23 January 2009

Re-issued as received

UNIDO Signs Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC)

VIENNA, 23 January (UN Information Service) - The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, and Tair Mansurov, Secretary-General of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two organizations, at the UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna.

The agreement opens new prospects for cooperation between UNIDO and the EurAsEC countries in areas such as energy and climate change; environment, including water management; agro-industries; trade capacity-building and private sector development.

Secretary-General Mansurov said that EurAsEC is interested in developing technical cooperation programmes in collaboration with UNIDO, focusing on innovative technologies, such as biotechnologies and nanotechnologies; energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy, especially hydropower; as well as water management, including the cleaning of rivers.

As a next step, the two partners will develop a portfolio of technical cooperation projects for EurAsEC countries. The financial support for these projects will be ensured from the voluntary contributions of different UNIDO member states as well as other donors.

EurAsEC is an international economic organization established in 2000 by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan. Its purpose is to establish common customs policies and elaborate unified foreign economic policies, including tariffs and prices, as prerequisites for creating a common market. At present, the EurAsEC Secretariat is actively working on establishing a customs union, a common energy market, and ensuring more efficient use of water and energy resources in Central Asia.

The signature ceremony took place in presence of the Ambassadors of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Tajikistan.

UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 172 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. See also www.unido.org

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For further information, please contact:

Solomiya Omelyan
Field Operations Officer
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-3818
Email: S.Omelyan@unido.org