Vienna, 7 December 2009 Press release

Spindelegger: "Vienna as junction of an international energy network "

Foreign Minister on UNIDO General Conference

Vienna, 7 December 2009 - "Over the years, UNIDO has acquired a particular position in the structure of the United Nations: It is the only organization that combines the target of poverty reduction with energy and development aspects. By concentrating on energy-friendly production and the use of renewable energy sources, UNIDO is making an important contribution to the main challenge of our time: environmental and climate protection. At the same time, it gives tangible perspectives for the future to people in poorer countries of the world", said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger on the occasion of today’s opening of the 13th General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Vienna. Austria will be represented at the conference by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Reinhold Lopatka.

UNIDO provides developing countries with technical assistance for the development of small and medium enterprises, and supports them in the development of trade capacities and in gaining access to world trade. The General Conference is the highest decision-making body of the organisation, and meets every two years.

"UNIDO is a treasured partner both for recipient and donor countries. With its expertise and active role in the promotion of renewable energies, UNIDO acts as a switch point in the international energy network based in Vienna“, said Spindelegger, pointing out to the numerous international organisations with energy expertise which have their headquarters in Vienna, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the Energy Community of South East Europe. "As a host country, Austria does not only have traditionally close links to UNIDO, but also makes concrete contributions to the work of this organisation. Therefore, we contribute our experience in the area of environmental management and renewable energy and support Director General Yumkella in his work as chairman of the 'UN Energy' initiative, which aims at optimizing UN activities in the area of energy", said the Foreign Minister.

Finally, Spindelegger congratulated UNIDO Director General Kandeh Yumkella on his re-election to a second term in office: "Under his guidance, UNIDO has improved substantially. Today, its development policy expertise in the area of trade is acknowledged worldwide. I am convinced that Kandeh Yumkella will continue his successful course in the coming four years ".


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