the overarching theme “UNIDO: Towards partnerships for a new industrial revolution for inclusive and sustainable growth”, A forum on industrial development issues will be organized to exchange views in a thematic and interregional debate.

UNIDO has offices in 44 countries to manage its programmes in a decentralized manner. Twelve of these are regional offices each covering a number of countries. South Africa hosts UNIDO’s Field Office for the Southern African region.

UNIDO and South Africa

South Africa deposited its instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the United Nations in October 2000 and became the 169th member of UNIDO.  This accession was motivated by the role that UNIDO could play to facilitate South Africa's own economic development. This accession further took into consideration the expertise that South Africa could bring to UNIDO based on her local, regional and continental experience.

The adoption of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) by the summit of heads of state held in Lusaka, Zambia, situated South Africa's co-operation with UNIDO on a much focused and strategic path.

Currently UNIDO has twelve active programmes in South Africa, three of which are related to “Greening the COP 17 in Durban”, amounting to a budget allotment of US$1.000.002.. Three other projects are related to industrial energy efficiency improvement in South Africa in order to save the scarce energy needed to maintain the targeted 6% GDP growth, to improve the productivity and competitiveness of industrial products and to create more jobs, as well as to reduce CO2 emissions. One new project supports South Africa on the local production of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), in which UNIDO acts as a coordinator of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) and thereby enables the expertise within the expert group to be conveyed effectively to the project. UNIDO's role in the ongoing discussions on local production of APIs will help resolve the situation such that it protects the short term supply of Anti-retrovirals, whilst developing a long term sustainable supply of products.

Website: www.unido.org

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