ArmInfo. On the sidelines of the 20th session of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) General Conference, UNIDO and the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) reaffirmed their commitment to jointly promote sustainable industrial growth in Central Asia in a Joint Declaration signed by Gerd Muller, Director General of UNIDO, and Nikolay Podguzov, Chairman of the Management Board of the EDB.
According to the Bank's press service, the joint declaration envisages closer cooperation between UNIDO and the EDB, in particular in the area of manufacturing and supply chain development, including capacity- building for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs; in the field of infrastructure development, including the promotion and development of digital transformation projects; in the field of environmental protection and combating climate change, including increasing energy and resource efficiency; as well as in the areas of research, policy advice and institutional capacity building in areas consistent with UNIDO's core priorities and EDB's key strategic objectives.
Already, the partners are considering many specific joint activities for 2024 and beyond, including promoting the digital transformation of SMEs in Armenia; promoting the digital transformation of special economic zones (SEZs) and clusters in Tajikistan; and the development of investments in Central Asia in the field of systemic interconnections "water - energy - food" in the Aral Sea basin.
Copies of the Joint Declaration were exchanged by Gunther Berger, UNIDO's Managing Director for the Directorate for SDG Innovation and Economic Transformation , and Denis Ilin, Senior Managing Director and Head of the Delegation of the Eurasian Development Bank, in the presence of Michael Dethlefsen, Chief of the Division of Innovative Finance and International Financial Institutions of UNIDO, and Lilia Khusnutdinova, Managing Director and Head of the Department international cooperation of the EDB.
"The Joint Declaration paves the way for closer cooperation with the Eurasian Development Bank in a region of great importance to UNIDO. It is fully consistent with the key operational priorities outlined by the Director General, including supporting sustainable supply chains and limiting worsening climate conditions, as well as reducing post-harvest losses and development of value chains in the agro-industrial complex," Gunther Berger said.
In turn, Denis Ilin added that the Eurasian Development Bank attaches great importance to deepening cooperation with UNIDO. "Our priorities coincide in many areas, such as promoting the development of industry and infrastructure, digitalization, energy efficiency and water conservation. We believe that combining the capabilities and competencies of our organizations in these and other areas allows us to most effectively help EDB member states in solving pressing problems climate and economic development, as well as in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the EDB and UNIDO intend to join efforts to assist the countries of Central Asia in implementing projects in the water-energy sector and in the field of food security. I would like to note that the shortage of water resources "is the main structural limitation to the socio-economic development of the countries of Central Asia. We also offer other interested organizations of the UN system to cooperate with the EDB to solve this vital task for the benefit of the people of the region," he emphasized.
UNIDO and the EDB signed a Relationship Agreement in 2017, which is currently supported by a Joint Declaration. UNIDO and the EDB work closely to promote sustainable industrial development in Central Asia and jointly contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations, mandated to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition. Established in 1966 with the headquarters in Vienna and recognized as a specialized agency in 1985, UNIDO aims to promote industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution promoting integration and development in its member countries. For more than 17 years, the Bank has worked to strengthen and expand economic ties and foster comprehensive development in its member countries. The EDB's charter capital totals US $7 billion. Its portfolio consists principally of projects with an integration effect in transport infrastructure, digital systems, green energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. The Bank's operations are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ESG principles.