African leaders appeal to the international community to support UNIDO

HARARE, 5 June1997 (G-77)-- The African Heads of State and Government, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 2-4 June 1997, for the 33rd Summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) adopted a Declaration on Africa's Industrialization which stresses the unique role played by UNIDO in the region and calls for continued support for UNIDO as an independent and specialized UN agency.

"We resolve to redoubel our efforts to promote sustainable industrial development to overcome major economic and social constraints and achieve greater stake in the global market place," pledges the declaration and recalls UNIDO's support in launching the Alliance for Africa's Industrialization.

Recognizing UNIDO's role "in harnessing joint forces of government and the private sector to foster competitive industrial production, develop international industrial partnership and promote socially equitable and enviornmentally friendly industrial development," African leaders call on the international community to "strengthen the Organization and maintain it as the UN specialized agency," focusing on promoting industrial development.

Finally, the OAU declaration requests the Director-General of UNIDO, in cooperation with the Eexecutive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and the Secretary General of the OAU, to organize a meeting of donors under the leadership of the African Development Bank, in cooperation with the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme, as well as other donors, in order to decide on the measures to be taken for financing programmes elaborated in the framework of the Plan of Action for the Alliance for Africa's Industrialization. The meeting should be convened in 1998.
Prior to the OAU Summit, the Conference of African Ministers of Industry convened at Accra, Ghana, from 26 to 28 May 1997. The Confrence adopted a resolution on the future of the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) which "calls upon those Member States that have announced their intention to withdraw from UNIDO to reconsider their position and to continue to play their role within the Organization in order to promote multilateral cooperation for industrial development."

Recalling the "essential role" played by UNIDO in promoting industrial development in developing countries, the resolution urges all Member States of UNIDO to ensure that "UNIDO is maintained as a specialized agency of the United Nations system; UNIDO's capacity to provide support to industrial subsectors of African countries is not curtailed and UNIDO is endowed with adequate financial resources to strengthen its ability to provide effective services for the industrial development of developing countries, especially African and least-developed countries."

Conscioues of the positive and durable impact of UNIDO projects in Africa, Ministers appealed "to the leaders of all countries in general, and of developed countries in particular, to support the maintenance and strengthening of UNIDO, the only organization in the United Nations system with responsibility for industrial development, which should continue to play a primary role if the speedy recovery of the African countries is to be ensured."