Following is the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, in New York on 4 September:
It is a pleasure to address the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit. You gather as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present colossal challenges. The world’s reliance on manufactured products can be seen clearly through the shortage of critical supplies and disruptions in global value chains.
Yet, we have also witnessed a leap in digitalization in learning, working and connecting with
others. Indeed, technology has the potential to restore business, improve industrial
efficiency and safety, and fortify critical infrastructure. It can also help safeguard the
environment and move towards a cleaner and more resilient world.
Efficient, green technologies can help to mitigate more than 70 per cent of today’s
emissions. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. We need industries to take
rapid and ambitious steps that will get the world to carbon neutrality by 2050. Some sectors
have already started this transition, such as steel and auto manufacturing. Others should
accelerate, especially when they have the know-how and the financial means.
The information technology industry has a special responsibility. We must also address
vulnerabilities, such as cybersecurity and the automation of labourintensive jobs. Digital
technologies must not increase the risk of unemployment for women or worsen economic
and other inequalities.
The joint effort of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the
United Arab Emirates in convening this platform is an opportunity to address these
challenges as we pursue recovery from COVID-19. I wish you every success as we strive
together towards an inclusive and sustainable fourth industrial revolution. Thank you.