Thank you Chair,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The following countries align themselves with this statement: Turkey§, Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Albania*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Norway+, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Armenia.
Allow me first, Mister/Madam Chair, to congratulate you on your election and to assure you of our full cooperation towards a successful outcome of this General Conference. We appreciate the ongoing openness and exchange of information, including through the open data platform and the regular Secretariat briefings on UNIDO's activities.
Mister/Madam Chair, we have gathered here in Abu Dhabi, under the motto of “Industry 2030 – Innovate. Connect. Transform our Future". The EU and its Member States commend UNIDO for the progress made inimplementing the 2030 Agenda, and particularly for the efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, as envisioned in SDG 9. We also commend UNIDO’s support for the ongoing reform of the United Nations Development System so far and trust that UNIDO will continue to commit itself to the common goal of optimizing its capacity to implement the 2030Agenda.
As part of its efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, UNIDO is contributing to areas of crucial importance for a more sustainable future. In the context of combating climate change, the EU attaches particular importance to reaching the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In that respect, it is crucial to foster low-carbon production pathways and to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, as foreseen in SDG 7 and 13. Together with its Member States, the EU has tabled a resolution on Energy and Environment, which seeks to continue and scale-up UNIDO's activities in that regard.
Another priority area for the EU is creating decent work for all and in particular for women and youth, as set out in SDG 8. Where there is a lack of decent work, people are often obliged to secure their livelihood by turning tothe informal sector, and working in precarious conditions. To prevent this, we seek to promote decent employment that can lift people out of poverty. Job creation is key to fighting poverty, reducing inequalitiesand ending hunger, while also promoting health, education and gender equality. In this regard, we support UNIDO's leading role in the implementation of the Third Development Decade for Africa and are looking forward to concrete results of the coordination efforts which UNIDO has undertaken with other agencies and major donors. The creation of jobs also responds to the economic dimension of the global migration challenge. By addressing root causes of migration, such as poverty, food insecurity and lack of socio-economic opportunities, we can foster stability and provide alternatives to leaving ones country of origin.
In order to foster stability and to address fragility, we are striving to improve the investment climate and to strengthen dialogue with the private sector. Only by ensuring more and better investments can we ensure job creation, economic and social growth. In this regard, we value the cooperation with UNIDO aimed at supporting business-friendly and inclusive national and regional policies programme in ACP countries.
The EU firmly believes that economic development can be combined with protecting the environment in order to provide new growth and jobs. Circular economies help to close the loop of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, thereby increasing product value. At the same time, they contribute to climate-neutral production and resource efficiency, and foster innovation, economic growth and job creation. The EU and UNIDO jointly organised a conference on Circular Economy in Tourism in South East Europe, in 2018. We are looking forward to more joint initiatives like this in the future.
The EU welcomes the 2020–2023 Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and the updated policy on these issues. We would also like to commend UNIDO for the determined and successful implementation of the 2016-2019 Policy and Strategy on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women as well as UNIDO Gender Parity Action Plan 2018‒2023. These guiding documents are crucial for the Organization’s efforts to ensure equal opportunities for women.
We can only achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda through comprehensive efforts. This requires partnerships between governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector. UNIDO has been doing valuable work to scale-updevelopment impact through partnerships, operating a total of 10 Programmes for Country Partnership in middle- and low-income countries. Through the PCPs, UNIDO implements a multi-stakeholder approach for the development of selected value chains, involving national governments, the private sector and financial institutions. Тhe PCPs also proved to be a valuable contribution to the implementation of the United Nations Development System Reform at country-level. Through their insertion in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks they ensure more effectiveness and coherence. In recognition of the achievements made through the PCPs and with the goal to further enhance their impact, the EU and its Member States, together with the G77+China, have tabled a resolution on the Programme for Country Partnership.
Promoting multilateral solutions and working with the UN are fundamental principles of the EU. The EU and UNIDO share the vision that only through a multilateral approach can the goal of strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic and industrial growth be achieved. This common vision translates into a close cooperation between the EU and UNIDO in over 100 countries. The EU and its Member States are the largestcontributors to the organisation, implementing projects focused on job creation, poverty reduction, resource efficiency, clean energy and reduction of emissions. UNIDO is already an important partner for the EU and its MS and we look forward to an even stronger collaboration to bring this relationship to its full potential.
I thank you for your attention.
§ Candidate Country
* Candidate Countries Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia as well as potential Candidate Countries Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Norway is a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.