Statement by H.E. Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi, Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the 49th Session of the Industrial Development Board of UNIDO
[Agenda Item 3: UNIDO Annual Report 2020]
Let me begin by congratulating your Excellency Ambassador Dominika KROIS of Poland on your election as President of the forty-ninth session of the IDB. I assure you of our Delegation’s unwavering support. I thank the outgoing President, H.E. Ambassador DJUMALA of Indonesia and his Bureau members, for their dedicated work until now. My appreciation also goes to Director-General LI Yong and the Secretariat for preparing this meeting.
Japan takes note with appreciation of the UNIDO Annual Report 2020. Japan especially commends UNIDO’s prompt response to the human security crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining a high level of technical cooperation activities.
Promoting ISID during and after COVID-19 is the biggest challenge for UNIDO and its Member States. For this objective, Japan has intensified its development cooperation through UNIDO, in areas such as transfer of technologies for the fight against the pandemic, developing value-chains, fostering industrial skills development, and tackling marine plastic issues. Japan’s contribution to UNIDO technical cooperation will exceed 25 million USD this year.
With the same aim, we co-organized with UNIDO a Webinar Series on UNIDO-Japan cooperation two weeks ago. We focused on the areas of our intensified cooperation, namely (1) circular economy and carbon neutrality, (2) industrial skills development, and (3) investment and technology transfer under COVID-19. A variety of stakeholders including those on the ground in different countries shared their valuable expertise and experience. This Web event turned out a considerable success with over 600 participants in three days.
We hope that UNIDO continues helping Member States in need to overcome the crisis and build back better on the path towards the SDGs. We also hope that UNIDO makes best use of its partnering and convening power in order to increase our collective wisdom to this end, and make our joint endeavor more effective.
UNIDO needs a sound financial basis to deal with the crisis, while Member States, without exception, face financial constraints due to the very same crisis. Japan believes that upholding the principle of a Zero Nominal Growth budget is important in the current situation. However, for the sake of consensus in support of UNIDO, Japan has accepted the Zero Real Growth budget proposal for the next biennium at the last PBC. We expect that the budget proposal will be submitted to the General Conference, as recommended by the PBC.
At the same time, Japan requests the Secretariat to engage in further efforts to increase efficiency and effectiveness, by optimizing the use of its resources, including staff costs, through scrap-and-build. Japan also encourages the Secretariat to continue all reform efforts, such as the effective adaptation to the UN Development System Reform and the operationalization of Result-Based Management.
We also reiterate the importance of timely payment of Member States’ assessed contributions to the regular budget.
As we have elected the sole candidate for the next Director-General. We are now entering a period of transition of leadership. Let me stress, once again, our deep appreciation for DG LI Yong for his leadership for the fulfilment of the essential missions of UNIDO. Without his dedication the achievement that I just mentioned would have not be possible. I am sure that he will do the same until the last day of his tenure. But, beyond that day, UNIDO’s mission is non-stop, especially in this time of crisis. Japan is determined to continue and strengthen its cooperation with UNIDO for the fulfilment of its critical mandate.
Thank you, Mme President.