The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. UNIDO was established in 1966 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985. It has 173 Member States and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, but operates worldwide.
The Organization’s renewed mandate of inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) was adopted by UNIDO Member States at the General Conference in December 2013. Through this strategy, UNIDO aims to address the multidimensional causes of poverty and harness the full potential of industry’s contribution to the achievement of sustainable development in the post-2015 era.
ISID ensures that:
Every country achieves a higher level of industrialization in their economies, and benefits from the globalization of markets for industrial goods and services;
No-one is left behind in benefiting from industrial growth, and prosperity is shared among women and men, urban and rural communities and large and small enterprises alike in all countries;
Broader economic and social growth is supported within an environmentally sustainable framework, so that industrial expansion does not jeopardize the well-being of future generations;
The unique knowledge and resources of all relevant development actors are combined, including those of the private sector and international financial institutions, to maximize the development impact of ISID.
In carrying out the core requirements of its mandate, UNIDO draws on four mutually reinforcing categories of services: technical cooperation; analytical, research and policy advisory services; standard setting and compliance, and a convening function for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation.
The importance of industrial development is explicitly recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in their position concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes inclusive and sustainable industrialization as SDG-9, along with fostering innovation and building resilient infrastructure. SDG-9 acknowledges industrialization as a key driver of sustained economic, environmental sustainability and shared prosperity.
An ambitious post-2015 development agenda however requires long-term commitments and greater resources than any individual entity can provide. As a result, UNIDO’s new partnership approach aims to mobilize local and international, public and private development partners to provide the necessary support, knowledge and financial resources needed for ISID. Aside from its technical cooperation activities, UNIDO's role is to bring various development actors together and coordinate partnership activities – under the leadership and ownership of the host government – to build a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth.
Based on UNIDO’s crucial role in supporting the implementation and reporting on SDG-9 and other industry-related sustainable development goals and targets, the Organization is advancing its leadership role in the field of global development monitoring. The provision of robust industrial statistics and analysis, together with enhanced results monitoring and reporting systems and tools, will leverage UNIDO’s contribution to achieving ISID and sustainable development globally.
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