Topnews, Statements

23. Juni 2015



Distinguished delegates,

It has been a privilege for my country South Africa, to have served as President of the 42nd session of the Industrial Development Board of UNIDO. I remain greatly indebted to the African Group for mandating us to execute this important task on their behalf.

Distinquished delegates,

2015 is a historic year in the international calendar. It is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations. More importantly – and of direct relevance to us here at UNIDO -  it is a year during which a new development framework: the post - 2015 Development Agenda will be adopted. We are thus called upon to ensure that this new framework has as its economic development centre piece: inclusive and sustainable industrialisation. This is an objective that we should all work towards, both collectively and individually.

In this regard I wish to commend DG Li Yong and his team for their tireless efforts which resulted in the adoption of inclusive and sustainable industrialisation as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed we should thus all work together so that this milestone is not reversed.

Another important aspect  related to the post-2015 Development Agenda and in our case inclusive and sustainable development is the issue of the means of implementation. Without the necessary financial resources, transfer of technology and capacity building there is no way the new development framework will be implemented. In this regard we are looking forward to the upcoming conference in Addis Ababa in July, on Financing for Development. We hope that innovative solutions will be designed to tackle this challenge.

This is also relevant to us here in UNIDO in view of the challenging financial situation that the organisation finds itself in. During the recent meeting of the Programme and Budget Committee, the DG provoked us to think creatively about how to address this matter. I urge delegations to continue to reflect on this question even during this current session of the IDB, and beyond.

As I conclude, I wish to make this observation: serving as the President of the IDB of UNIDO has brought to my attention many challenges that this organisation is grappling with. But I have also come to know of many exciting opportunities and activities that UNIDO has initiated in recent years. I have no doubt in mind that if the current programmes were to be solidified, we would in the not too distant future reap the benefits of the investment we have made.

Finally, I wish to thank my colleagues in the Bureau for having responded positively to the call to serve UNIDO at this level. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the contribution of Ambassador Konrad Max Scharinger who served as one of the Vice Presidents of the Board. During the 42nd session of the IDB Konrad efficiently facilitated the informal consultations.  I have also had the privilege of working with him in many other roles. As you may know, Konrad will soon be leaving us for a well-deserved retirement. I am sure I speak on your behalf when I thank him for his outstanding and commendable contribution to our work.

I also extend our appreciation to the DG, Ms Fatura Haidara and her team for the professional support they extended to us.

I thank you.

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