[Agenda Item 3: Annual Report of the Director General for 2021]
Thank you President,
Let me first congratulate you, your Excellency Ambassador Alejandro SOLANO ORTIZ of Costa Rica, on your election. I am convinced of the success of this IDB session under your able leadership, and assure you of our fullest support. I thank the outgoing President, Her Excellency Ambassador Dominika KROIS of Poland, and her Bureau members, for their dedicated work.
Japan appreciates that UNIDO has continued, and will continue, effectively advancing industrial development in developing and emerging economies despite multiple global crises such as the pandemic, the food crisis, and climate change. We welcome the revival of UNIDO’s technical cooperation delivery in 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic. Japan expects that UNIDO will play a meaningful role in mitigating worldwide concerns over food security aggravated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and in helping Ukraine to overcome the devastation caused by Russia.
Let me now draw your attention to the eighth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD8), which was held in Tunisia this August. I thank UNIDO for being an indispensable partner and supporter of the TICAD process and for launching its TICAD 8 week. During this period, five online events were organized on themes such as “Africa’s Green Industrial Development” and “Building Resilient and Sustainable Agro-industries”.
Japan also welcomes the launch, on the margin of TICAD 8, of a new UNIDO, UNDP, JETRO and JICA partnership to enhance trade and investment between Japanese and African private sector businesses. We attach great important to the follow-ups of TICAD8. We expect that UNIDO and its Member States will intensify their cooperation with Africa, making the most of the momentum generated by TICAD 8.
The year 2023 marks the midpoint for the 2030 Agenda. Japan will continue to endeavor to implement the 2030 goals in close cooperation with UNIDO. Japan’s cooperation will focus on 3 areas, namely 1) agribusiness/food security, 2) energy/climate change, and 3) environmental issues. Japan will tackle these issues by leveraging its three strengths which are 1) technology transfer from Japanese companies, 2) job creation/job training, and 3) “progress by innovation” in accordance with the important vision and motto of Director General Gerd Müller.
I have 3 more short points to make.
First, Japan has closely been following and continues to follow DG Müller’s reform and restructuring efforts in anticipation of increasing UNIDO’s relevance. UNIDO must be able to respond to the international society’s expanding expectations in light of current multiple crises. We, at the same time, also need to remain financially sustainable for Member States. Japan would like to recall the critical importance of timely payment of Member States’ assessed contributions to the regular budget.
Secondly, Japan expects UNIDO’s first result-based budget 2022-2023 to contribute to reinforcing and refining the implementation of result-based management. We look forward to receiving feedback in this regard from the Secretariat in due course.
Lastly, on the note of financial sustainability, we consider very important that UNIDO enforces its strategic communication to enhance the visibility of all its activities. In this regard, Japan welcomes that DG Müller hosted the event titled “Future Energy-Green Hydrogen” to discuss future energy concepts in cooperation with the Government of Egypt during the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27). This has set one good example to feature UNIDO in the context of our global effort for common causes.
Let me conclude by reiterating our hope that, in the face of urgent global issues to be addressed, Japan and UNIDO should actively continue their successful cooperation.
Thank you, President.