The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations promoting industrial development for the sake of poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
It was established in 1966 as a UN program. Since 1986, UNIDO has been a specialized agency of the United Nations and currently comprises 170 member states. The organization is headquartered in Vienna and maintains a field network of 48 regional and country offices around the world.
In December 2021, Gerd Müller, formerly Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, was appointed as the new Director General of UNIDO for a period of four years.
The mission of UNIDO is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in member states. UNIDO’s mandate is fully reflected in SDG-9, which calls to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”.
The Lima Declaration, signed by all UNIDO Member States in December 2013 to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), recognizes that industrialization is a driver of development as it increases productivity, contributes to job creation and generates income. Moreover, industrialization offers opportunities for social inclusion by means of empowerment of women and creating decent employment for youth. The Lima Declaration states that ISID recognizes that “economic growth is driven by entrepreneurship, continuous economic diversification, growing trade relations, industrial upgrading and technological innovation”.
The Abu Dhabi Declaration, signed in November 2019, further underscores UNIDO’s mandate and highlights the importance of the private sector for achieving the SDGs. It also draws attention to the emergence of new technologies under the Fourth Industrial Revolution, offering tremendous opportunities to advance economic growth and human well-being and to protect the environment.