Gerd Muller, Germany’s acting Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, is set to take office as the new Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Orgnisation (UNIDO).
According to a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, Müller’s appointment for a four-year term is confirmed by the UNIDO General Conference in Vienna.
It said Müller would succeed Li Yong, who had led the United Nations’ specialised agency driving inclusive and sustainable industrial development since 2013.
“During his two terms in office, Yong led the organisation through an important transition as its Member States renewed UNIDO’s mandate with the adoption of the 2013 Lima Declaration.”
The statement quoted Muller has vowing to build on the successful work of his predecessor.
He thanked Li Yong and the UNIDO staff for the successful work over the last eight years and promised to further strengthen the organisation by creating a global platform for technology transfer, know-how and digitalisation.
He said the platform could foster green skills and technologies, expand the use of renewable energies and open up fair access to global markets and value chains.
He said this was, especially with close collaboration with other UN agencies, governments, development banks, companies and investors.
He said he desired UNIDO to play its part in the UN Common Agenda to help its Member States achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate action among others.
“We are currently facing global challenges that affect us all: climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing hunger.
“To fight inequality, to build back better and to promote a green recovery, we must work together and we must act now, ‘’ Muller said.
He said his aim was to establish UNIDO as a leading multilateral player in fostering green, resilient, inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
He said he intended to achieve this through a renewed partnership between industrialised and developing countries and with a stronger commitment from the industrialised countries.
According to the statement, as a Federal Minister, Muller strengthened the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development by doubling the development cooperation budget to more than 12 billion euros.
UNIDO statement said he also created special initiatives on world without hunger, refugees and migration and training and jobs for the youth in cooperation with private corporations, especially in Africa Compact with Africa, Marshall Plan with Africa.
It added that with Muller’s COVID-19 Emergency Programme of four billion euros, Germany mounted an immediate and comprehensive response to support least developed countries and middle-income countries in coping with the social, economic and health consequences of the pandemic.