Mr. Gerd Müller, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), has announced a renewed commitment to collaborate to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Joint Declaration signed by both parties during the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai underscores the vital role that UNIDO and ITFC play in promoting industrial development and trade development, respectively. Recognizing the interconnection between trade and industry, they express their shared commitment to mobilizing expertise, technologies, and financial resources essential for achieving the SDGs.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, commented on the collaboration, stating, “This partnership signifies our efforts to improve economic conditions and livelihoods within the Member Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). By combining our strengths with UNIDO, we aim to make substantial progress towards the SDGs, particularly in areas such as agro-industries, energy access, and the empowerment of women and youth, specifically in regions of common interest, including Africa and the Arab regions.”

Mr. Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, highlighted the importance of making investments which focus on new and green technologies, and partnerships that aim to provide access to energy and food security for the growing population. He said, “Working under this renewed cooperation between UNIDO and ITFC, we will be able to achieve more and have a greater impact, supporting the ending of hunger and creating jobs in developing countries.”

The joint declaration emphasizes cooperation in areas of mutual interest, with a focus on agro-industries, energy services, private sector investments, and innovative financing mechanisms. Both signatories express their desire to explore cooperation opportunities in countries of common interest, promoting knowledge sharing, joint activities, and the exchange of expertise.

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving the socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided over US$70 billion of financing to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for these member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity-building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

About UNIDO:
UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with a unique mandate to promote, dynamize and accelerate industrial development. UNIDO’s vision is a world without poverty and hunger, where industry drives low-emission economies, improves living standards, and preserves the livable environment for present and future generations, leaving no one behind. UNIDO provides support to its 172 Member States through four mandated functions: technical cooperation; action-oriented research and policy-advisory services; normative standards-related activities; and fostering partnerships for knowledge and technology transfer. UNIDO work is concentrated on three focus areas: ending hunger by helping businesses from farm to fork; stopping climate breakdown by using renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions; and supporting sustainable supply chains so that developing country producers get a fair deal and scarce resources are preserved. For more information about UNIDO, visit www.UNIDO.org.

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