From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Former NPRC Military Governmentís Trade Minister Makes Impressive Waves in U.N. System
Jun 25, 2009, 17:24

VIENNA, 23 June 2009 - Kandeh K. Yumkella of Sierra Leone was today recommended for a second term in office as the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella: UNIDO Boss and former Trade Minister in the NPRC Military Junta in Sierra Leone

The recommendation was made during the thirty-sixth session of UNIDOís Industrial Development Board which comprises 53 countries out of the 173 Member States. The Board, one of three policy making organs, reviews the implementation of the Organizationís work programme and the budget and makes recommendations to the General Conference on policy matters, including the appointment of the Director-General.

Yumkella, the first Director-General from Sub-Saharan Africa, will be nominated for confirmation by the Organizationís General Conference at its thirteenth session scheduled to take place in Vienna in December.

Member States thanked Kandeh K. Yumkella for reinvigorating and refocusing the work of the Organization over the last four years adding that he needed a second term in office to fully implement his vision and leadership.  "UNIDO faced severe financial problems in the late 1990s and at a certain point its existence was in question, but now we are back on a fast track, doing what we do best: working  hard across the globe to lift countries out of poverty through industrial development," said Yumkella. 

"The latest financial crisis has shown that we canít just rely on markets alone. Many countries are now revisiting the industrial policy debate, reviewing the role of the State and looking at rebalancing their economies. UNIDO canít afford to be a backbencher. We have very relevant ideas we can provide to Member States. We must be a vital part of the intellectual debate and offer strategic advice on economic development and growth."

"For a UN agency to add value it must move upstream. UNIDO is not just a technical cooperation agency. We must enhance our normative function and the powerful potential of our convening role," said the Director-General.

UNIDO has been supporting UN efforts to "seal the deal" in Copenhagen in December on a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. "UNIDO promotes renewable energy, cleaner technologies and green industry which can generate new jobs. Energy is the other side of the coin of climate change, and central to manufacturing," said Yumkella.  Referring to the words of the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, he said that "energy should become a Millennium Development Goal".

On 17 June, Yumkella was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to lead a new high-level advisory group consisting of business leaders and experts who will advise on energy and climate change challenges. Yumkella also chairs the inter-agency mechanism known as UN-Energy.

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