Statement delivered at UNIDO's 50th Anniversary Event

21.11.2016 | Vienna, Austria

Inclusive and Sustainable Development for the Achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Statement by OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish at UNIDO's 50th Anniversary Event on November 21, 2016.

Today, UNIDO celebrates its 50th anniversary, and it is a pleasure for me to pay tribute on this occasion to a UN organization that has played a vital role in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.

OFID, with our motto “Uniting Against Poverty”, share these objectives with UNIDO, and indeed with many of the institutions and countries present here today who are valuable partners to us.

Our partnership with UNIDO was strengthened by the common conviction that access to modern energy services is a vital precondition to achieving sustainable development, including the industrialization of developing countries.

The two organizations worked diligently in international fora to advocate for the inclusion of ensuring universal energy access into the post 2015 development agenda. For instance, OFID has both supported and participated in all Vienna Energy Fora, of which UNIDO was a major proponent, and which became the place of inception of the SE4ALL Initiative. In fact, both our organizations remain active SE4All stakeholders.

It was with great pride that we both as UNIDO is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and OFID its 40th Anniversary, witnessed our efforts culminate in the adoption of energy as SDG 7. This would not have been possible without the strategic partnerships and joint efforts of OFID and UNIDO and other like-minded institutions.

Beyond advocacy, the two organizations’ actions on the ground neatly complement each other. Earlier this year, OFID extended a grant to build mini-grids in four Western African countries. The grant recipient is ECREEE, one of the regional renewables and energy efficiency centers that UNIDO helped create.

OFID also directly supported other important aspects of UNIDO’s work. We have extended several grants to UNIDO, the most recent are an ongoing project in the agri-food sector in Ethiopia, and a newly approved grant involving fisheries value chain in Latin America.

For the coming decades, with the passage of SDG 9, UNIDO’s mission of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation will be even more relevant and important. UNIDO, under the capable leadership of Mr. Li Yong and with his vast experience, will rise superbly to that challenge.

With OFID intensifying its energy poverty alleviation efforts, and with energy (SDG 7) as an essential element to achieve other SDGs, including SDG 9, the synergies between OFID and UNIDO will be even more obvious.

OFID is looking forward to a deeper, closer and broader partnership with UNIDO towards realizing their common visions.