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UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

As of 1 April 2019, 170 States are Members of UNIDO. They regularly discuss and decide UNIDO’s guiding principles and policies in the sessions of the Policymaking Organs.

The mission of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States.

The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development in the next fifteen years. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs.

Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured, as detailed in the Organization's Medium-Term Programme Framework 2018-2021, in four strategic priorities:

  • Creating shared prosperity
  • Advancing economic competitiveness
  • Safeguarding the environment
  • Strengthening knowledge and institutions

Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation.

In carrying out the core requirements of its mission, UNIDO has considerably increased its technical services over the past ten years. At the same time, it has also substantially increased its mobilization of financial resources, testifying to the growing international recognition of the Organization as an effective provider of catalytic industrial development services.


The UNIDO Leather and Leather Products Industry Panel (henceforth referred to in the short form as the Leather Panel) is the UNIDO global forum for technical assistance programmes dealing with the leather-based industry sector. The Leather Panel provides information on good practices in small-scale manufacturing as well as professional training and pollution control procedures in the leather, footwear and leather products industries.

This website – – offers access to information, publications, UNIDO technical assistance programmes and links to leather-related industries.

The leather sector in developing countries has expanded substantially in the recent decades. This was caused in part by a gradual relocation of production facilities, initially shoe-uppers, but followed by leather processing (tanning) and footwear manufacturing, to countries with lower labour costs. While developing countries are witnessing a greater proportion of leather goods manufacturing, the performance of the leather sector in many developing countries is still negatively affected by several factors, most notably shortage of high-quality raw material, inadequate manufacturing skills and technical knowledge base as well as environmental issues and trade barriers.

Technical assistance projects implemented to date by UNIDO in the leather and leather products sector have covered a wide range of activities, such as improved flaying, preservation and collection of raw hides and skins; leather processing (tanning); manufacturing footwear and other leather products such as gloves, leather garment, upholstery, sporting goods and other leather accessories. Interventions have also addressed issues related to environmental aspects, occupational safety and health, and quality control.

This portal is a depository of technical information generated through UNIDO technical assistance and global forum activities that are considered as useful sources for those associated with or interested in the development of leather-related industries and technology.