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UNIDO was set up in 1966 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) helps developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their fight against marginalization in today's globalized world. It mobilizes knowledge, skills, information and technology to promote productive employment, a competitive economy and a sound environment.
UNIDO has offices in Brussels, Geneva and New York that maintain on-the-spot contacts with Member States and the other United Nations organizations based there.
UNIDO is also represented in 35 developing countries. This representation and a number of specialised field offices, for investment and technology promotion and other specific aspects of its work, give UNIDO an active presence in the field.
UNIDO's assistance is delivered through two core functions: a normative function as a Global Forum, and an operational function, providing Technical Cooperation.
As a global forum, UNIDO generates and disseminates knowledge relating to industrial matters and provides a platform for the various actors in the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and the policy- making community in general to enhance cooperation, establish dialogue and develop partnerships.
As a technical cooperation agency, UNIDO designs and implements programmes to support the industrial development efforts of its clients. It also offers tailor-made specialized support for programme development. The two core functions are both complementary and mutually supportive. On the one hand, experience gained in the technical cooperation work of UNIDO can be shared with policy makers; on the other, the Organization's analytical work shows where technical cooperation will have the greatest impact by helping to define priorities.