Posted on :Thursday , 24th November 2016
Global industry needs to continue embracing a green approach and not repeat old ways, Li Yong, the chief of UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) told Xinhua in an interview.
On the occasion of UNIDO's 50th anniversary, Director General Li Yong said his focus was promoting the industrialization of developing countries to achieve goals set in the UN 2030 development agenda.
"Now the new mandate of UNIDO is inclusive and sustainable industrial development. This is a very important mandate because industrial development is our focus based on the past 50 years' of experience. We would like to move ahead with inclusive and sustainable industrial development," he said.
After Li took office at UNIDO, the agenda for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) was declared in a conference in Lima, Peru as the mandate for the organization in end-2013.
Compared to traditional industrialization which could lead to environment issues, the ISID not only focuses on industrial development but also on both the social sector and environment.
Li noted the inclusive industrial development would benefit social development, creating more jobs and giving people more opportunities.
"Let women, young people have opportunity; let different countries have the opportunity to develop industry -- that is a very important concept," the UNIDO chief said.
In some developing states like African countries, only industrial development could create enough jobs for young people.
"Of course, we will not repeat footprints in history related to environmental issues such as pollution. Now we should have green industry, use resources more effectively, renewable energies, and produce more with less materials. Those are important concepts for us," he said.
"I think that 50 years of UNIDO has contributed a lot to the industrial development in member countries like India and China," he said, citing 400 projects covering a wide range from agro-industry to manufacturing.
Li strongly believes renewable energy will be very important and possibly replace other energies in the long run. "One day, fewer people will use oil and coal, and use more clean energies. I think this kind of technology will be utilized by both group of countries -- developed nations and developing nations -- when the price and technology becomes common," he said.
In collaboration with member states, UNIDO has started to build renewable energy and energy efficiency centers, he said.
The fact that UNIDO's mandate has been incorporated into the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals promotes sustainable industrial development and innovation, Li said.
The UN adopted a resolution for the period 2016-2025 as the third industrial development decade for Africa, requesting UNIDO to take the lead to support African countries to achieve their agenda 2063 for the transformation for their industrialization. This is a clear message that UNIDO's mandate is strongly supported by the international community, Li said.
"Operationally, we try to create a big impact through our new operations. We call it the program for country partnership (PCP) to help countries with industrial development strategy," the UNIDO chief said.
UNIDO is currently working in Ethiopia, Peru and Senegal as pilot states for the program.
Li said international development institutions such as the World Bank, African Development Bank and European Investment Bank were interested in working with UNIDO to promote PCP in member states.
After the 2008 financial crisis, the international community re-recognized the importance of industrialization, he added.
"More and more countries recognize the importance of industrial development, because no country has become an advanced industrialized nation without going through the industrialization process," Li said.
After 30 years of fast growth, China's role is changing -- from receiving support to contributing more to the international community. China's experiences are being shared by other developing countries to boost their industry. Li said UNIDO could be a platform to enlarge this support to member states.
"I think China's role has been really increasing. I've seen China now become one of the major players in the international development agenda. So, I am very happy that China gives UNIDO more and more support," he said.
Founded in 1966, UNIDO is a specialized agency of UN to promote and accelerate the industrialization of developing countries.