Statement by H.E. Mr. Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador,
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 62: New Partnership for Africa’s Development
Agenda item 12: Roll Back Malaria
65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
14 October 2010
It is my great pleasure and honor to address the Assembly today to discuss the important agenda items relating to African development.
African development is today one of the most urgent priorities for the world and for the United Nations. We heard the voices of Africa’s leaders at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008, co-organized by UN OSAA, UNDP, World Bank and Japan, and now it is time for us to tell you how we have responded to those voices. Japan pledged at TICAD IV, first, to double its ODA to Africa; second, to proactively and flexibly provide up to USD 4 billion in soft loans; and third, to work to double Japanese private investment to Africa, over the following five years.
In implementing the above commitments, the Government of Japan established a TICAD Follow-up Mechanism as a framework for monitoring implementation of the Yokohama Action Plan. After the first TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting in Botswana in March 2009, second Ministerial Meeting was held in Tanzania in May 2010. Participants were from 65 countries, of which 42 from Africa including 31 ministerial-level participants, 45 international and regional organizations, 12 NGOs and some participants from the private sector. At the Meeting, Japan pledged to step up its MDGs-related assistance by appropriating approximately USD 1 billion beginning this year until the next TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting. The Government of Japan also promised to make even greater use of ODA loans for infrastructure projects, namely up to USD 2 billion in the next two years.
Japanese ODA to Africa covers a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, agriculture, trade and investment, community development, health, education, water, consolidation of peace & good governance and combating climate change. These areas correspond to the key sectoral priorities of NEPAD and reflect the genuine needs of Africa.
For instance, food security in Africa is an important issue. On the occasion of TICAD IV, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched an initiative known as the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) in partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), in order to support the efforts of African countries to increase rice production. Japan entrusted USD 100 million to the World Bank through two Japanese trust funds to support rice producing organizations and the CARD initiative. 23 African countries have already benefited from CARD activities.
Also, as part of TICAD joint-partner efforts to increase the irrigated land area in Africa by 20 percent by 2013, Japan intends to construct and improve irrigation facilities, and increase irrigation capacity of African countries by over 100,000 hectares. Projects to cover 30,000 hectares have been committed by the end of March 2010. JICA, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other financial institutions are collaborating closely.
Furthermore, Japan has supported the NEPAD-OECD African Investment Initiative, aiming to improve African capacity to strengthen the investment environment for growth and development. Since 2005, Japan has provided a total of 0.9 million euros to the said initiative and has co-chaired with South Africa the Steering Group of the Initiative to facilitate the region-wide dialogue on investment policy.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues in Africa. Japan contributed in 2008 USD 92 million to the African Adaptation Programme (AAP) implemented by UNDP. The Programme mainly focuses on building effective leadership, institutional frameworks, as well as national and regional capacity to cope with natural hazards associated with climate change, and on renewable energy as a mitigation measure. Necessary resources have been allocated to 20 African countries and projects have already been put in place in all these countries.
In promoting cooperation between Africa and Japan, we fully respect the local leadership, ownership and partnership, as seen in NEPAD core principles and values. We regard these principles as essential to the promotion of sustainable development in Africa. In order to ensure that the desired accelerated growth will benefit and empower individuals and communities and not aggravate social and economic disparities, the concept of human security needs to be taken into consideration, in particular, in implementing the policy measures aiming to achieve the MDGs.
Japan recognizes the increasingly important role played by the African Union (AU) in the field of development, as demonstrated by the integration of NEPAD into the AU’s structures and processes. Also, Japan welcomes the Commission of the African Union (AUC) as a new co-organizer of TICAD.
Since its inception, the TICAD process has attached great importance to South-South Cooperation, which is now adopted by a wide range of TICAD partners. For example, as a form of Triangular Cooperation, JICA launched the Asia-Africa Knowledge Co-Creation Program (AAKCP) in 2005. An AAKCP sub-program, focusing on “Total Quality Management for better hospital services” was launched in 2007 as one of the TICAD IV flagship programs, in order to respond to the challenges faced by the African region, including the chronic shortage of financial, logistic and human resources. Sri Lanka plays a vital role in this program by introducing its experience in hospital management, and a total of 15 African countries currently benefit from this program.
Let me now touch upon Roll Back Malaria. The Government of Japan is pleased to see the Secretary General’s note on “2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa” (A/65/210). My delegation is also pleased to learn about the achievements in malaria control in eleven African countries last year. Yet malaria remains as one of the major health obstacles in most of Sub-Sahara Africa. We are also greatly concerned that 90% of deaths caused by malaria in Africa are children under five. We must accelerate our effort to roll back malaria through strengthened partnership amongst governments, multilateral organizations, private sector, civil societies and communities.
Last month at the United Nations High-Level Plenary Meeting of the Millennium Development Goals, the international community renewed its commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. At the meeting, Prime Minister Kan announced Japan’s “promises” including the assistance of five billion US dollars over five years beginning in 2011 in the field of health where progress is particularly slow. Further, to demonstrate an ideal way of assistance to the international community in the field of maternal and child health, Japan proposed an assistance model “EMBRACE,” which stands for “Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care”. Malaria prevention and control is essential part of implementing the EMBRACE model to ensure more lives of children to be saved.
In the field of tackling malaria, the Global Fund has been playing an outstanding role by achieving excellent results such as saving the lives of 5.7 million people. Part of these lives have been saved through the provision of 122 million LLITNs including Olyset net developed by Japanese company. The Government of Japan, at the third Voluntary Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund held in New York on October 5, pledged to make contributions to the Global Fund amounting to USD 800 million in the coming years from 2011. Japan will further reinforce its efforts to deliver the necessary assistance to the people in need as well as to promote human security through the Global Fund as one of its founders and as a major donor. Under our Global Health Policy, Japan will aim at enhancing the complementarity amongst its bilateral assistance and the programs supported by Global Fund and other multilateral organizations, thereby increasing their synergy effects.
In closing, Mr. President, my delegation would like to reaffirm Japan’s long-term commitments and contributions to the development of Africa as a continent of hope and opportunity.
I thank you for your kind attention.