1. Thank you for giving me the floor, Mr. Chairman. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
2. The EU notes the report by the Director General on the implementation of the current MTPF. The report provides a helpful account of the activities that UNIDO has been involved in during 2002 and an outline of UNIDO’s main activities for the remainder of the MTPF.
3. The EU also notes the Director General’s outline proposals for the 2004-07 MTPF. The EU agrees that the 2004-07 MTPF should maintain a broad continuity with the current MTPF but that UNIDO should continue to adapt its functions and priorities to the changing global economic environment. Any such change in direction should, however, clearly take into account UNIDO’s comparative advantages, the priorities laid out in UNIDO’s Business Plan and a realistic assessment of the funds likely to be available. The EU would also like to see clear evidence that the new framework will lead to a significant increase in the percentage of TC funding towards LDC’s and a more focussed range of interventions.
4. The EU thanks the Director General for his observations on the Secretary General’s reform initiative relating to the UN development activities especially on the field level and welcomes his very constructive support of the reform including UNIDO’s support for the United Nations Development Group. The EU fully supports the Secretary General’s initiative in this field and urges UNIDO i.e. based on the experiences of the Organisation in restructuring and refocusing its own administration and delivery of services to work with the other development agencies and programmes to greatly improve system wide the UN delivery of development assistance. The EU also welcomes the Organisation’s efforts to keep in close contacts with all other relevant multilateral stakeholders and particularly welcomes the presence of the Deputy Director General of WTO, Mr Rana at this meeting.
5. The process initiated by Japan of elaborating guidelines for the Medium Term Programme Framework (MTPF) is a valuable input into the implementation of the current MTPF and in particular for the development of the MTPF for 2004-07. We appreciate that Japan has taken great care in involving all Member States in this process. We consider it important to better identify those areas where UNIDO has a clear comparative advantage in order to further narrow the focus of UNIDO’s technical assistance activities, in line with the financial resources available.
6. At the PBC the EU called for informal consultations with Member States on new thematic initiatives. In this connection the EU recalls the conclusions 2002/5 (g) of the PBC including the implications for financial and human resources of UNIDO. We appreciate the briefings that the Secretariat has provided over the last few weeks on some of the thematic initiatives that UNIDO. The meetings have given us valuable information on the concept and content of the initiatives. We are pleased to note the assurance that the initiatives presented will take place in the framework of the existing service modules and that this will also be the case for future initiatives. New initiatives should only be embarked upon if funding is secured and when initiatives are within the priorities of the Business Plan. While many answers were given at these meeting and some of the concerns expressed by the EU have been dealt with we expect that the many comments and suggestions put forward by Member States will be taken into consideration in the further elaboration of the initiatives. 7. In the IDB decision 26/8 the Director General stated that: “after due evaluation the most promising of these initiatives are expected to be introduced by the end of 2002”. The EU therefore requests the Director General to prepare an assessment of the proposed initiatives and to inform Member States of those he now regards as the most promising and how and when he proposes to introduce them.
8. The EU notes the increased efforts that UNIDO has made in recent months to inform Member States of developments in the Organisation of the Global Biotechnology Forum in Chile in December 2003.
9. While recent briefings have clarified many of the EU’s doubts about this event, we continue to have specific concerns.
10. If the Forum is to be a useful contribution to the ongoing debate in other international and national fora on the issues of biotechnology, it is, of course, vital that the key stakeholders are closely involved in the planning of the Forum. The composition of the high level Steering Committee for the Forum should therefore reflect this. It would be helpful if the Secretariat could circulate a list of the Steering Committee members as soon as possible.
11. The EU believes that it is crucial that every effort is made to ensure that the Forum remains technical and focussed on realistic objectives. To do this the Forum must take a balanced approach to biotechnology. The language used in documents concerning the Forum should reflect this.
12. The EU welcomes the statement by the Secretariat at the briefing session on 8 November that the Forum is the biotechnology initiative and would like to request that any significant future activities in this field undertaken by UNIDO, will be subject to further discussions by the governing bodies of the Organisation.
13. The EU believes that it is now time for the IDB to clarify UNIDO’s role in the preparation process of the Forum. We suggest that this IDB pass a short resolution welcoming the Forum but stipulating that the Secretariat takes care that the priorities of the Forum are clearly related to UNIDO’s mandate.
14. The resolution should also clearly recall the procedures for reporting on the relevant outcomes of the Forum to the governing bodies of UNIDO who will then decide on any follow-up.
15. UNIDO has been accepted by the Global Environment Facility as an executing agency and the EU encourages the Organisation to implement appropriate projects funded through the GEF particularly where these involve the transfer of technology.
16. The EU notes with satisfaction UNIDO’s assessed performance as outlined in the July 2002 report of the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol on the Evaluation of the Implementation of the 2001 Business Plans. In this report, and its subsequent corrigendum, UNIDO received an overall assessment of 99% for its performance against targets for its investment projects. The EU congratulates the Montreal Protocol Branch of UNIDO for this performance and hopes that it will continue to perform at this high level.
17. At the Financing for Development meeting in Monterey and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, areas with particular relevance for UNIDO’s work, such as trade facilitation, renewable and rural energy, reducing ozone depletion and other environmentally harmful chemicals and the issue of sustainable production and consumption patterns received attention. The EU continues to believe that UNIDO in such areas should focus on its core areas, based on MTPF, where it has comparative advantage, and where it can contribute towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. New initiatives should also be seen in this context.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.