Abu Dhabi finalises preparations for eighteenth session of UNIDO's general conference

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ABU DHABI, 9th October, 2019 (WAM) -- Delegates of the eighteenth session of the General Conference, GC, of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, are set to arrive in Abu Dhabi on the 2nd of November for five days of discussions around the future of manufacturing.

The General Conference, UNIDO’s supreme policymaking organ convenes every two years to determine the guidelines and policies of the Organisation and approve its budget and working programmes. Since becoming a specialised agency, the UNIDO General Conference was hosted away from its Vienna headquarters only three times: in Bangkok, Thailand (1987); in Yaoundé, Cameroon (1993); in Lima, Peru (2013); and now in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (2019).

The eighteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference will be held under the theme of ‘Industry 2030 – Innovate. Connect. Transform our Future’. Throughout the five-day proceedings, a series of high-level side events will accompany the main agenda of the conference focusing on six themes; Youth and Entrepreneurship, Gender, Industry 4.0, Sustainable Energy, Industrial Parks and Circular Economy. These will run alongside discussions around policies that facilitate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The 46th session the Industrial Development Board, IDB, which inter alia reviews the implementation of the UNIDO work programme and makes policy recommendations to the General Conference welcomed the offer by the Government of the UAE to host the next General Conference and decided to hold the eighteenth session of the General Conference in Abu Dhabi, from 3 to 7 November 2019. The confirmation is an acknowledgement of the role the UAE is playing in shaping the future of manufacturing through initiatives such as the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit. It is also a recognition of the success of the UAE in establishing a sophisticated industrial base in unprecedented time.

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, said, "The UAE has achieved a level of industrial development that is unique in the Middle East, enabling it to become a reliable industrial partner in the region for major international industrial companies. As we continue to build a strategy of mechanisms that raise the industrial sector's contribution to GDP and boost economic growth, I look forward to welcoming delegates from all over the world so that we can exchange knowledge and collaborate in order to advance global prosperity through industrial innovation."

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification roadmap – Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 – set out a goal for the non-oil sector to raise its contribution to GDP from 41 percent in 2005 to 64 percent by 2030, and the development of the industrial sector is specifically recognised for its vast potential to contribute to this goal. As a result, the UAE’s industrial sector is thriving. It currently contributes to around nine percent of the UAE’s GDP and industrial activity increased by 4.8 percent in 2017 alone.

Consequently, the UAE advanced 13 spots in eight years on UNIDO’s Industrial Competitiveness Index, which measures the performance of 150 countries around the world. The UAE ranked 41st on the Index in 2018, compared to 54th in 2010.

Hundreds of participants will gather for the event, including Heads of State, Ministers, senior representatives of other United Nations’ organisations, and prominent leaders from the private sector, civil society and academia.

Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development, DED, added, "Hosting the UNIDO General Conference supports the UAE's efforts to establish itself as a global platform and open laboratory for new applications driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It provides a unique opportunity to showcase our success in developing an advanced manufacturing base in a short time-span and will highlight how the UAE has made the adoption of 4IR technologies central to its economic development through initiatives such as the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

The UAE has enjoyed strong ties with the United Nations since becoming a member on 9 December 1971, just days after declaring independence under the leadership of its Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. Ever since, the UAE has been fully committed to supporting the UN’s agenda of spreading peace and prosperity around the world, respect for international laws and norms, and promoting sustainable development at a global level.

Li Yong, Director-General of UNIDO commented, "We highly appreciate the generous offer of the Government of the United Arab Emirates to host the eighteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in Abu Dhabi. I look forward to further strengthening our ties, especially since UNIDO and the UAE share the commitment to take a transformational approach towards shaping the future of manufacturing and jointly co-chair the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit."

 

WAM/Rasha Abubaker/Nour Salman