Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
on Item 2: Progress made on the UN-Women Strategic Plan, 2011-2013
at the Annual Session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)
29 May 2012
At the outset, I would like to commend the enormous efforts of Madam Bachelet, Executive Director, and her team for having produced results on the ground within a year, in addition to building up their organization. I would like to highlight a few of the most critical goals specified in the Strategic Plan.
First, the Development Results Goal on “women’s role in peace” is the major challenge to be addressed by UN Women. We appreciate that UN-Women has been active and successful in establishing training programs for senior women experts of peace and security and in supporting women to engage in the peace process (or the decision-making process) in countries like Somalia and Libya .
In this regard and also aiming at another critical Goal on “women’s economic empowerment”, Japan has supported a UN-Women project in Afghanistan by financing 4.5 million USD. The project assists the Afghan Commission for Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) through capacity building in order to implement laws on gender-based violence. We are giving full Japanese support to the project by collaborating with Japanese gender experts from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), who have been playing active roles in the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), which coordinates the Commission.
As for Afghanistan, Japan will host the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July, where the rights of women will be one of the important elements of the discussion.
Second, in the area of “women’s economic empowerment”, we noted a shift in UN-Women’s activities from smaller projects to interventions targeting structural issues, including women’s access to productive markets and services, since that shift has a more sustainable impact on a greater number of women.
Last week on 22 May, Japan established a new Ministerial Council on Women’s Economic Empowerment. With a view that women’s active participation in society is essential for the revitalization of our economy, this council will examine issues and challenges and will make a time schedule this year. Japan will continue to strongly support women’s social progress.
Third, with regard to the Management Results Output on “result-based reporting and evaluation”, Japan welcomes that UN-Women has been strengthening results-based management, reporting and evaluation through developing country-level Strategic Notes & Workplans and establishing an online tracking system. Japan expects that UN-Women will continue to institutionalize a strong culture of results-based management and will make further efforts to improve its reports to donors.
Mr. Vice President,
Strengthening the linkage between normative and operational activities is a key issue. Japan expects that norms created in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on which UN-Women has based its Secretariat, will materialize in UN-Women’s activities on the fields. To put it in the concrete, on 9 March, Japan’s proposed resolution on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Natural Disasters was adopted in the CSW. This resolution urges Governments and other stakeholders to ensure equal opportunities for the participation of women in decision-making at all levels regarding disaster risk reduction, response and recovery, and to strengthen the capacities of relevant authorities in applying a gender-sensitive approach. The Secretary-General is requested to report to the CSW at its 58th session in 2014 on the implementation of the resolution, and Japan also expects UN agencies including UN-Women to follow up on the resolution. I would like to hear from the Executive Director on UN-Women’s future initiatives in this regard.
In July, Japan will host the High-Level International Conference on Disaster Reduction 2012 in eastern part of Japan, which was hit by the disastrous earthquake last year, and we will deepen the discussion on challenges related to Gender Equality in Natural Disasters.
To implement the Strategic Plan, cooperation with National Committees is also important. We acknowledge that these committees are expected to play a role in resource mobilization. In this regard, I would like to hear from the Executive Director on what other roles, if any, UN-Women expects National Committees to engage in.
Last but not least, we welcome that the Regional Architecture Review has been conducted in order to build an efficient and effective organization by addressing such issues as overlapping oversight functions. We appreciate the model that emphasizes decentralization and the coordination function of UN-Women while reflecting also budgetary implications. Japan therefore supports the basic orientation of the Regional Architecture Review and looks forward to the presentation of further information at the second regular session.
I thank you, Mr. Vice-President.