Vienna Chapter

G-77 Chapter to help define the new UNIDO operational programme

VIENNA, June (IPS) - The Vienna Chapter of the Group of 77 is engaged in a dialogue to help define the new operational programme of the U.N. Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa, the chairperson of the Vienna Chapter, said the G-77 fully supports UNIDO’s special focus on both Africa and the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs).

“Its new decentralised organisational structure will help UNIDO to develop its programme according to the real needs of each region and country,” she said.

She said it was due to the insistence of the G-77 that UNIDO was kept alive and running, and it was the G-77 candidate, the new UNIDO Director-General Carlos Margarinos of Argentina, who is now in the process of revamping the organisation.

“And nobody thought that we would get within such a short time period (from December 1997 to April 1998) UNIDO back into life. It may also be time for the G-77 to be proud about the outcome,” she added.

When there were moves to shut down UNIDO last year, the G-77 was in the forefront of the fight to prevent the closure of the organisation.

Since then, the ambassador said, a very impressive development has taken place giving new vibrance to UNIDO. Those member states who had given up on UNIDO are now coming back and renewing their engagement, she added.

Very quietly, a new spirit of cooperation has also emerged between the Director-General, the UNIDO Secretariat and member states of the G-77.

While UNIDO just survived the General Conference last December adopting a new business plan and appointing a new leadership, a breath of fresh air is now going through the organisation which is also motivating the staff of the Secretariat.
She said the G-77 accepts the structural reforms of the Secretariat and is actually negotiating a new programme for the organisation.

The G-77 is also impressed by the new Director-General’s abilities to bring the financial situation under control. The cooperation agreement recently signed between the UNIDO and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a promising step towards closer coordination among U.N. bodies, she added.