Statement by Mr. Akifumi Mizuguchi,
First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda Item 19 “Follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the
2002 International Conference on Financing for Development
and the 2008 Review Conference”
65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
14 October 2010
At the outset, my delegation would like to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for putting together this year’s report on Financing for Development.
As a series of high-level meetings at the beginning of this 65th session of the General Assembly clearly indicates, the world faces a multitude of pressing development challenges such as achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and protection of the global environment which require appropriate financing. Today, as serious effects of the world financial and economic crisis linger on at national as well as community and individual levels, securing adequate financing has become even more critical than ever.
The Monterrey Consensus reminds us that both developed and developing countries, private and public sectors, share the responsibility for development. It recalls also that not only ODA but a wide-range of financial resources, including domestic resources, trade and investment, need to be mobilized. In light of this “spirit of Monterrey”, all stakeholders including emerging economies, international organizations, foundations, corporations and academia should work hand in hand to secure the necessary resources.
At the same time, we must keep in mind that financing is not an end in itself but a means for realizing development. Therefore, we need to be result-oriented, paying more attention to the output and outcome as well as the effective delivery of the resources to meet the development needs.
Japan has been actively contributing to financing for development and to the effective delivery of such resources. First and foremost, at the High-level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs in September, Japan announced its substantial contribution to the achievement of the MDGs. Prime Minister Mr. Naoto Kan committed to provide assistance of 5 billion US dollars over five years beginning in 2011 to contribute to the achievement of the health-related MDGs. He also committed to extend 3.5 billion US dollars over the same period in assistance on education. In announcing these financial commitments, Japan puts forward particular assistance models of maternal and child healthcare (“EMBRACE”) and community-based basic education (“School for All”) as a proposal which would link the funding to concrete results.
Japan adopts a similar approach in supporting Africa through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process. Japan intends to carry out the commitments made at the TICAD IV held in 2008, including commitments to doubling its ODA and providing assistance for doubling Japanese private investment to Africa by 2012. At the same time, Japan focuses on how to best translate increased aid into concrete results and the actual improvement of the lives of African people. Japan’s answer consists in taking comprehensive approach; boost economic growth, ensure human security and address environmental issues simultaneously. We will collaborate closely with all relevant stakeholders; African countries in the driver’s seat but also with other partners, including emerging donors, private sector and NGOs.
From our own development experience, Japan recognizes that free trade is truly an engine for sustained economic growth. Therefore, my government remains committed to rejecting all forms of protectionism and bringing the Doha Round negotiations to a successful conclusion as soon as possible. Japan also supports developing countries to enhance their export capacity through improved trade-related infrastructure and institutions. In light of this, Japan has been implementing “Development Initiative for Trade 2009” containing 12 billion US dollars of financial assistance and exchange of a total of forty thousand trainees and experts in this field.
Japan takes debt issues seriously. We should remain vigilant on debt sustainability of developing countries and stay on guard against the possibility of a new debt crisis. Sustainable debt management is the key, and we should bear in mind that the Doha Declaration, while welcoming international efforts in debt relief, called for all creditors to contribute their fair share and become involved in the international debt resolution mechanisms.
International financial institutions have a pivotal role to play in the efforts to overcome the recent financial and economic crisis. Japan welcomes swift responses by the IMF and the World Bank. Japan supports the reform of the governance of the international financial institutions. A more robust and stable global financial system would require greater legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness. The next quota review process of the IMF should be completed as scheduled and quota shares should appropriately reflect the relative weights of its members in the world economy.
Finally, let me touch on innovative financing. We need to evoke greater interest in this undertaking and to promote engagement by a broader range of countries, if we are to substantially spread the idea of innovative financing. In this regard, the informal event in June at the United Nations provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the current status and future potential of innovative financing. In December, Japan, as the current President of the Leading Group on innovative financing for development, will host its 8th plenary meeting. We strongly hope that the meeting will further invigorate international debate on innovative financing and thus contribute to achieving MDGs and other international development goals.
I thank you.