Statement by Ms. Hiroko Hashimoto, Representative of Japan
at the High-Level Event on the ‘Contributions of Women, the Young
and Civil Society to the Post-2015 Development Agenda’
It is my great honour to deliver a statement on behalf of the Government of Japan at this significant event on the post-2015 development agenda. Let me first thank His Excellency Dr. John Ashe, President of the General Assembly, for taking the initiative in organizing this event at this important time of acceleration of our efforts for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and producing an effective post-2015 development agenda.
We have witnessed great success in progress towards achievement of the MDGs. We have, however, also witnessed newly emerging challenges which need to be addressed in the new development framework beyond 2015.
One such challenge is widening domestic disparities. Women still face various kinds of vulnerabilities in many societies. Six months ago at the General Assembly, our Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said that Japan will work to realise, “a society in which all women shine.” This is a Japanese domestic policy, but Japan is also committed to making contributions to the realisation of such societies globally as well. Japan will strengthen its assistance to developing countries, which will contribute to promoting the advancement of women in society and empowerment of women, by implementing ODA programmes exceeding 3 billion dollars over three years starting from 2013. We believe that this effort will contribute to the achievement of the MDGs.
The youth is another major group which faces challenges. Despite the progress towards the MDGs in the education sector, many adolescents still lack proper education and training. Combined with a lack of jobs, many countries suffer a high unemployment rate of their youth. In this regard, we support the initiative of the Secretary-General on empowerment of young people and in particular, the vigorous activities of Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the promotion of youth volunteers who have contributed and can continue to contribute to development. The young population should be the generation to create and enjoy a peaceful and prosperous society – otherwise sustainable development will be never achieved.
In order to address the challenges faced by women, girls and the youth, a people-centred approach is required. They should be protected and empowered to enjoy equal rights and the fruits of development. This is the concept of human security. We therefore believe that human security should be a guiding principle in the post-2015 development agenda.
And the story does not end here. Women, girls and the youth are not just the target groups of development. I strongly agree with the importance of their participation in designing development of their society – and their future – in order to enhance social inclusion and stability, especially on multi-dimensional issues such as employment, education and health.
Japan strongly supports that gender equality and the empowerment of women should continue to be firmly positioned in the development agenda beyond 2015. At the same time, Japan supports that gender is a cross-cutting perspective and should be mainstreamed in all development goals through appropriate targets. We also support that inclusive growth and employment should also be addressed in the post-2015 development agenda.
My presence here proves the important role played by the civil society. I am principal of a Japanese high school, while also serving as the Representative of Japan to the Commission on the Status of Women. Like many other countries, civil society organisations in Japan are actively engaging in discussions for the post-2015 development agenda. The civil society has its own expertise, understanding and passion for our better future. It is also a key partner in implementing the new development agenda. I am confident that contributions made by civil society will be of great value to a future we all want to enjoy.
Japan is committed to making contributions to the formulation of an effective post-2015 development agenda. And it is clear that women, the youth and civil society are not only the beneficiaries of development, but the designers who can provide effective perspectives of their own. We look forward to seeing such a development agenda come into effect next year.
Thank you for your attention.