“Together for a Sustainable Future: towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals”

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations and PartnershipsKeynote Speech at UNIDO’s 50th AnniversaryVienna, Austria


Good morning Excellencies and distinguished guests. It’s an honor to be here with you on the 50th anniversary of UNIDO. I would like to express my gratitude to Director General Li Yong for inviting me, and thank him for his leadership and the long-standing and productive partnership between UNIDO and the World Bank Group. UNIDO’s mission — to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and in economies in transition — is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development includes SDGs that are directly relevant to UNIDO’s mission — such as SDG 9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation — and many others that are indirectly related. The broad scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, requires us to build partnerships that take into account each partner’s comparative advantage.

The World Bank Group has developed various partnerships with UNIDO that draw on our comparative strengths. Today I would like to highlight our ongoing collaboration as part of UNIDO’s pilot Programmes for Country Partnerships in Africa and Latin America

In Ethiopia, UNIDO and World Bank Group teams are working together to support the government’s program to create industrial parks. The World Bank Group has provided $250 million for the program. This is financing key infrastructure for two industrial parks, in addition to capacity building and technical support for the institutional and regulatory framework, as well as development of linkages to domestic Small and Medium Enterprises.

In Senegal, UNIDO is providing technical advice including the development of industrial zones, covering social and environmental impact studies, the management of such zones, and an incentive package for investors. The zones will be built in two phases, and the World Bank Group will be working more closely with UNIDO on the second phase of the project, including potentially through IDA and IFC. Similar partnerships are expected in Latin America.

UNIDO has rich experience in value chains for leather and textile sectors, skills training programs, quality and standards, and technology know-how, which the two teams will continue to leverage. This can provide complementary interventions for strengthening linkages between Foreign Direct Investment and SMEs in Ethiopia.

To support this work in our client countries, in June 2016, UNIDO and the World Bank Group solidified our partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that streamlines our collaboration on the ground and in joint projects. This cooperation is crucial for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and will help provide developing countries the support, knowledge, and financial resources needed to attain the SDGs.

We are very supportive of UNIDO’s strategic direction of inclusive and sustainable industrial development, with a strong emphasis on green technology across the production process.  This aligns well with the World Bank Group’s goals to end poverty and boost shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

We face innumerable challenges working with countries seeking to attain the SDGs. Yet we are very comfortable that, together with UNIDO and other relevant partners, we can make progress to help create a world that is more peaceful, more prosperous, and more secure.

Thank you very much.