| The NGLS handbook of UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds Working for |
|United nations industrial development organization (UNIDO)|
UNIDO is a unique forum for global debate on industrial development. As an honest broker, it builds on the complementary interests of its clients to develop international industrial partnerships.
UNIDO plays a two-fold role as a:
• worldwide forum for industrial development helping to establish and put in practice international conventions and standards, providing industrial statistics, acting as an honest broker, fostering cooperation among developing countries and transferring industrial experience from North to South, South to South and West lo East; and
• provider of integrated services to developing countries and economies in transition in industrial subsectors related to food (food processing, fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural machinery), shelter (building materials, wood processing), clothing (textiles, leather), health (medicinal plants, production of vaccines) and environmental protection (water and waste management, risk reduction from toxic chemicals and energy efficiency in industrial processes).
UNIDO is the sole United Nations agency that has subsectoral industrial expertise coupled with expertise to cover issues such as investment, technology and environment. This makes it a central partner within the United Nations system complementing—through its specialized industrial services—the development support given by other organizations, such as UNDP or the Bretton Woods Institutions.
To respond most effectively to the demands of its clients and to use resources most efficiently, UNlDO focuses its work on seven key activities:
• strategies, policies and institution-building for global economic integration;
• environment and energy;
• small- and medium-scale enterprises: policies, networking and basic technical support;
• innovation, productivity and quality for international competitiveness;
• industrial information, investment and technology promotion;
• rural industrial development; and
• Africa and least developed countries: linking industry and agriculture.
Drawing on a wealth of expertise gained from 30 years in building up industries around the world, UNIDO has achieved an impressive track record. In the last 20 years, its has fielded more than 16,000 projects and generated investment for nearly 2000 industrial ventures. In 1995 UNIDO provided US$108.5 million worth of technical assistance, while its investment promotion activities generated some US$700 million for 120 projects in developing countries and economies in transition.
Sources of funding include assessed contributions from Member States, United Nations system funds, government funds, government development finance institutions support and trust funds. UNIDO's system of voluntary contributions consists of the Industrial Development Fund (IDF) and trust funds. In 1995, pledges to IDF amounted to US$62.5 million while there were US$8.5 million in trust funds.
UNIDO awards some 200 contracts with a value of US$14 million and places equipment orders worth US$20 million annually. Yearly spending on training in the form of fellowships, study tours and group training amounts to nearly US$14 million.
Faced by the changing economic challenges and development priorities of the 1990s, UNIDO embarked on a major reform and revitalization programme in 1993, which started with the adoption of the YaoundÃ© Declaration at the fifth session of its General Conference.
The main features of the programme have centred on:
• focusing of UNIDO services;
• management processes and budgetary reductions; and
• structural modifications to improve efficiency.
Within less than two years, the impact of these reforms reshaped UNIDO in what has amounted to one of the quickest, most effective transformations within the United Nations system.