8:52 AM Dec 11, 1995


New York 9 Dec (TWN) -- The Group of 77 and China have expressed their disappointment over the announcement of the United States to withdraw from the Vienna-based UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and have expressed the hope the US would reconsider its decision.

The withdrawal announced at the 6th session of UNIDO General Conference, the G77 and China said in a statement, comes at a time when UNIDO is undertaking a bold programme of reform and renewal to redefine its purpose and priorities, reshape its organizational structure, reduce its administrative costs and rationalize its management systems and working methods -- reflecting the consensus reached at Yaounde in 1993 by UNIDO membership, including the US.

The G77 and China reaffirmed the importance of industrialization to the economic and social development of developing countries and welcomed the reform and restructuring of UNIDO.

Noting the several high-level international meetings held this year had underscored the renewed urgency of industrialization and reaffirmed the vital role of UNIDO in this regard, the statement said "the Group of 77 and China stand firmly behind the strong statements of support for UNIDO at these meetings."

The G77 and China, the statement said, also shared the deep concern of the Vienna chapter of the G77 over the financial impact of US withdrawal and the substantial arrears of major contributors to the UNIDO programmes and activities and would support the "strong resolve" of the G77 Vienna chapter to make every effort to ensure that UNIDO is able to proceed with its programmes and activities in the next biennium.

The statement appealed to all UNIDO members, particularly its largest contributors, to pay their assessed contributions in full and settle their arrears at the earliest possible time.

The Group of 77 and China also reaffirmed their strong belief in the importance and necessity of multilateral cooperation for development in a rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent world, and the vital importance of the UN system in general and UNIDO in particular in fostering such cooperation in order to promote sustained economic growth and development.