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Statement by Mr. Kazuo Sunaga
Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan
to the United Nations
At the 38th Session of the Commission
on Population and Development
4 April 2005
I join the others in congratulating you on your assumption
of the leadership of this important Commission. I would
also like to thank the Secretariat for producing such
excellent reports for our deliberations here.
This year we will review the response of the international
community to the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs
and chart a course towards the achievement of these
goals. It is therefore an opportune moment to discuss
how much progress has been made in implementing the
Programme of Action of the ICPD.
Four out of eight of the MDGs, namely, achieving universal
primary education, reducing infant and child mortality,
improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis,
malaria, and other diseases, are directly related to
the Programme of Action. Clearly, then, the MDGs cannot
be realized without its full implementation. Member
States, UNFPA, and other international organizations
must accordingly continue to make every effort to that
We believe that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the
most formidable challenges to human life and dignity
today. As the Secretary-General’s report shows,
HIV/AIDS also has a major impact on mortality, population
growth and the number of orphans in the world, as well
as on overall economic and social development. HIV/AIDS
saps the strength of the workforce and prevents young
people from engaging in economic and social activities.
And of course, HIV/AIDS threatens the security of the
In February, Japan announced its medium-term policy
on official development assistance. In this policy,
we focus on the individual, emphasizing the concept
of human security and the necessity of taking crosscutting
approaches to break the vicious cycle of HIV/AIDS and
The approaches we have taken towards infections disease
reflect our own experience. We have implemented measures
ranging from universal access to primary health care
to water and sanitation. These measures have proven
highly successful and contributed to making Japan the
country with the highest life expectancy in the world.
We would like to stress three points essential to combating
First, we must engage in prevention as well as medical
treatment. Comprehensive and pragmatic measures, including
information and education programmes aimed primarily
at young people, voluntary counseling and testing, and
the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, need
to be promoted. Since women are becoming infected in
greater numbers than men, prevention needs to be geared
towards women and girls. In this regard, reproductive
health care, which includes preventing HIV and other
sexually transmitted diseases, should be further emphasized.
Second, care and support needs to be strengthened for
people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. It is
imperative that we protect and care for orphans and
vulnerable children. The elimination of stigmas and
discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS is also essential.
Third, adequate primary health care systems must be
put in place in developing countries.
With these three points in mind, the Government of
Japan is providing financial and technical assistance
to developing countries in the fight against HIV/AIDS
and other infectious diseases. At the Kyushu-Okinawa
G8 Summit Meeting in 2000, Japan announced the Okinawa
Infectious Diseases Initiative (IDI) and pledged to
provide support totaling three billion dollars over
the next five years. In addition, my Government took
the initiative in creating the Global Fund to Fight
Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in 2002, a public-private
partnership to which it has contributed 328 million
dollars to date.
Last month the Japanese Government announced a new
Initiative on Gender and Development (GAD) to strengthen
its efforts to promote gender equality and empowerment
of women in developing countries. Under this initiative,
we will address the specific needs of women and girls,
who suffer disproportionately from the negative impact
of HIV/AIDS, and strive to reduce the vulnerability
Finally, Japan reaffirms its commitment to pursuing
sustainable activities related to HIV/AIDS and population
and development. It will make every effort to share
its experience and knowledge with its international
partners, take an active part in discussing sustainable
and practical approaches, and implement comprehensive
measures in response to this terrible crisis.
Thank you for your attention.