A 50-year partnership
The partnership between the Philippines and the United Nations has progressed since its start in 1945 when the Philippines joined other nations in signing the UN charter. Since the establishment of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) in 1966, more than 120 projects have been implemented. The first Unido country office was opened in Manila in 1972.
The Philippines being one of the emerging economies in the region, with 6.9-percent growth in the first quarter of 2016, Unido’s work here focuses on providing technical assistance to government partners, industries, and local communities in support of the country’s development goals. It strongly encourages the empowerment of women, youth, and indigenous peoples, and the protection of human rights.
Unido’s notable interventions include helping the country in reducing mercury emissions and its compounds by implementing projects aimed at improving health and the environment in artisanal gold mining communities. Another example addresses the threats posed by climate change. In this context, Unido supports a low-carbon future for the Philippines by introducing energy efficiency in industry. This intervention not only provides an opportunity for industries to reduce their carbon footprint, but also enables them to achieve energy savings and promote economic growth.
Other interventions are the chemical management projects designed to support the government in its obligations under different multilateral environment agreements, such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the Manila Declaration on Green Industry.
Progress in the past years has been considerable: National experts trained in energy efficiency have been accredited by the Philippine government, and a number of industries have been encouraged to voluntarily implement an energy management system. There has also been a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions.
Unido aligns its programs with the Philippines’ development plans and supports the government in its efforts to promote economic growth and social progress, and protect the environment. It will ensure and make use of its extensive experience in South-South and triangular cooperation to assist the government in all stages with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. With current interventions and the planned establishment of the International Center for the Advancement of Manufacturing Technology, as well as the other future projects of Unido, there is a strong potential for the Philippines to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
LI Yong is director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
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