The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have forged a new strategic alliance to boost investment in developing countries. A memorandum of understanding to ensure cost effectiveness and optimal use of official development assistance was signed in Geneva today by UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero and UNIDO Director-General Carlos Magariños.
The alliance harnesses the two organizations´ comparative advantages to maximize delivery of services and avoid duplication, as part of United Nations´ efforts to pool the resources of its agencies.
While UNIDO will focus on advice and assistance on industrial sector issues and investment and technology promotion support, UNCTAD will concentrate on policy issues affecting investment promotion, including the regulatory and institutional framework for investment. These arrangements will also include the formation of new partnerships between the two organizations and the private sector of industry.
Joint activities will take place at country and global level. Selected from where UNIDO or UNCTAD is currently involved in investment-related activities, the initial target countries/regions are Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Côte d´Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Mali, Madagascar, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Togo, Uganda and Uzbekistan as well as the Palestinian Authority and West African Economic and Monetary Union.
Both agencies will strengthen their support for the activities of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) which was set up at an international meeting under UNCTAD’s auspices in April 1995.
Areas for cooperation include preparation of investment policy reviews and guides; development of regulatory frameworks for investment; organization of investment and technology forums and business gatherings; and promotion of technological innovation.
From an institutional perspective, the new alliance between UNIDO and UNCTAD contributes to reform of the United Nations. The first stage in developing an operative joint plan of action is scheduled for mid-May of this year. Since taking office last December, Mr. Magariños has pledged to work towards eliminating duplication between UNIDO and other multilateral agencies. UNCTAD on its part had pledged at UNCTAD IX to work with all agencies in the area of investment promotion.