STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. OSAMU FUJIMURA
STATE SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF JAPAN
AT THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
19 AUGUST 2010
Foreign Minister Qureshi,
I offer sincere prayers for the victims of the devastating floods and express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I extend Japan’s sympathies as well to all those affected by the disaster. We express our profound respect for the relief efforts undertaken by the Government of Pakistan, other Member States, the United Nations and other international organizations, and NGOs. We also appreciate the decision of the United Nations, under the initiative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Ali Adbussalam Treki, to convene this conference.
(SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONFERENCE AND IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORT FOR PAKISTAN)
The recent flooding in Pakistan has caused serious damage, with significant loss of life and property, as well as a grave impact on the entire Pakistani economy and society. In particular, there remain substantial humanitarian needs for emergency assistance, to address the deterioration in the hygiene situation and the shortage of water and food, among other problems. In addition, there is an urgent need to rebuild basic infrastructure, including roads, bridges, communications and agricultural infrastructure, which were destroyed in the disaster, as well as to meet basic human needs such as improvement of the health and sanitary situation. We, the Government of Pakistan and the international community, should therefore make a concerted effort to focus on emergency assistance as well as to tackle the challenges of rehabilitation and reconstruction, with a view to stemming the vicious cycle of disaster and poverty.
(OVERVIEW OF JAPAN’S SUPPORT)
Upon the requests from the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan announced by the United Nations on 11 August, Japan has swiftly implemented its pledge of humanitarian assistance totaling approximately 14.4 million USD for those affected by the disaster. Japan’s assistance consists of 13 million USD in emergency grant aid, 200 thousand USD for emergency relief goods and 1.2 million USD for emergency relief by Japanese NGOs through the Japan Platform.
Japan will continue to actively implement emergency humanitarian assistance based on local needs in Pakistan, to promptly provide support for those affected. In this context, in consideration of the high need for transportation of afflicted people and relief goods by helicopter, the Government of Japan, on 19 August, began the necessary preparations to dispatch helicopters to Pakistan.
Moreover, to alleviate the vulnerabilities of the poor, Japan stands ready to support, to the greatest extent possible, Pakistan’s efforts throughout the phases of emergency relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in a seamless manner, as well as to consider utilization of expertise and technology derived from Japan’s own past experience of disaster. In this connection, Japan has decided to participate in the Damage Needs Assessment to be conducted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
(CONCLUSION: MESSAGE FOR THE PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES)
The present flood disaster is among the gravest natural disasters experienced in Pakistan since the country’s establishment. It may well be said that this is a time of testing for Pakistan. Japan has been a solid partner of Pakistan since its foundation, and the people of Japan have always stood by the people of Pakistan in times of difficulty. In April last year, Japan hosted the Pakistan Donors’ Conference as well as the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Group Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo to support our friend. Japan continues to exert all efforts in cooperation with the international community to support the Government of Pakistan towards restoring stability and reconstruction of the affected areas. Japan looks forward to the early rehabilitation and reconstruction of Pakistan under the robust ownership of its Government and people.
It is my sincere hope that those who have suffered losses in the disaster will overcome the current difficulties and regain their livelihoods through reconstruction.
I thank you, Mr. President.