Inclusive and sustainable industrial development has been incorporated, together with resilient infrastructure and innovation, as Sustainable Development Goal 9 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Both the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda focus on the relevance of inclusive and sustainable industrial development as the basis for sustainable economic growth.
In its Paragraph 11, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda commits to “identify actions and address critical gaps relevant” to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals “with an aim to harness their considerable synergies, so that the implementation of one will contribute to the progress of others”. The Agenda has therefore identified a range of cross –cutting areas that build on these synergies.
Among these cross-cutting areas, paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda respectively focus on “promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization” and on “generating full and productive employment and decent work for all and promoting micro, small and medium-size enterprises.
Prior to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the relevance of inclusive and sustainable industrial development as the basis for sustainable economic growth was also addressed by the Lima Declaration: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, adopted in December 2013.
Paragraph 2 of the Lima Declaration reads: “industrialization is a driver of development. Industry increases productivity, job creation and generates income, thereby contributing to poverty eradication and addressing other development goals, as well as providing opportunities for social inclusion, including gender equality, empowering women and girls and creating decent employment for the youth. As industry develops, it drives an increase of value addition and enhances the application of science, technology and innovation, therefore encouraging greater investment in skills and education, and thus providing the resources to meet broader, inclusive and sustainable development objectives.”
The mutually reinforcing relationship between social and industrial development and the potential of industrialization to promote, directly and indirectly, a variety of social objectives such as employment creation, poverty eradication, gender equality, labour standards, and greater access to education and health care was also identified in Chapter II of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development provide the fundamental framework for policy discussion and action on matters related to industry and sustainable development. Although the role of business and industry, as a major group, is specifically addressed in chapter 30, issues related to industry and economic development, consumption and production patterns, social development and environmental protection cut across the entirety of Agenda 21, including its section 4, Means of implementation.