Statement by Mr. Katsuhiko TAKAHASHI
Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to United Nations
Plenary meeting of the 66th Session of the General Assembly
Agenda Item 126: Global Health and Foreign Policy
12 December 2011
Japan endorses the statement which was just made by Lebanon on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Group. At this time, my delegation would like to make a statement as a follow-up to its statement last year.
Though little time is left between now and the target date of the Millennium Developing Goals (MDGs), there remain a lot of challenges such as maternal health and water sanitation which we require more effort on our part, in order to accomplish their goals. Our Government has strived for the achievement of the health related MDGs as one of the main pillars of our diplomatic policy.
The Government of Japan has been actively discussing the acceleration of efforts to attain the MDGs as well as anticipating the need for goals after 2015. We organized the MDGs Follow-up Meeting this past June and also a Ministerial side event on MDGs during the General Assembly in September at the MDGs Follow-up Meeting in June. In particular, we took up the topic of the global health agenda as one of four breakout sessions and used that opportunity to deepen the discussion concerning how to narrow the gap between the present situation and the accomplishment of the health-related MDGs. Furthermore, we discussed how to deal with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and how to strengthen health systems.
Moreover, our country has decided this August to provide a sum of 5 billion Japanese yen loans in order to support Polio immunization in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in cooperation with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This international development assistance has encouraged the mobilization of private financial resources and the realization of effective and large-scale supports for the project. In addition, on World Polio-Day, we organized a series of health-related events including a high-level meeting on global health in order to accelerate measures including polio-eradication in cooperation with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this way, we have strengthened our commitment in the field of global health more than ever before.
For the steady resolution of issues such as NCDs, which were discussed in the previous High-level Meeting, it is important for us to share the experiences of the developed countries in such efforts as strengthening health systems. Furthermore, it is useful to tackle health issues such as infectious diseases from the viewpoint of “human security”, which focuses on individual human beings as described in the Secretary General’s report last year.
The world continues to face many challenges in the field of global health and thus requires universal cooperation within the international community. In this regard, it is important for us to continue to deepen the discussion concerning the global health and foreign policy. Japan will continue to participate in this discussion actively.
Thank you, Madam President.