Vienna, 30 November 2011/ ACP Newsdesk: The ACP Group of States and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) signed a new partnership agreement this week that will allow mutual representation at each other’s top meetings, and advance cooperation in certain areas of shared interest.

ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas and UNIDO Director General Kandeh Yumkella endorsed the document on Monday at the week-long UNIDO General Conference, currently underway in Vienna, Austria.

This follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two parties in March.

“We have agreed that our respective institutions will build on each other’s comparative advantage in order to make specific contributions to the sustainable industrial development of ACP countries and regions, in line with national and regional development strategies,” said the Secretary General.

The agreement allows the ACP Group to participate, without the right to vote, in the deliberations of the UNDIO General Conference and the Industrial Development Board. UNIDO will be afforded the same privileges at the ACP Council of Ministers meetings.

It also stipulates knowledge sharing and the exchange of relevant information and documents between the two parties.

According to the agreement, both parties will work towards “harmonizing their efforts towards greater effectiveness, as far as possible” in three specific areas:

  • the support of inclusive industries, particularly agro-industries which are essential to job creation and poverty reduction in ACP regions;
  • strengthening competitive industries and the private sector amongst ACP countries; and
  • developing environmentally friendly industries towards sustainable development in ACP countries.

The relationship agreement entered into force on Monday, 28 November. -END-

(Photo: ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas welcomes cooperation with UNIDO at the UNIDO General Conference in Vienna, Austria, 28 November – 2 December 2011)