For information only - not an official document

25 September 2012

Re-issued as received

UN Secretary-General appoints Kandeh Yumkella as Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All initiative

NEW YORK/VIENNA, 24 September (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strengthened his commitment to achieving sustainable energy for all by announcing new leadership arrangements for his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

In an address today to UN Member States and other stakeholders at a high-level event on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the Secretary-General confirmed that he had asked Kandeh K. Yumkella, currently the Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Chair of UN-Energy, to serve as his Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and chief executive of the initiative, responsible for planning and implementation of the initiative.

Yumkella said he was "honored to serve the Secretary-General". "I am ready to take this path-breaking initiative to the next level. We will continue to work with all key stakeholders to achieve sustainable energy for all and drive real action on the ground -- action that transforms lives, communities, economies and the environment," he added.

The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative has three objectives: to provide universal energy access; to double the rate of global energy efficiency improvement; and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

"Providing sustainable energy for all could be the biggest opportunity of the 21st century," said Secretary-General Ban. "Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and a climate and environment that enables the world to thrive. This initiative is bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society in a partnership that's delivering real results."

"I am very pleased that Dr. Yumkella and President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank have agreed to serve in leadership positions for this important initiative. Sustainable development is a top priority for both the United Nations and the World Bank, and I welcome our close collaboration.  Successful multi-stakeholder partnerships like these are the way of the future in meeting our global challenges."

Yumkella thanked a number of partners who have agreed to help him set up a global support team to manage the initiative and its networks, and to catalyze action among many actors. These partners include, among others, the governments of Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Several private sector entities have also agreed to second experts to help take the initiative forward.

The World Bank President and the UN Secretary-General will co-chair the initiative's newly formed Advisory Board.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in September 2011 to mobilize action from all sectors of society to achieve sustainable energy for all. The UN General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

For further information or to request an interview with Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
Email M.Evstafyev[at]

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For more information on Sustainable Energy for All, please visit