Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
to the United Nations
On Item 2: Operational activities
At the 2013 First Regular Session of the Executive Board
of UN Women
23 January 2013
I would like to first commend His Excellency, Mr. Kim Sook of the Republic of Korea for his dedicated work as the previous President of the Executive Board. I would also like to congratulate Your Excellency, Mr. Normans Penke of the Republic of Latvia, on your assumption of the Presidency of the Board. I assure you that Japan, as a Vice-President of the Board, will actively contribute and support Your Excellency and the work of the Board.
We welcome the statement just made by Executive Director Ms. Bachelet as well as her report on the operational activities of UN Women. Japan expects that after the last year’s discussion and the decision of the Executive Board on the Regional Architecture, UN Women will finally be able to implement its full mandate and exercise full-scale impacts on the ground.
A perspective on gender has long been embedded in Japan’s Official Development Assistance policy (GAD, Gender and Development), and various projects have been implemented throughout the world to realize tangible changes on the ground in such areas as women’s economic empowerment, preventing violence against women, etc. At the dawn of this new year, we share the view that “Women’s issues are world issues”, and we anticipate that they will go on to take an ever more prominent positions in international discussions through such means as the upcoming session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the G8 process. Today, I would like to introduce 3 examples of our own activities in this regard.
(1) Ending Violence against Women and Girls
First, “Ending Violence against Women and Girls” is one of the most important issues to be discussed in the various fora in this year. As, I believe, Ms. Bachelet recalls, her visit to Japan last November coincided with Japan’s “Eliminate Violence against Women Week” and she participated in the Tokyo Tower lighting ceremony to mark the occasion. Japan supports “Say NO – UniTE to End Violence against Women” initiative and last week (on the 17th) we expressed our “COMMIT”ment in this regard. In addition, we are favorably considering pledging to support the ”UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women”, of which Japan was one of the main and initial supporter.
(2) Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V)
Second, with regard to “Africa”. Women’s issues are one of the core development agenda of Africa. After the Regional Architecture Review, UN Women is establishing 3 out of 6 its Regional Centers on the African continent. We are also aware that Ms. Bachelet recently visited Senegal, Mali and Nigeria, and Ms. Puri visited Ethiopia.
Japan, together with other co-organizers, will hold the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) V in Yokohama in June. Women issues, such as importance of Women’s role in development and Women’s economic empowerment will be discussed at the Conference. We would like UN Women to participate and contribute to the discussion, including the Ministerial Preparatory Meeting for TICAD V in Ethiopia in March.
(3) “Women, Peace and Security”
Third, regarding “Women, Peace and Security”, Japan has been actively engaged in Afghanistan, Nepal and various other PKO missions, and we intend to strengthen our engagement in this regard. Our mission has also initiated working level discussions with UN Women and women’s civil society with a view to implementing Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
Finally, Mr. President,
In consideration of the successful visit of Ms. Bachelet to our country, Japan, as a Vice President of the Executive Board, will continue to actively cooperate and contribute to the activities of UN Women through budgetary assistance and by providing personnel to the organization.
I thank you, Mr. President.