Fair globalisation and sustainable industrial development Minister Müller proposed as new Director General of UNIDO

Press release 12. July 2021 | Today the Industrial Development Board of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) selected the candidate for the post of Director General. The Board has chosen the candidate nominated by the German government and supported by the EU and its 27 member states, Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller. This is the first time that a candidate from Germany and from an industrialized country has been proposed for this post.

Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Development from 2013 to 2021

Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Development from 2013 to 2021

Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Development from 2013 to 2021

The new Director General will be officially approved at the General Conference of all the member states at the end of November. Speaking after the decision had been announced, Minister Müller said:

“I am thankful for the great confidence that was placed in me to lead the United Nations Industrial Development Organization after the General Conference at the end of November. A strong multilateral answer is required to overcome the global crises. I am absolutely convinced that the poly pandemic that we are witnessing is a wakeup call for us all. The battle against COVID-19 and climate change demands a greater commitment of industrialized countries towards developing countries. We need more innovations and investments as well as global technologies and knowledge transfer. Our goal is a fair globalization, a sustainable industrial development as well as job creation and perspectives for a prosperous future for developing countries.

UNIDO can and should become the leading agency to implement the 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The SDGs show us which path to take.

We are faced with enormous challenges – especially developing countries. But we have the opportunity to become stronger together. And to act now, united for a better future!”

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Before becoming a Federal Government Minister, Gerd Müller served in the European Parliament, where he was a Member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. From 2005 to 2013, he held the post of State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, focusing on global food issues and on international agricultural development projects.

He has been Germany’s Development Minister since 2013, a position in which he has put a special emphasis on cooperation with Africa, committed work towards a world without hunger, international climate action, working with the private sector, and vocational education and training. During the coronavirus crisis, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) launched an Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme that, in addition to measures aimed at directly fighting the pandemic, puts a focus on protecting jobs in developing countries.

UNIDO has 170 member states. The organisation, which is headquartered in Vienna, concerns itself with industrial development in developing countries, with a focus on poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It has been headed since 2013 by Li Yong from China.