Statement by Mr. YANAGI Jun, Minister, Deputy Chief of the Mission, at the 18th Session of the General Conference of UNIDO

Mr. President,

I wish to begin by congratulating you upon your election as President of this session of the General Conference of UNIDO. I am confident that, under your able leadership, this session will turn out to be another great success.

I would also like to express Japan’s appreciation to the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting this important event, for their diligent preparatory work in cooperation with the Secretariat, and for the warm hospitality extended to all of us.

Our appreciation also goes to the outgoing President, Her Excellency Ambassador Kupucyna of Belarus, together with the Bureau members, for their dedicated work.

Mr. President,

Japan values the important roles UNIDO has been playing in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals under the excellent leadership of Director General LI Yong.

This year, UNIDO-Japan cooperation has made big strides, by taking momentum from the G20 and the seventh International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), both of which Japan hosted.

We highly appreciate UNIDO’s contributions to the G20 process under Japan’s presidency with two reports: one on Circular Economy and another on Industrial Development of Africa and LDCs. At the G20 Summit last June, leaders adopted the "Osaka Blue Ocean Vision" to tackle the global issue of marine plastic litter. In response, Japan has decided to implement new projects in African countries, amounting to 2.2 million USD, in collaboration with UNIDO.

The TICAD, held last August, acted as another springboard for collaboration between UNIDO and Japan. While upholding its principle of “Africa’s ownership and international partnership”, TICAD has shifted its focus to business, innovation and investment. UNIDO has made valuable contributions to the process, by co-hosting a Pre-TICAD event in July in Vienna and five side-events at the TICAD in August. The Yokohama Declaration adopted at TICAD acknowledges, for the first time, a linkage to the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). We are positive that synergies forged between the TICAD process and IDDA III will further accelerate Africa’s development.

UNIDO has been a key partner of Japan in its development cooperation. This year, Japan’s voluntary contributions to UNIDO have reached over 15 million USD, including two new projects: one for vocational training in Uganda worth 2.6 million USD, and another in Pakistan for fostering the agro value chain worth 5.0 million USD.

Mr. President,

In order to meet with the growing expectations of the international community, UNIDO requires a solid financial and organizational basis combined with well thought-out strategies comprising clear prioritization of actions.

In this context, allow me to share three of our observations.

First, Japan appreciates the decision of the Industrial Development Board to utilize the Working Capital Fund as a concrete solution to mitigate the impact of late payment on the regular budget implementation. We hope that this solution will be adopted at this session. At the same time, Japan reiterates the obligations of Member States to pay the assessed contributions in a timely manner, so as not to impair the core function of UNIDO.

Second, it is our common understanding that the ongoing UN Development System reform is of particular importance for UNIDO’s activities. The Secretariat should explore ways to optimize the Organization’s performance, and generate efficiency gains, by adapting itself to this new environment.

Third, regarding UNIDO’s contribution to the SDGs, Japan maintains its focus on renewable and sustainable energy, as well as on the human security and humanitarian-development nexus.  

Mr. President,

Inclusive and sustainable industrial development is at the core of our collective endeavors.

Through industrial development, Japan established its modern society after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and realized economic prosperity and political and social stability following the Second World War. This was achieved not only through our own efforts, but also thanks to the generosity and assistance from the international community. Over the years, Japan has learned lessons from serious challenges such as pollution and environmental disruption.

Based on our own experience, we are committed to continuing both our contribution to the inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the international community, as well as our constructive partnership with UNIDO.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.