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HomeFeatured“Green Industry is of paramount importance to all of us” – Kandeh Yumkella

“Green Industry is of paramount importance to all of us” – Kandeh Yumkella

“Green Industry is of paramount importance to all of us” – Kandeh Yumkella

Your Excellency Mr. Keiro Kitagami, Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry,
Your Excellency Mr. Toshiyuki Kato, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation,
Prof. Takashi Shiraishi, President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies,
Mr. Takashi Kubota, Chairman of the INCHEM Organizing Committee,
Excellencies, Distinguished speakers and panelists, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my privilege to welcome you to the Tokyo Green Industry Conference, which is being held over the next two and a half days in parallel with the INCHEM Tokyo 2011 environmental technology exhibition.

I would like to thank the Government of Japan for partnering with UNIDO in organizing this important event, and especially H.E. Keiro KITAGAMI, METI Vice Minister, and H.E. Toshiyuki KATO, Parliamentary Vice Minister of MOFA for their leadership and guidance. Without their unfailing support, and the relentless contributions from their staff, this conference would not have been possible.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the numerous participants and panelists from over 60 countries that have registered for the Tokyo Green Industry Conference. This goes to show that Green Industry is of paramount importance for all of us, and that this unity in action will ultimately bring sustainable development for all.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Today highlights the fact that environmental and resource conservation techniques and practices are available, and that they are good for business and the environment. Today will allow for policy and business solutions to be discussed, so that a widespread uptake of these developments and the deployment of environmental technologies can be achieved. Today marks a defining moment when we can make a difference, while fostering international cooperation and partnerships that focus on practical solutions which can be replicated, scaled-up and mainstreamed, in Asia, and throughout the world.

Wherever my duties have taken me, and with all the people that I have interacted with throughout my last six years as Director-General of UNIDO, I have seen a global consensus build around the notion that Green Industry is absolutely necessary, and must be achieved soonest, for our sake and the future of our children. I recall that, just two years ago, 21 Asian countries signed the Manila Declaration, which paved the way for the development of an enabling policy framework, the greening of existing industries and the creation of new green industries. This solemn act was followed by concrete actions, fostered by a coalition of international development partners, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and UNIDO.

Yesterday, at the Senior Officials Meeting, signatory countries reported on numerous new Green Industry initiatives since the Manila Conference. The effective launch and implementation of these activities was found to be critically dependent on government leadership and enhanced business sector ownership; for example, the Malaysian government has embarked on an ambitious green technology programme to drive its future economic development while Thailand has established a system to recognize different levels of Green Industry achievements. Concurrently, Viet Nam reported to be in the process of developing a comprehensive and consistent Green Industry strategy, in cooperation with UNIDO.

And, as the world is gearing up for COP17 in Durban, and for Rio+20 in June 2012, it will be imperative for the voices of Asia to be heard at these international fora, and that their position be adequately reflected in the international agenda. It is my strong hope that the Tokyo Green Industry Conference will give METI, MOFA and UNIDO, as well as all countries present here today, the mandate to ensure that the deliberations and outcomes of the next few days will be adequately considered by the international community.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

More than ever, we have to look at the convergence of different actions to achieve the same unifying goal of poverty reduction; and I would therefore like to say a few words about the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which sets forth that, by 2030, the following three inter-linked objectives are reached, namely universal access to modern energy services, a doubling in the rate of improvement in energy efficiency as well as the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

The Secretary-General has asked me to chair, together with Charles Holliday from the Bank of America Corporation, the high-level group to implement it, and we launched the initiative during the annual Private Sector Forum, which was hosted by the UN Global Compact in collaboration with UNIDO and UN-Energy, during the September session of the General Assembly. This was the perfect opportunity to do as we preach: we brought together the government, the private sector and the civil society to jointly form new public-private partnerships to implement this global energy initiative.

Energy is critical for human progress and, for the developing world, energy poverty is devastating. This is a matter of equity, first and foremost, but it is also an issue of urgent practical importance. Energy is a pre-requisite for industrial development, and a necessary pillar to build upon our Green Industry activities.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

During my last visit to Japan, just a few months ago, I witnessed the resilience and great strength of the Japanese people in the heart-breaking post-3/11 context. Still today, my prayers go to all those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged numerous regions of Japan. At the same time, I saw that there is a growing, greater popular and intellectual call for alternative renewable sources of energy, as well as for technologies that conserve resources and that are energy-efficient.

The timing of the Conference couldn’t therefore be more opportune, and absolutely timely. Furthermore, embedding the conference in accordance with the overall context of the INCHEM exhibition will allow for all the participants from abroad to see Japanese green technologies, and to seek cooperation with Japanese businesses.

In concluding, I would like to thank all involved; starting with METI, MOFA and all our national and international partners as well as UNIDO’s own staff, including my colleagues from ITPO Tokyo for their efforts in bringing about the Tokyo Green Industry Conference.

I know that, within the realm of this audience, I don’t need to remind anyone about the central importance of Green Industry to achieve economic growth and job creation. I trust that we, as active players and stakeholders of the international development agenda, fully understand the paramount importance of an adequate policy framework that will enable the greening of industries and the creation of green industries, while seeking public-private cooperation to share responsibilities and global benefits.

I therefore thank you for your time, and again express my gratitude for your support that has allowed UNIDO to fulfill its role as a global convener, a catalyst of policy decisions and an honest broker of investment and technology opportunities in Green Industry. I wish you good luck and much success in your deliberations!

Thank you.

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