Statement by Ms. Yaeko Sumi
Alternate Representative of Japan
Item 28 (a) Advancement of Women
Item 28 (b) Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly
67th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
16 October 2012
The Government of Japan welcomes that UN Women, which officially started its activities in January 2011, has been achieving concrete results on the ground in six of its respective strategic targets. We also commend that UN Women has been leading the efforts of the UN system on gender issues both at the system level through such efforts as the launch of SWAP and at the country level. We will continue to be actively engaged in this issue as a member of the Executive Board of UN Women.
Throughout the recovery process of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which hit Japan in March 2011, Japan has placed great importance on the equal participation of both women and men. Based on this experience, we have submitted a resolution on ‘Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Natural Disasters’ to the 56th session of the CSW. We are also committed to achieving a gender-equal society based upon the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality which was adopted in December 2010. Among various elements within the plan on which we have made significant progress, we reported our effort to strengthen temporary special measures to the CEDAW in the follow-up report and it was highly commended by the Committee.
Furthermore, Japan is of the view that promoting the socio-economic empowerment of women is indispensable in the recovery process. In this regard, during its Cabinet Meeting our government adopted an Action Plan on Economic Revival through Promotion of the Empowerment of Women. The Action Plan is composed of three pillars, namely; 1) raising the awareness of men, 2) implementing drastic positive actions and 3) encouraging civil servants to take a lead in these efforts. The roadmap of the Comprehensive Strategy for the Rebirth of Japan reflects some elements of the Action Plan where concrete actions are suggested, and the rest of the Action Plan will be implemented through another roadmap which will be produced by the end of this year.
International community continues its effort toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including gender issues, by 2015. As a part of this effort, Japan announced that it would provide assistance in the field education amounting to 3.5 billion US dollars over 5 years starting from 2011. Through a ‘School for All’ model, schools, communities and governments are expected to jointly improve the learning environment, which will eventually create a high-quality educational environment for all children including female students. Japan also announced its contributions in the field of health amounting to 5 billion US dollars over 5 years from 2011. Together with other partners, Japan aims to save the lives of 430,000 pregnant women through a maternal health support model called ‘EMBRACE’, which ensures a continuum of care from pregnancy to after childbirth.
Japan has promoted Human Security as a pillar of our diplomacy. The adoption of a resolution at the 66th session of the General Assembly, which brought together member states to agree on a common understanding on human security, represents a significant advancement in this regard. In accordance with the spirit of human security, Japan has funded a number of projects through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security to protect women and vulnerable individuals, develop their rich potential and strengthen their capacity to actively participate in society. For instance, a project on the ‘Protection and Capacity-Building of the Victims of Trafficking in Indonesia’, which was approved in 2011, strengthens capacity of the government, NGOs and medical personnel, while at the same time, conducts awareness-raising activities for teachers and community leaders. The project stands on a comprehensive approach, and through these activities, it aims to provide appropriate protection to the victims and strengthen the capacity of community as a whole to prevent such crimes.
The implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is one of the most pressing issues confronting the international community. We hope that the indicators set by the Secretary-General will be utilized globally and at the country-level in a timely manner. Furthermore, we are well aware of the importance of ensuring the participation of women in various efforts to formulate or revise constitutions and laws as well as in the processes of political and economic transitions. In this regard, we have for over a decade supported the Ministry of Women’s Affair in Afghanistan to strengthen the administrative capacity of its staff and improve the socio-economic circumstances of women in poverty in Afghanistan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In conclusion, Japan is committed to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women together with member states, international organizations and civil society.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.