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Li to continue 'dream' job after reappointment to UN role

By Fu Jing in Vienna | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-28 07:50

The "dream" continued for Li Yong on Monday after he was reappointed head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

Having experienced a tough childhood when China still had a planned economy, the director-general, who will serve a four-year term, said his dream was to change the fate of those who share "similar circumstances in my childhood and empower them to join in global poverty-reduction efforts when they grow up", Li said on Monday.

In addition to other leaders, Swiss Federation President Doris Leuthard attended Monday's conference, showcasing her country's support in global poverty reduction and industrial development of the international community.

The rotating President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak was also in presence supporting Li's reappointment.

Together with other initiatives, Li has increased his organization's efforts in coping with poverty in Africa in his previous four years in the role and he has pledged to continue the efforts by boosting industrial development in the continent.

The weeklong conference focused on delivering the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the diplomats and experts will spend this week considering the organization's 2021 targets.

China has backed Li's mandate, while various organizations and governments expressed their support at the conference on Monday.

Li to continue 'dream' job after reappointment to UN role

Wang Shouwen, China's vice-minister of commerce, announced that the Chinese government will donate $24 million in the coming four years to support UNIDO's operations.

After congratulating Li on his achievements during his first mandate, Wang said China will continue to share its experiences of industrial development and economic improvement in the coming years in partnership with UNIDO.

A major donor

China has already become a major donor to UNIDO after the United States scrapped its membership years ago due to arrears.

Under President Donald Trump's administration, it is still unclear whether the US will be returning to the organization, though Li has said the agency is open to the idea.

Li, who was former vice-minister of finance in China before he worked as the head of UNIDO, is among a handful of officials who have sat in high positions in international organizations.

Among them are Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Liu Zhenmin, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Despite China's growing influence and contribution in the international community, the number of staff in international organizations from China is still at a low level and there are also few who work in high positions.


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