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Returning industry, manufacturing to sustainable growth

The Lima Declaration of 2013 set the stage for sustained industrial growth ahead of the United Nations framework on sustainable development goals (SDGs), established in 2016. The SDGs focused on three aspects on economic, social and environmental dimensions around 17 broad goals.

The Lima Declaration focused mainly on how to develop more resource efficient machinery that generates less effluent, waste and pollutants, as well as develop and implement improved processes to reduce, reuse and recycle water, raw materials, non-renewable minerals, other inputs, by-products and waste.

A study in 2018 used Guangzhou, China, as a case study among some world cities on, the role of manufacturing in sustainable economic development found that industrial interactions between manufacturing and a variety of relevant advanced producer services facilitate industrial upgrading and diversity, which exert positive effects on the city’s economic dimension of sustainable development.   

Industries are therefore encouraged to work together to develop sustainability standards by increasing resource-use efficiency and enhancing technological innovation offered opportunities to reduce costs and increase competitiveness and employment, as well as to delink economic growth and environmental degradation.

Accordingly, they increase productivity, job creation and generate income, and ultimately contribute to poverty eradication and addressing other development goals, as well as providing opportunities for social inclusion, including gender equality, empowering women and girls and creating decent employment for the youth.

Therefore, Inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) is the primary source of income generation, allows for rapid and sustained increases in living standards for all people, and provides the technological solutions to environmentally sound industrialization.

“Inclusive” in this context means that industrial development must include all countries and all peoples, as well as the private sector, civil society organizations, multinational development institutions, and all parts of the UN system. It must also offer equal opportunities and an equitable distribution of the benefits of industrialization to all stakeholders. 

Under the Lima Declaration adopted by UNIDO member states, technological progress was identified as the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. “Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen.”

ISID therefore implies that no one is left behind and all parts of society benefit from industrial progress, which also provides the means for tackling critical social and humanitarian needs.

Over the past few years, the international community has made a quantum leap in advancing new approaches to accelerate progress and pave the way for a more ambitious, inclusive and universal development framework beyond 2015. 

While industrialization was not factored into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework, inclusive and sustainable industrialization now features strongly in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

ISID enhances and reinforces economic growth and diversification in a socially inclusive and environmentally sound manner, guided by four overarching principles:

No one is left behind in benefiting from industrial growth, and prosperity is shared among all parts of society in all countries as industry creates the wealth needed to address critical social and humanitarian needs.

Every country is able to achieve a higher level of industrialization in their economies, and benefits from the globalization of markets for industrial goods and services.

Broader economic and social progress is supported within an environmentally sustainable framework.

The unique knowledge and resources of all relevant development actors are combined to maximize the development impact of ISID.

In light of the renewed mandates given to both UNIDO and the United Nations as a whole, the Organization’s programmatic focus is accordingly structured in three main fields of activity, each of which represents different aspects of ISID. They include creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness, safeguarding the environment, and strengthening knowledge and institutions.

Besides, SDG 9  confirms the provisions of the Lima Declaration and the relevance of ISID for the new global development architecture. Successfully implementing ISID in our current era of globalization requires approaches that harness globally available knowledge, technology and innovation, and capital. 

Also, investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure.

ISID is a primary source of income generation, allows for rapid and sustained increases in living standards for all people, and provides the technological solutions to environmentally sound industrialization.

Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen.

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