VIENNA, September 21, 2020 – The Principality of Monaco has recently signed its first funding agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the two parties have agreed a tripartite declaration together with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) on empowering women in Tunisia through inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
At a meeting today LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO, and Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Director General of the Department of External Relations and Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco, confirmed the strong willingness of the partners to collaborate further in this field.
Li recalled that “the empowerment of women is a subject of major importance”, and said “UNIDO is making great efforts to strengthen gender mainstreaming, women’s entrepreneurship and women’s economic empowerment in the manufacturing sector. We are very pleased to have the Principality of Monaco as a new partner in this area. Together we can do a lot in the future.”
Isabelle Rosabrunetto recalled that the Principality of Monaco has been a member of the UfM since 2008 and a member of UNIDO since 2003. At the instigation of the Prince’s family, Monaco has long implemented a policy in favour of women’s rights. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), actions are carried out in various fields including socio-economic integration. “I am sure that our teams will follow this great initiative in the service of women’s entrepreneurship with great interest,” she said.
The UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel recalled that “the objective of enhancing women’s economic inclusion and harnessing the great potential of women entrepreneurs in the Euro-Mediterranean region is fully in line with the UfM‘s strategy and action. The tripartite joint cooperation with UNIDO, the Principality of Monaco and the UfM, is a testimony to our commitment to women economic empowerment towards creating the conditions for a sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.”
The objective of the agreement, foreseen to last four years, is to promote the development of women-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to create more business opportunities and jobs for women of working age in Tunisia.
The specific aim is to increase access of women-led companies creating cosmetic and para-pharmaceutical products based on natural products to national and international markets. In Tunisia this production covers essential oils, floral waters, and aromatic and medicinal plants, as well as perfumes, creams, masks and soaps. The sector has a large female workforce.
The global market for these products has been growing over the last decade (by an average of 4% per year) and Tunisia has certain comparative advantages such as an organic certification system approved by the European Union and the Swiss Federation, as well as a wide availability of raw materials, particularly organic produce. However, the sector is poorly organized and the many, very small enterprises that make up the sector, encounter difficulties in accessing national and international markets.
This pilot intervention is part of a broader initiative aiming to empower urban and rural women in seven countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia) in the Middle East and North Africa region. “Promoting Women’s Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA Region (PWE)”, funded by the Italian Government, was awarded the UfM label in 2015.The UfM label provides support for the implementation of the project through the provision of technical expertise, networking opportunities and enhanced visibility in order to promote innovative practices at the regional level.