Statement by H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Representative of Japan, at the 46th Session of the Industrial Development Board of UNIDO

[Agenda Item 3: Annual Report of the Director General for 2017]

Madame President,

I would like to begin by congratulating your Excellency Ambassador Faouzia Mebarki of Algeria, on your election as President of the forty-sixth session of the IDB. I also thank the President of the 45th session, Her Excellency Ambassador Paulina María Franceschi Navarro of Panama, and Mme President, as acting President after Ambassador Franceschi Navarro's departure, together with the Bureau members, for your dedicated work. I am convinced that, under your continuing leadership, this session will be successful.

Madame President,

Japan appreciates UNIDO's Annual Report for 2017. It demonstrates UNIDO’s key role in implementing the SDGs, especially in relation to Goal 9. Growing demand for UNIDO’s work within the international community has been reflected on a record high of 205.5 million USD of its implementation of technical cooperation in 2017.

UNIDO is an important partner for Japan in the SDGs implementation. This year, our partnership was reinforced and diversified. Japan’s commitment in the area of human security and the humanitarian-development nexus has been renewed with funding of 5.2 million USD for 8 new projects in 8 countries. Director General Li Yong's visit to Japan in April opened up channels to new partners, such as universities, and consolidated ties between UNIDO and Japan’s private sector. UNIDO also actively participated in the Ministerial Meeting of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD), and World Circular Economy Forum, both held in Japan last month.

Next year, UNIDO will submit a progress report on Industrial Development of Africa and LDCs to the G20 which Japan chairs. We further hope that UNIDO will play an important role in the 7th summit meeting of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD), to be held next August in Yokohama. In this connection, Japan funded one million EUR to bolster UNIDO's role in the implementation of IDDA3 with increased synergy with the TICAD process. It is our hope that our partnership will result in further promotion of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Africa.

Madame President,

We believe that, given the current limited resources, it is ever more important that UNIDO consolidates its foundation as an organization in order to respond to the growing demand of the international community.

First, a sound financial basis is indispensable. We call for timely payment of assessed contributions by every Member State, and request the Secretariat to take all possible measures to improve the collection rate. Japan commends the efforts and progress made by the Secretariat this year, on such important issues as Unutilized Balances and full cost recovery, through the enhanced dialogue with Member States in the Informal Working Group. Japan remains committed to the discussions within the Working Group in a constructive manner.

Second, the Secretariat needs to strengthen its organizational management. The recommendations on management made by several auditing bodies should be duly implemented in close cooperation with the Independent Audit Advisory Committee. In view of mid- and long-term sustainability of the Organization, a clear and transparent strategy for recruitment and human resource management is also indispensable.

Third, the UN Development System Reform will be a key issue for UNIDO’s activities in coming years. Japan supports the UN Secretary-General’s initiative with regards to this reform. At the same time, Japan is of the view that efficiency gains achieved through the reform should be redeployed to coordination. The impact of the reform on UNIDO’s finances and field activities is a matter of concern for all Member States. We therefore request the Secretariat to actively participate in the discussions in New York, and initiate in depth dialogue with Member States.

Madame President,

In closing, I wish to assure you of our fullest support for the success of this IDB session.