For information only - not an official document

1 November 2012

Re-issued as received

ECOWAS energy ministers urge UN to declare Sustainable Energy for All decade

ACCRA/VIENNA, 1 November (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Energy ministers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have called on the United Nations General Assembly to declare a decade of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL).

"The Energy Ministers expressed optimism regarding future collaboration between ECOWAS and the Initiative. The Ministers of Energy called on the UN General Assembly to declare a Decade for SE4ALL," said a Communiqué issued on Wednesday at the eleventh meeting of ECOWAS energy ministers in Accra.

The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative has three objectives to be reached by 2030: 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.

The ministers also congratulated Kandeh. K. Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Chairman of UN Energy, on his recent appointment by the UN Secretary-General as Special Representative for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and CEO of the Initiative.

The ministers noted the persistent energy crisis in the region and its effects on economic development, and expressed their commitment to the improvement of energy security, and increasing access to modern energy services through the promotion and use of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies in ECOWAS Member States.

The energy ministers also "expressed satisfaction" with the Governments of Austria and Spain, as well as UNIDO, for supporting the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) and helping it become a "unique agency for the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Sub Saharan Africa".

The World Bank President and the UN Secretary-General will co-chair the SE4ALL Initiative's newly formed Advisory Board.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the 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.

Director-General Yumkella was in Ghana for a conference on Sustainable Energy For All in West Africa, "Paving the way through renewable energy and energy efficiency", that took place from 29 to 31 October.

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For more information please contact:

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