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ILO/UNIDO Working Arrangement

ILO and UNIDO reinforce their cooperation

An updated Working Arrangement aims to boost economic growth, decent work, resilient infrastructure and sustainable industrialization.

News | 21 November 2023
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GENEVA/VIENNA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have agreed to reinforce their longstanding cooperation to accelerate sustainable and inclusive development.

The enhanced collaboration between the agencies will prioritize five key areas: skills development, sustainable supply chains, support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), agribusiness, rural entrepreneurship for jobs and food security (even during crises), a Just Transition to eco-friendly economies, and joint efforts in statistics and policy advice.

An updated Working Arrangement, designed to strengthen progress on SDG 8 (sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all) and SDG 9 (resilient infrastructure, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation), was signed by ILO Director-General, Gilbert F. Houngbo, and UNIDO Director-General Gerd Müller.

“We look forward to our joint work with UNIDO, including through our work on skills in Africa, with the objective of boosting industrial transformation and a Just Transition through inclusive programmes that are responsive to labour market needs, as well as learners’ aspirations and reflect the need for climate change adaptation and mitigation,” said Houngbo. “We further expect to develop cooperation in the provision of advisory services, joint research, and analytical activities to support the generation of data and knowledge to inform evidence-based policies to drive decent work in supply chains.”

“In many developing countries, the population is growing rapidly. In Africa alone, the population will double by 2050. This is a great opportunity but also a great challenge. ILO and UNIDO share a vision to provide skills and decent jobs for millions of young people and ensure sustainable supply chains worldwide to end exploitation and unsafe working conditions. Industry is a key driver for economic growth and job creation. Teaming up with ILO allows us to bring together the strengths of both organizations for greater impact in developing countries,” said Müller.

The initial step in the renewed cooperation is a joint initiative called Skills for Sustainable Industrial Transformation in Africa (SITA). This program targets enhancing lifelong learning systems in Africa to drive industrial transformation and a Just Transition. Talks with potential partners are scheduled for late 2023 and early 2024, with concrete activities expected to begin in 2024.