Statement by Mr. Do Ozaki, First Secretary,
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda Item 26 “Agriculture development and Food Security”
65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
28 October, 2010
At the outset, my delegation would like to express its appreciation to the report of the Secretary General (A/65/253), which provides comprehensive background information on the issue of agriculture development and food security.
An unstable global food security situation still persists in many developing countries, posing a serious threat to human security. The world now faces a challenge towards achieving the goal of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half, as is stipulated as one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Enhancement of global food security is one of the priorities of Japan’s foreign policy objectives. At the G8 Summit held in L’Aquila Italy in June 2009, Japan announced that it would provide at least 3 billion US dollars in assistance for the agricultural sector including related infrastructure over 3 years from 2010 to 2012. Japan, as one of the major donors in agricultural development, has now been steadily implementing its commitments.
Japan stresses the importance of supporting the whole value-chain from primary production to distribution. It is important that food produced by farmers is served on the tables of consumers without a reduction in amount or damages in quality. This whole value-chain approach includes, inter alia, assistance for the development of water resources and irrigation systems, management of farmlands and distribution systems including storage, transportation and ports for shipment. We believe that this approach is firmly supported by recipient countries.
In order to accommodate an inevitably increasing demand for food, we need to increase agricultural production in terms of both quantity and productivity, while giving appropriate consideration to the diverse conditions in each country. For this purpose, for example, Japan is conducting an initiative, “the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD)”, for doubling rice production in Sub-Saharan Africa from 2008 to 2018, recognizing the high potential of rice in the region. Japan has also been supporting capacity building programs in which more than six thousand agricultural leaders from various countries have participated.
Japan hosted the first APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security on October 16th and 17th as this year’s APEC Chair. In this meeting, the “Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security” was adopted, in which ministers shared the view that the APEC region needs to expand its food supply capacity and facilitate investment, trade and markets. Action plan was also adopted to substantiate the declaration. We believe that these efforts surely contribute to the global food security.
In many developing countries, agriculture is the foundation of the national economy, and its development is essential for the economic development. Therefore, we should tackle this issue not only from the perspective of poverty alleviation, but also of boosting economic growth.
It is critically important to promote private investment, including foreign direct investment in agriculture. From this viewpoint, we recognize that poorly conceived or executed investments could have negative impacts in terms of political stability, human rights, sustainable food production or environmental protection for the people of receiving countries.
In order to address these issues, Japan launched an initiative called “Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI)”, with close cooperation with the World Bank, FAO, IFAD and UNCTAD. We have been working together to establish a set of guiding principles aiming at harmonizing and maximizing the benefits for receiving countries, local communities and investors and translate the RAI into concrete actions on the ground. Japan continues to support all the efforts by relevant international organizations, in association with various stakeholder groups, to promote the RAI.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.