(Check against delivery)

 Thank you, Madam President,
         At the outset, Japan would like to congratulate Her Excellency, Ambassador Rabab Fatima, on her assumption of the Presidency of the Executive Board. We were already well acquainted with your leadership, which you demonstrated as ambassador to Japan before you moved to New York, and we are excited to work with you again to support children.
         As a returning member of Executive Board, Japan looks forward to closely working with the bureau members and observers to assist UNICEF, under the able leadership of Executive Director Fore, in fully exercising its mandate to protect children and fight for their rights.
Madam President,
         Last year, Japan hosted the G20 Osaka Summit in June and the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) in August. These meetings covered a number of development agendas centering on the SDGs, such as education, universal health coverage, empowerment of women, disaster risk reduction, and climate change among others. These are all closely related to UNICEF’s activities. As such, Japan appreciates UNICEF’s valuable inputs and contributions to these meetings, and looks forward to its continued close collaboration to bring about concrete positive results on the ground.
         This year, Japan will host several relevant events and meetings. The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be convened this summer under the concept, “Be better, together,” to build momentum towards achieving SDGs while enabling children to embrace their hopes and dreams. Japan will also host a series of meetings including the Kyoto Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in April, the Asia-Pacific Water Summit in October, and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2020 in December, all of which will play critical roles to pave the way for saving and protecting children in the areas of justice, water and nutrition. We look forward to working with member states, UNICEF and partners on these occasions and welcome all of you to participate.
Madam President,
         In light of the current severe situations surrounding children in many parts of the world, Japan considers it important for the international community to make concerted efforts to help children and protect and promote their rights in collaboration with UNICEF. Japan remains fundamentally committed to its close cooperative relationship with UNICEF, and will continue to support its activities in all avenues.
I thank you.