(Please check against delivery)
Statement by Mr. Naoto Hisajima
Minister of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of UN-Women
20 January 2014
On Agenda Item 2: Evaluation
On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to first commend His Excellency, Mr. Normans Penke of the Republic of Latvia for his dedicated work as the out-going President of the Executive Board. I hope our vice-presidency was of help to you. I would also like to congratulate His Excellency, Mr. Gonzalo Koncke Pizzorno of Uruguay, on his assumption of the Presidency of the Board. I assure you that Japan, as a member of the Board since UN-Women’s inception, will continue to support His Excellency and contribute to the work of the Board.
We welcome the statement just made by Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. We look forward to her first visit to Japan in March, and we hope to make the best use of the opportunity to further deepen and strengthen cooperation and collaboration between Japan and UN-Women.
Japan attaches great importance to the topic to be discussed today, namely “increasing women’s leadership and participation in peace and security and in humanitarian response”, and we expect UN-Women’s further contribution in this field.
As recommended in the thematic evaluation, we also expect UN-Women to engage with other UN agencies as a catalyst and a knowledge hub on women, peace and security. Japan supports UN-Women increasing its number of joint programmes, including through the development of proposals to the UN Action Multi-Partners Trust Fund (MPTF) and other relevant funds.
Regarding UN-Women’s humanitarian response strategy, Japan, as a country which is a major donor to humanitarian response and has experienced major natural disasters, has a great interest. Japan hopes that UN-Women will play an active role in ensuring equal opportunities for the participation of women in decision-making at all levels regarding disaster risk reduction, response and recovery, and strengthening the capacities of relevant authorities in applying a gender-sensitive approach. I would like to invite the Executive Director to further explain how UN-Women will strengthen its work in humanitarian action and collaboration with UN system partners, in particular with OCHA.
As Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe announced in his statement to the United Nations General Assembly last year, Japan is actively committed to engaging in international agenda concerning women, and to make every effort to create “a society where all women shine”. In his statement, he also set “Women’s participation and protection in peace and security” as one of the three pillars of Japan’s efforts in this field. Japan fully recognizes that in order to more effectively build a peaceful society, it is important to ensure women’s participation, and to reflect women’s views at all stages regarding the prevention and resolution of conflict and the building of peace. We should address, with a sense of urgency, the extremely important issue of how best to prevent the violation of women’s rights and to protect women and their rights during conflicts.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you two examples of our efforts in this field.
First, in order to systematically promote Japan’s various activities, we are developing our National Action Plan for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, regarding Women, Peace, and Security, in close cooperation with civil society. In this regard, our Mission at the UN has been collaborating with UN-Women’s Peace and Security Team by holding seminars together and participating in the Global Review.
Second, Japan will once again submit a draft resolution at the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which gives careful consideration to women in natural disasters, as they are likely to be more vulnerable. Our Mission has been in close contact with UN-Women’s Humanitarian Unit in this regard, and we will host a related joint event in collaboration with both a women’s civil society organization and the Unit next month. We would like to point out that the perspectives of the resolution are also incorporated into our National Action Plan.
In closing, let me reiterate, as previously stated by Prime Minister Abe, that “Japan respects the activities of UN-Women and intends to become one of its leading contributors and thus an exemplary country in the area.” In this regard, we will further actively cooperate and contribute to the activities of UN-Women. As to funding, I am proud to inform you that this year Japan will be a ‘double-digit’ donor. The Cabinet recently approved the Government’s budget proposal to provide over 10 million US dollars in funds, including core budget and non-core projects in the Middle East and Africa. The funds will be granted to UN-Women upon the approval of the Diet.
I thank you.