ABU DHABI, 7 November 2019 – The 18th session of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) General Conference concluded today, providing the Organization clear indications under the new Abu Dhabi Declaration, to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) for the realization of the 2030 Agenda by strengthening partnerships with the private sector and harnessing the potential of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
“In planning this 18th session of the UNIDO General Conference under the theme of “Industry 2030 – Innovate. Connect. Transform our Future”, we followed our vision towards the world we want by the year 2030,” said Director General LI Yong in his closing remarks. “This vision is based on stronger international cooperation, with industries that are inclusive and sustainable, driving a low-carbon, climate-smart economy that provides decent jobs, inclusive growth, shared prosperity and that empowers all people in all countries.”
Co-hosted with the UAE, the Conference, which brought together more than 1,700 people from all around the world, highlighted achievements through an interactive exhibition and a series of side-events focusing on today’s most relevant topics for UNIDO Member States, including gender, circular economy, youth and entrepreneurship, Industry 4.0, industrial parks, sustainable energy and partnerships.
Some highlights of the week include the appointment of Elisabetta Illy as UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador; the signing of a Country Programme for Madagascar; the exchange of letters with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire; the signing of joint declarations with Huawei and Nornickel, and of a project document on a sustainable industrial zone as part of the PCP for Peru; and the launch of the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum and of UNIDO’s Industrial Analytics Platform, Industrial Development Report 2020 and Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women 2020-2023.
In addition, important documents were adopted including the LDC Ministerial Declaration as well as resolutions on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and middle-income countries.
“Your support and guidance reassures us that we are on the right track to fulfil our mandate of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. This General Conference is a milestone and also a starting point to join in the global call for action, entering the final decade towards Industry 2030,” said DG LI Yong. “Please join me in applauding the leadership of the UAE in driving with UNIDO the advancement of global industrial cooperation.”
The UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei added, “Abu Dhabi Declaration is going to hopefully transform the way that we work together, highlighting the role of the private sector and of the financial institutions in the development of all of the member countries. As countries, we cannot do it alone. We need strong partnerships.”
Following sessions in Thailand in 1987, Cameroon in 1993, and Peru in 2013, this is the fourth time since becoming a specialized agency that the UNIDO General Conference takes place away from the Organization’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
UNIDO industrial development report presents fresh evidence on the future of industrialization in the context of a technological paradigm shift
ABU DHABI, 5 November 2019 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched its 2020 Industrial Development Report (IDR) on Industrializing in the digital age at an event held on the sidelines of the eighteenth Session of the UNIDO General Conference.
The emergence and diffusion of advanced digital production (ADP) technologies clustered around the fourth industrial revolution is radically altering the nature of manufacturing production, increasingly blurring the boundaries between physical and digital production systems.
Advances in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and data analytics generate significant opportunities to accelerate innovation and increase the value-added content of production in manufacturing industries.
Yet the significant requirements of ADP technologies—particularly in terms of digital infrastructure and human capital—are leading some observers to question whether industrialization is still a feasible or even a desirable strategy to achieve economic development.
The 2020 IDR contributes to this debate by presenting fresh quantitative and qualitative evidence on the future of industrialization in the context of a technological paradigm shift. One key finding of the report is that industrialization continues to be the main avenue for successful development. The main findings of the report were presented and discussed with a panel of leading experts in the field of industrial development.
“This report brings an original perspective to the analysis of new technologies and the fourth industrial revolution, and reaffirms the role of industrialization as a driver of development,” said DG LI. “It is precisely through industrialization that countries can build and strengthen the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in the new technological paradigm”, added DDG Kuniyoshi.
The report looks closely at the interconnections that exist between the absorption of ADP technologies, the transformation of productive structures and the role of industrial development driving this process.
This is done in a sequential manner, moving from the broad picture of the global generation and diffusion of new technologies around the world to the specific absorption and exploitation of these technologies at the country and firm level and the policy responses that are being implemented to support this process.
“Full access to quality and affordable power and internet connectivity will be critical for the developing countries,” said Phyllis Wakiaha, CEO of Kenya Association of Manufactures.
According to the report, the impact of ADP technologies on developing countries will ultimately depend on their policy responses. There is no “one-size-fits-all” policy strategy to make the new technologies work for inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Still, IDR 2020 provides some strategic policy directions as the fourth industrial revolution deepens in the coming years.
Three areas that deserve particular attention are: (i) developing framework conditions, in particular digital infrastructure, to embrace the new technologies; (ii) fostering demand and leveraging on ongoing initiatives using ADP technologies; and (iii) strengthening required skills and research capabilities. The report provides several examples of specific policies currently implemented in different countries to address each of these dimensions.
The presentation of these findings stimulated a lively discussion among the members of the panel. The Industrial Development Report series is an established source of reference on industrial development. Earlier editions examined the driving forces of industrial development. They also described the reasons why industrialization is a major engine of economic development and key for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Officer in Charge
UNIDO Research & Industrial Policy Advice Division