Prime Minister Meets with Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
Prime Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama met today with the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), H.E. Li Yong, at UN Headquarters in New York.
Meeting for the first time since Mr. Li took office as Director-General in July 2013, the Prime Minister and Director-General Li discussed the plans and new direction for UNIDO, under DG Li’s proposed vision for UNIDO of “inclusive and sustainable industrial development”. Director-General Li told the Prime Minister that he plans to refocus the work of UNIDO in order to ensure a renewed emphasis on manufacturing and industrialisation as a vital tool for development.
In this regard, Director-General Li spoke of the importance of the process of the preparation Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations in 2014, and the need to include particular wording for manufacturing and industrialization in one of the goals to be elaborated. To this end, the Prime Minister and Director-General Li discussed the arranging of a meeting between G77 Permanent Representatives in New York with the Director-General ahead of the November session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals which would include the themes of infrastructure development and industrialization.
The Prime Minister assured the Director-General of the Group of 77’s support for UNIDO’s work in the industrial development in developing countries, and welcomed the proposed briefing to the G77 in November. From a national and regional perspective, the Prime Minister indicated the interest of SIDS such as Fiji in youth employment programmes similar to those run by UNIDO in Africa.
He thanked the Director-General for UNIDO’s prominent role in Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) formative meeting in Fiji in August 2013 and offered the services of the PIDF Secretariat as a focal point for sustainable industrial development in the Pacific Islands region.