Celebrating Bangor’s contributions to the United Nations
Bangor University has been awarded a prestigious plaque in recognition of its contributions to UNIDO (the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) to commemorate 50 years of UNIDO’s work in sustainable industrial development to improve the living conditions of people and promote global prosperity through offering tailor-made solutions in the poorest regions of the world. Accepting the plaque on behalf of Bangor University, Dr Rob Elias, Director of the University’s Biocomposites Centre said:
We’re delighted to receive this plaque from UNIDO for our contributions to its work over the last 50 years. Like UNIDO, Bangor University recognises that as actions to bring about sustainable change grow, the links between researchers, legislators, businesses and agencies like UNIDO grow ever more important, so we are fully committed to continuing to share our expertise with our international partners and stakeholders to bring companies and novel technologies together.”
Dr Einir Young, Director of Sustainability at Bangor University, said:
Bangor University’s commitment to sustainability and the well-being of current and future generations is well known. We recognise the importance of economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions to sustainability and the importance of promoting integration and collaboration with a wide range of partners to achieve the sustainable development goals. Working in partnership with UNIDO is a great way for us to bring share our expertise and to learn from others as we work towards improving living conditions and livelihoods within the environmental limits of our planet”.
High level commitment to inclusive sustainable development
During the event celebrating the contributions of the global biotechnology and food security community, OFID and UNIDO voiced their commitment to supporting industrial biotechnology applications and products for inclusive and sustainable industrial development and food security. Suleiman Al-herbish, the Director
General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) hosted the ceremony at OFID’s headquarters. In his opening remarks he emphasised that:
Biotechnology and other emerging technologies can play an important role in supporting inclusive and sustainable industrial development. More than ever, we need to ensure food security as a first step towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals”.
This commitment was supported by UNIDO Director General LI Yong who said:
We share many goals and common objectives. By working together OFID and UNIDO will achieve better results to end hunger and alleviate poverty”.
Bangor’s sustainability expertise shared globally
Alongside the ceremony, Dr. Elias brought his expertise in sustainable and closed loop materials, packaging and sustainable business practices to the main discussion panel alongside panellists representing the applications of biotechnology which impact socioeconomic development. Speakers included representatives from OFID, the International Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO) at the University of Gent, International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The panellists lead discussions on and presented examples of research and solutions to biotechnology and food security issues including food security challenges, agriculture biotechnology for increased productivity, efficiency in food processing and reduction of post-harvest losses, promoting startups in developing countries, enabling appropriate regulatory systems and training to support the approval of innovations, bio-based startups utilising renewable resources, and exploring opportunities for implementing industrial biotechnology applications.
Organised jointly by UNIDO and OFID, the panel discussion drew over 160 participants representing different sectors including government agencies responsible for industry, science and technology, Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Vienna, international organisations such as IAEA, WHO, universities, civil society and private sector entities. The key conclusions of the event will contribute to strengthening the role of industrial biotechnology in food security and the UN sustainable development goals (SDG), particularly with respect to SDG2, 3, 9 and 12 [diagram of SDGs].
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