[Agenda Item 3: Annual Report of the Director General for 2023]
Thank you, Chair,
I would like to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Ferenc Dancs, Ambassador of Hungary, on your election as the President of the Programme and Budget Committee and assure you of our full support. I thank the outgoing President, His Excellency Mr. Aftab KHOKHER, Ambassador of Pakistan, and other Bureau members for their dedicated work. 
I would like to join in commending the precious work of the secretariat under the strong leadership of DG Dr. Müller.

The international community is facing a series of deepening crises that have hampered global economic and social development. Japan expects UNIDO to play an increasingly important role in fostering the industrialization of developing countries, including in mitigating global concerns over food security and the energy crisis, aggravated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and in helping Ukraine to overcome the devastation caused by the aggression.

Japan recently launched three new UNIDO projects to support agribusiness, food security, and job creation in Cameroon, Palestine, and Ukraine respectively.
Japan is also going to support the sustainable industrial development of countries in the Global South through new business opportunities and technology transfer in cooperation with Japanese companies and their partners in the Global South.

Japan has been closely following DG Müller’s reform efforts. The ongoing reform of the field offices must be prioritized and expedited to enhance their capacity to achieve ISID.  While the reform is currently progressing, the fact that some offices remain understaffed may impact the implementation of Member States’ projects on the ground and thus requires our great attention.

Japan supports inclusivity and gender mainstreaming in each and every UNIDO project and programme. In this regard, the provision of sufficient and predictable funding from the regular budget to the Unit for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women would be a major step forward. As a founding member of the Group of Friends for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Japan is committed to its mission and objectives and commends the work done by Finland and Honduras in this regard.
As Member States face financial constraints, we remain committed to continuing the conversation on a way forward for the long-term financial sustainability of UNIDO. We are ready to continue the discussions on budget flexibility to enable the Secretariat to respond to unexpected situations with agility, while ensuring transparency and accountability to the Member States.
At the same time Japan expects the Secretariat to make further efforts to increase efficiency and effectiveness by optimizing the use of its resources, including staff costs, and to create further room for savings.

Let me conclude by reiterating our hope that Japan and UNIDO will continue to actively pursue our successful cooperation, amidst the urgent global issues to be addressed.
Thank you, Chair.