UNIDO participates in the G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting 2021
August 17, 2021
At the invitation of Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has addressed the G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting. The gathering was the culmination of meetings held throughout the year by the G20 Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) in which UNIDO has participated and supported.
During the meeting, Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director, UNIDO Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business, delivered a statement on behalf of the Director General of UNIDO. He stressed a number of key goals, including bridging the digital divide, boosting digital capacity building, creating robust innovation ecosystems, promoting decarbonization of industry, fostering smart industrial economic policies, and aiding resilience and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The G20 brings together the world’s major economies, accounting for more than 80% global GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the planet’s population. G20 “Working Groups” are part of the decision-making process and lead to in-depth analysis of a range of internationally relevant issues. The members of these groups are experts of the G20 countries and address specific issues linked to the broader G20 agenda, feeding into ministerial segments and the Summit itself. There are currently 13 groups within the “Working Groups” Track, among which is the Digital Economy Task Force (DETF).
UNIDO has participated in selected work streams of the G20 since 2016, under the Chinese presidency. The Organization contributed to one deliverable of the DETF in 2016, and was invited to as a knowledge partner throughout the entire DETF process in the current year, 2021, during the Italian presidency. This year, UNIDO is also participating in the Development Working Group (DWG), the Energy Transition and Climate Sustainability (EC&TS), the Environment Deputies Meeting (EDM) working group, as well as partnering with the Youth 20 and Think 20 engagement groups.
UNIDO’s increased engagement, including with the DETF, has strengthened the Organization’s visibility and positioning as a champion of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in global policy discussion, and has resulted in important lessons learnt. The participation in the G20 Digital Ministers Meeting provided an opportunity for UNIDO to continue strengthening its presence within the G20, its normative role and its mandate within digitalization and 4IR issues globally.
In the statement delivered at the Meeting, Calzadilla-Sarmiento said, “UNIDO congratulates the delegations on the important efforts and agreements reached this year, and commits to continue working to support the Italian and the future G20 Presidencies in this important field. As a trusted knowledge partner, we can support the G20 through various initiatives, including our regional multi-stakeholder forums on key issues such as ecosystem and policy strategy for Industry 4.0, to ensure that the digital transformation leads to a sustainable and prosperous future for all.”
On 22 July, UNIDO also participated in the G20 Environment Minister Ministerial meeting in Naples. In this meeting, Ministers from the G20 countries discussed a number of environmental issues including sustainable water management; ocean and seas; marine plastic litter and sustainable and circular resource use. UNIDO, represented by Stephan Sicars, Managing Director, Environment and Energy, contributed towards the development of the first G20 vision on circular economy with a focus on sustainable textiles and fashion, circular cities, education and training.