Global Supply Chain Forum Tackles Industry Challenges and Opportunities

Director General Müller: “Nothing will change unless we rethink globalization. Global supply chains need global standards – ecological and social standards.

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During the opening panel discussion of the Global Supply Chain Forum, organized by the UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Government of Barbados, UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller emphasized UNIDO's commitment to developing resilient, productive and sustainable supply chains. He stressed the pivotal role of common efforts for innovation and collaboration to transform supply chains to benefit people, the planet, and prosperity, emphasizing that the conference must send a clear signal of international solidarity and support for SIDS, the Caribbean States and the Global South overall.

Director General Müller: “Nothing will change unless we rethink globalization. Global supply chains need global standards – ecological and social standards. We need fair trade and livable minimum wages for workers on the plantations, at the beginning of supply chains. And we need investments in local value addition in small island states, in developing countries. We must stop exploitation, whether it is on the plantations or in the mining sector. Globalization and global supply chains need global standards for global goods.”

The Global Supply Chain Forum brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and experts from around the world to discuss and address the challenges and opportunities facing global supply chain management. In addition to Müller's participation in the opening of the Forum, UNIDO was also present in a session organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) focusing on promoting responsible business conduct for decent work in supply chains, particularly in the transport sector.

During the session, UNIDO launched its latest publication, “Skills Development for Fair Production and Sustainable Supply Chains.” This white paper draws from academic and policy research and incorporates findings from the LKDF Forum 2023, organized by UNIDO. It underlines the importance of developing suppliers' skills for sustainable industrialization and identifies the major challenges facing skill development in upstream suppliers. Moreover, it focuses on the skills needed to mitigate social and environmental issues, and evolving changes in supply chain skill needs.

The UNIDO White Paper outlines a strategic shift for buyer companies, from focusing solely on cost reduction to engaging in collaborative partnerships with suppliers. It advises moving beyond compliance to embracing value co-creation and sustainable innovation, moreover emphasizing the importance of leveling up staff skills to enhance supply chain resilience. This approach aims to build a more robust and strategically sustainable business ecosystem.

UNIDO focuses on improving sustainable practices across supply chains, advocating for clean production techniques, reducing environmental impacts, and ensuring fair practices – social and ecological. These strategies are integral to UNIDO’s mission of advancing sustainable industrial development globally, reducing carbon footprints, and improving conditions for workers in developing countries.

Global Supply Chain Forum