United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)


UNIDO was established in 1966 and became a specialised agency of the United Nations in 1985. The organization’s mandate is to promote sustainable industrial development and international cooperation in the industrial field.

The General Conference, composed of all the organization’s Member States, is UNIDO’s highest decision-making body, which sets out the organization’s guiding policies and elects the members of UNIDO’s two other governing bodies, the Industrial Development Board (IDB) and the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC).

The organization’s focus lies on three interlinked thematic priorities:

  • Poverty Reduction through Productive Activities: UNIDO fosters the development of industrial activities by providing services such as industrial policy advice, technology diffusion and entrepreneurship development.
  • Trade Capacity-Building: UNIDO promotes economic growth of developing countries by supporting their participation in global trade through trade capacity building services.
  • Energy and Environment: UNIDO seeks to improve access to sustainable sources of energy and to foster environmental sustainability in industry through the promotion of sustainable and energy-efficient patterns of industrial production. 

UNIDO supports developing countries and economies in transition in their efforts to achieve sustainable industrial development and provides specialized and targeted assistance to Member States in meeting particularly pressing development needs in line with the international development agenda and in particular the Millennium Development Goals.

UNIDO’s services are based on two complementary core functions: global forum activities and technical cooperation. As a global forum, UNIDO generates and disseminates industry-related knowledge and provides a platform for international cooperation, dialogue and partnership. As a technical cooperation agency, UNIDO provides technical assistance and implements programmes to support the industrial development efforts of its Member States.

Together with the Government of Austria and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), UNIDO has organised the Vienna Energy Forum in 2009 and 2011, where high-level experts, policymakers, private sector and civil society representatives from developing and industrialized countries discussed alternative energy concepts based on an efficient and reasonable use of energy.