Statement by H.E. Ambassador Shigeki Sumi
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
On agenda Item 20: Sustainable Development
At the General Debate of the Second Committee
(New York, 1 November 2010)
Japan hosted COP10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya under the theme “Living in Harmony with Nature.” I am delighted to report you that the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing related to genetic resources (ABS) was successfully adopted based on the Chair’s proposal after long and difficult negotiations. The conference also set the Strategic Plan or “the Aichi Target”, with global targets up to 2020 and 2050 as common guidelines for formulating national strategies. It is also a great pleasure that the “Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol” was adopted at the COP-MOP5, held back to back with the COP10.
Japan is convinced that the issues of biodiversity merit greater attention and effort on the part of the international community. That is why we propose adopting a resolution on the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity which corresponds to CBD’s Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2020. The Decade for Desertification 2010-2020 and the Decade of Biodiversity should create a strong synergy in view of the interrelated nature of the two important issues.
We also call for the adoption of a resolution on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) at this session of the Second Committee. Once established, the platform will provide a solid scientific basis for the policies for biodiversity conservation.
At the UN Summit on Climate Change last year, Japan announced the target of reducing its emissions by 25 percent by 2020 if compared to the 1990 level, premised on the establishment of a fair and effective international framework in which all major economies participate as well as their agreement on ambitious targets.
Towards adopting a new and comprehensive legally binding document, Japan will continue to coordinate with others for the success of COP 16 in Mexico. Japan hosted the Ministerial Meeting on REDD+ Partnership last week in Nagoya, Aichi, to promote reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. We will also continue to support those developing countries which are making efforts to reduce emissions and are vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, especially small island developing States and countries in Africa.
As Prime Minister Kan stated at the High-level Review meeting on the Implementation of Mauritius Strategy for Implementation held last September, Japan attaches great importance to engaging in dialogue with Small Island Developing States (SIDS). On October 16 in Tokyo, Japan hosted the Ministerial Interim Meeting of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) and announced that it had already provided assistance in the areas of the environment, climate change, health and education amounting to approximately 32.3 billion yen out of 50 billion yen pledged at PALM 5. This includes 6.8 billion yen worth of contribution to the PIF under the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund.
On September 2, Japan hosted the second Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference in Tokyo, by inviting foreign ministers of CARICOM member countries, and discussed our future cooperation to overcome vulnerability and promote human security, integration into the global economy, environment and climate change, and assistance for the reconstruction of Haiti. This is a background for my personal contribution as a facilitator for the resolution on the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea.
The recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and China are stark reminders of the increased risk of human and economic loss that urban centers face as populations rise. It is especially important that we take action to increase the resilience at the level of communities and the Hyogo Framework for Action provides us with useful guidance in this respect.
Let me highlight another priority for Japan in the efforts to follow up on the MDGs High-level Plenary Meeting. The international effort to achieve the target of halving the proportion of people living without basic sanitation by 2015 is far lagging behind. The situation where 2.6 billion people continue to live without safe sanitation facilities is totally unacceptable. Furthermore, the Joint Monitoring Program of UNICEF and WHO reported in March that the progress on sanitation actually slowed down between 2006 and 2008.
My delegation thus supports the adoption of a resolution on the follow-up to the International Year of Sanitation in 2008 to accelerate the progress towards “Sustainable sanitation: the five-year-drive to 2015” which was acknowledged in the outcome of the MDGs High-level Plenary Meeting.
My delegation appreciates the Secretary General’s Report on UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). I expect that UN system will enhance their efforts to promote ESD under the leading role of the UNESCO and the Secretary General. As the initiator of the Decade, Japan will organize the end-of-decade conference which will sum up ESD efforts by various stakeholders and outcomes from the implementation of the UNESCO strategy in 2014 in cooperation with UNESCO. We will also organize a roundtable discussion on Thursday 4 November during the lunch time to celebrate the mid-year of the Decade and look forward to active participation from the delegations.
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro represented a real milestone in international efforts to promote sustainable development. For one thing, it produced Agenda 21. And just as important, it made manifest a new spirit of partnership between developed and developing countries to address the common and urgent challenge of protecting the planet. My delegation hopes that the same spirit of partnership will enable a good preparation for Rio + 20 Conference.