The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was founded in 1966. Since 1986 it has been a specialised agency of the United Nations. It has 170 member states. During the first few decades of its existence, its focus was on industrialisation in developing countries to try to bridge the prosperity gap between industrialised and developing countries. Today, UNIDO primarily helps developing countries build up a sustainable and environmentally sound economic infrastructure.
Among other things, UNIDO regularly cooperates with the Kiel Centre for Globalization at the Kiel Institute in the organization of conferences on global value chains.