[Agenda Item 3: Annual Report of the Director General for 2021]

Let me first congratulate you, your Excellency Ambassador Alessandro CORTESE of Italy, on your election.  I am convinced of the success of this PBC session under your able leadership and please be assured of our fullest support. I thank the outgoing Chair, Her Excellency Ambassador Faouzia MEBARKI of Algeria, and her Bureau members, for their dedicated work. 


Russia's aggression against Ukraine is a clear violation of international law, and inter alia the United Nations Charter. We have all witnessed unacceptable war crimes against innocent civilians.  Japan condemns Russia in the strongest terms and stands with Ukraine and the people of Ukraine. Russia’s aggression disrupts industrial and agricultural activities in Ukraine. Interruption of grain exports from Ukraine, one of the world’s largest wheat producers bolsters concerns over food security worldwide. Japan expects that UNIDO will play a meaningful role in mitigating these concerns and helping Ukraine to overcome the devastation.


We welcome the revival of UNIDO’s technical cooperation delivery in 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic.  Voluntary contributions have quickly recovered to their pre-pandemic level, demonstrating the international society's expectations towards UNIDO in containing the pandemic and building back better.

Japan appreciates UNIDO’s response to COVID-19, its continued promotion of the SDGs, and steady implementation of IDDA III.  We trust that UNIDO will continue effectively advancing industrial development in developing and emerging economies. We encourage our new Director-General, Mr. Gerd Müller, to formulate and implement his strategic priorities in close cooperation with Member States, and in doing so, strengthen UNIDO's unique position within the UN Development System as specialist in industrial development.

In this regard, let me draw your attention to the eighth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD8), to be held in Tunisia this August. I thank the Ambassador Mezghani of Tunisia for his reference to this event. We believe that TICAD8 will provide a great opportunity to intensify our cooperation with Africa. In this regard, UNIDO is an indispensable partner for Japan. In one year since last PBC meeting, Japan has approved six new UNIDO projects in Africa with the total amount of 14 million USD including supporting the COVID-19 response, improving food value-chains and reducing marine plastic litter in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Nigeria.
Chair, very quickly, 3 more points.

The International Community as a whole faces multiple crises at present, putting all Member States under severe financial constraints.  Japan closely follows DG Müller’s reform and restructuring efforts with anticipation for making UNIDO into a more relevant organization able to effectively meet our challenges.  This morning, we have already heard from the Director General the new motto of this organization, “Progress by Innovation” to which this delegation feel very strong affinity.  We also appreciate the DG’s introducing the outline of his restructuring effort. We hope that this common goal will be achieved in effective manner in close dialogue with Member States.

On this note, Japan would like to recall the critical importance of timely payment of Member States’ assessed contributions to the regular budget.  We strongly encourage Member States in arrears to assume their responsibilities, and consider arranging appropriate payment plans where necessary.

Secondly, Japan expects UNIDO’s first result-based budget 2022-2023 to contribute to reinforce and refine the implementation of result-based management.  We look forward to receiving feedback in this regard from the secretariat in due course.
Lastly, Japan believes that UNIDO should continue actively participating in the UNDS reform, and deriving maximum advantage from it, including strengthened synergies in the UN system, greater efficiency and higher cost performance.

Thank you, Chair, for your attention.