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ADDIS: UN agency stresses role of partnerships to finance inclusive, sustainable industrial development

Workers at Sonapi Industrial Park, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Workers at Sonapi Industrial Park, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

ADDIS: UN agency stresses role of partnerships to finance inclusive, sustainable industrial development

Partnerships involving all development players will be key to scaling up the financing needed for industrial infrastructure and projects, an important element in the economic and social advancement of countries, a senior United Nations official told a conference in Ethiopia today.

“There is not a single country in the world that has achieved lasting economic and social development without having undergone industrial transformation,” Li Yong, Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said at a form on financing for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

The objective of the forum, held on the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, is to demonstrate concretely how multi-stakeholder partnerships can mobilize and scale up financing for industrial infrastructure as well as for industrial projects of various scales, ranging from domestic small and medium-sized enterprises to international large-scale investments.

Mr. Li said that the crucial challenge for the global community gathered in Addis Ababa is to address how to finance the achievement of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which countries expect to adopt in September.

“In my view, this challenge is so immense that no single country or institution will be able to overcome it on their own. I firmly believe that it can only be resolved through effective multi-stakeholder partnerships bringing together all the major players in the development process.”

He added that as the international community formalizes the post-2015 development agenda, UNIDO is particularly pleased to know that the proposed SDGs duly acknowledge - in Goal 9 - the importance of inclusive and sustainable industrialization together with resilient infrastructure innovation.

In his remarks to the forum, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also highlighted the fact that the proposed Goal 9 promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialization.

“Often, when people think of industry, they think of pollution or bad labour practices,” Mr. Ban said. “But when countries industrialize in an inclusive and sustainable way, they can create decent jobs and preserve their resources without exploiting the environment or people. This is at the heart of SDG 9.”

He went on to say that achieving the SDGs requires more than finances. “I am convinced that partnerships are the means to implement the post-2015 development agenda.”

UNIDO has been among the first to propose a concrete model to operationalize and advance SDG 9 with the Programme for Country Partnership, which convenes different partners, under the ownership of the host government, to coordinate and optimize the contribution of each, and pool resources together.

This means that traditional financial flows for development are reinforced with new, additional sources of investment for greater development impact.

Mr. Ban applauded UNIDO and the Governments of Ethiopia and Senegal for their dedication and hard work towards advancing inclusive and sustainable industrialization in their countries through the Programme, saying that they “set an example for the rest of us on how to partner together to accelerate public investment and attract private finance in key industrial sectors.”