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    14 November 2014

    Re-issued as received

    Belgian molecular biologist Marc Van Montagu appointed as UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador for agribusiness

    VIENNA, 14 November (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Marc Van Montagu, an eminent scientist at the Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, a life sciences research institute in Flanders,  Belgium, has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Agribusiness by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

    "We want to recognize a remarkable career that has brought such dramatic improvements to the lives of the rural poor around the world. By bestowing this recognition on Professor Van Montagu, we want to highlight, from the perspective of UNIDO, the impact of biotechnology on the food and agribusiness industries of the 21st century and beyond," said LI Yong, the Director General of UNIDO.

    Van Montagu holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Ghent. He pursued a prestigious career to become internationally recognized as the father of the plant biotechnology discipline. Van Montagu is credited with numerous seminal discoveries in plant genetics, as well as successful applications with far-reaching impact on global food systems, forestry, the environment and climate change adaptation.

    Van Montagu is the author of over a thousand scientific publications and remains one of the most widely quoted scientists in his discipline. He has been scientific adviser to several governments and institutions, including the European Union. Van Montagu is the recipient of several prestigious awards in his native Belgium, as well as in France, Japan and the United Kingdom. In June 2013 he was awarded the World Food Prize, known as the 'Nobel Prize for food and agriculture'.

    UNIDO's first Goodwill Ambassador Programme was inaugurated in October 2004. Outstanding public figures, eminent businessmen and industrialists from various regions of the world have been selected for this function to collaborate in the implementation of UNIDO's activities, including its mandate that focuses on inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

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    For further information please contact:

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