Vienna (dpa) – German Development Minister Gerd Müller has been elected to head the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). This was announced by several diplomats in Vienna, including EU Ambassador Stephan Klement. The CSU politician prevailed against candidates from Ethiopia and Bolivia. Müller has yet to be formally confirmed by the General Assembly of UNIDO member states by the end of the year before he can take up his new post in January.
The UN organization was founded in 1966 and has 170 member states. Based in Vienna, the organization is concerned with the industrial development of the poorest countries, with a focus on poverty reduction and sustainability. It has been led by Chinese Li Yong since 2013. UNIDO has been fighting since the mid-1990s following the withdrawal of several financial members, including the US, Canada, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.
In September, Mueller announced that he would no longer run in the Bundestag elections in 2021. The governing body of the 53-nation organization appointed him 65 on Monday to succeed Li after several rounds of voting. The European Union supported his candidacy for the UN.
“The fight against Covid-19 and climate change requires a greater commitment from developed nations to work with developing countries. We need more innovation and investment, as well as global technology and knowledge transfer,” Mueller said after the elections, according to a statement from the Ministry of Public Works. “Our goal is fair globalization, sustainable industrial development, job creation and future prospects in developing countries “.
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