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Mr. Colman: The command paper from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that UNIDO should play to its strengths and act in where it has the comparative advantage. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it does have a comparative advantage when it comes to working with the private sector in the areas of energy, the environment and trade facilitation? That advantage should be recognised. Does he agree that the lean and mean machine that is UNIDO at present
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should become rather larger so that it can deliver on the millennium development goals? It is the only arm of the UN that can handle that specialised function.

Hilary Benn: I do agree about that. I learned a great deal from my meeting with Dr. MagarinŻos earlier this year. I was very impressed by UNIDO's work, as I have said. That work is unique in the UN system, and that is why I genuinely welcome the opportunity that this evening's debate gives us to talk more about its contribution. We need to support UNIDO in extending the reach of its work, building on partnerships and finding people with whom it can co-operate. In that way, we will be able to see results on the ground in developing countries.

If I may finish where I began, real progress in reducing poverty around the globe will happen through a process of economic development. We therefore need to work to try to improve the effectiveness of business and to share expertise between north and south—as the Warrington centre does. If the undoubted potential, skill and creativity in the developing world—currently used too much of the time just to keep body and soul together—can be unleashed, I have no doubt that developing countries are just as capable as this country, or any other, of developing and providing a better future for their people. It is results on the ground that we need, and I welcome the opportunity that we have had this evening to pay tribute to the work of UNIDO in contributing to that process. I wish it every success in its work over the months and years ahead.

Question put and agreed to.

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