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THE ROLE OF INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS Proceedings of the Industrial Developemnet Forum and Associated Round Tables Vienna,1-3 December 2003

The Industrial Development Forum was held on 1 December 2003, the first day of the biennial
UNIDO General Conference 2003. Under the topic “The Role of Industrial Development in the
Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” the panellists gave an overview of the
subject matter of the General Conference, whose different issues were treated in the Round Tables
following the Forum. The keynote speakers included Mr. Carlos Magariños, Director-General of
UNIDO; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, and Special
Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General of
UNCTAD; and Mr. Frederick Sumaye, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In his intervention, Mr. Magariños pointed out that the MDGs consist of a number of quantitative
goals agreed by the international community to relieve extreme suffering and deprivation. He argued
that, although the task is huge, the major obstacle for this to happen is not financial or technological
but has largely to do with political will.
As a response to this challenge, he proposed three lines of action for the international community,
including more development funding, UN reform and a renewed development agenda to articulate
better the political dimension with the social and economic policy dimensions. He held that, for this
to happen, policies designed to tackle urgent basic needs have to be integrated with policies aimed at
building up the capacity to prevent recurrent emergencies through sustainable productivity growth.
He regarded the work on both levels – the linking of the political and the economic reform agendas,
and of the economic and social agendas – as fundamental.
Mr. Magariños highlighted the importance of UNIDO’s work on private sector development for
capacity building and productivity growth. He argued that while the MDGs provide an opportunity to
deal with the two-way interaction between breaking poverty traps and getting into a sustainable
development track, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are one of the key national policy
strategies to leverage the necessary resources. In this context, he argued that private sector
participation in the PRSPs needs to be strengthened, stressing that it is essential for the LDCs to
overcome this serious oversight if they are to succeed in stabilizing their economies, create jobs,
develop exports, increase productivity and ensure social progress.


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