Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan
Annual Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS
Item 2: Annual report of the Administrator
13 June 2011
At the outset, I would like to thank the Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark for the comprehensive and thought-provoking statement on the annual report, the midterm review of the Strategic Plan and the agenda for organizational change.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my Government’s heartfelt gratitude for the warm sympathy and overwhelming offers of assistance by the Member States, international organizations including UNDP and civil society in the wake of the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11. Despite the unprecedented magnitude of the disaster, Japan will remain fully engaged in international cooperation for development and will continue to honor its commitments.
I would like to share with the Board some of those commitments in the context of Japan’s collaboration with UNDP, which might serve as some food for thought in the mid-term review exercise and in the self-defining process toward the next Strategic Plan.
On May 1 and 2, less than two months after the earthquake, Japan co-organized with UNDP and other international organizations the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Ministerial Follow-up Meeting in Dakar. Japan is thankful to the Government of Senegal for being the host of this important annual event in the TICAD process. Japan wishes to further strengthen its partnership with UNDP under the framework of TICAD, where concrete programmes are being jointly implemented, such as the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), the PKO Training Center, and the peacebuilding in Sudan.
Japan highly appreciates the role UNDP has played since the inception of TICAD in 1993 as the principal co-organizer in engaging and mobilizing potential stakeholders, including other international organizations, donor countries and Asian countries, to the important agenda of African development.
The second example I would like to share is the MDGs Follow-up Meeting co-organized with UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank and JICA on June 2 and 3 in Tokyo. My Government is grateful to Ms. Helen Clark for her personal presence at the meeting and also to UNDP for its contribution to the preparatory process. The meeting aimed to maintain the momentum and accelerate the process towards achieving MDGs by 2015 and was attended by over 110 countries, including 24 Ministerial-level Heads of delegation and 20 regional and international organizations, NGOs and private sector representatives.
The Ministerial Meeting discussed among other issues how to narrow the implementation gap, and reaffirmed that the human security approach and the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) are useful and effective tools in this regard. Discussion on the “post-2015” was also kicked-off at this meeting. Japan recognizes the active role of UNDP in leading international efforts toward the achievement of MDGs and looks forward to UNDP’s contribution towards the post-MDGs discussions.
I believe that these two examples of our partnership with UNDP suggest UNDP’s strength as well as its potential to be a “world class knowledge based development organization”. In the rapidly evolving global environment, the role of UNDP in providing programmes that respond flexibly to a wide range of developmental needs of different countries and regions can never be overstressed.
For this reason, my Government decided to increase its core contribution to UNDP for 2011 by 12% and disbursed over USD 350 million earlier this year as non-core contribution directed towards Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and others, despite current financial constraints caused not only by the recent economic downturn but also by the domestic needs for the reconstruction of the disaster affected region.
My Government strongly expects that through the process of this year’s mid-term review towards the adoption of the new Strategic Plan in 2013, UNDP will further strengthen its efficiency, integrity and competitiveness as a “world class organization”. At the same time, we look forward to seeing the organizational change agenda, under the leadership of the Administrator, result in the streamlining of functions and responsibilities of the headquarters and regional centers in order to enable the country offices to better deliver and respond to the real needs on the ground.
Thank you for your attention.