A high level delegation from United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) visited the ECO Secretariat on 27 February 2017 and held consultations with the relevant ECO officials. The delegation was comprised of Mr. Zhen Wang, Chief of Asia and Pacific Division, Mr. Steffen Kaeser, Chief of Standards and Trade Facilitation Division, as well as officers and advisors from the UNIDO departments and divisions of Energy; Regional Programmes and Field Representation; Trade, Investment and Innovation; and Agri-Business Development.
During the consultations, the two sides reviewed the current state of affairs and prospects for strengthening institutional linkages between two organizations. Having welcomed the UNIDO delegation, Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov, ECO Director of Energy, Minerals and Environment thanked UNIDO for its interest and continuous support to ECO activities in different fields and emphasized on the need for streamlining initiatives and setting priorities for future cooperation.
Characterizing ECO as UNIDO’s partner in serving the interests of the Member States of both organizations, UNIDO delegation recalled high-level meetings between ECO Secretaries General with UNIDO Directors General over the past few years and expressed its readiness to continue supporting ECO activities in different areas.
Both sides further presented updates on their respective agendas and acknowledged the extensive opportunities for enhanced cooperation. Mr. Farzalibeyov and other colleagues from the ECO Secretariat also briefed UNIDO delegation on ECO profile and ongoing activities/projects, notably on energy, renewables and energy efficiency, trade and investment, agro-industries, tourism and environment. ECO delegation also highlighted its interest in the initiative on launching the joint ECO-UNIDO programme for Sustainable Energy with its possible core component of setting up a regional Clean Energy Center in charge of renewables, energy efficiency/conservation and environmental aspects. ECO Secretariat also briefed UNIDO delegation on implementation process of the ECO/FAO Regional Programme for Food Security. Both sides agreed to formulate small/medium scale concept project proposal according to the needs of the ECO Member States with regard to the Capacity Building of Fruit/Vegetables’ Seed Breeders aimed at increasing quality and production, as well as addressing the food loss and waste in the ECO Member States.
The need for revision and updating the ECO-UNIDO Relationship Agreement signed in 1994 and enhancing its scope with new elements, including energy, was further raised while two sides also discussed possible organization of training courses, workshops and visits with a view to developing cooperation between two organizations.