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Statement by Ambassador Kazuyoshi Umemoto

Chargé d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN

 

Introduction of the draft resolution

“Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

in Natural Disasters”

 

 

Mr. Chair,

 

We recognize that natural disasters profoundly affect human lives, both at the moment of their occurrence and in their aftermath. Moreover, natural disasters have more direct and adverse impacts on women and girls due to a great number of factors.

 

As specifically promised by Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, in his statement before the General Assembly last September, Japan has once again submitted a draft resolution that gives careful consideration to women and girls in natural disasters.

 

The purpose of this resolution is not only to strengthen the use of a gender-responsive approach in every phase of disaster risk reduction (DRR), response and recovery, but also to serve as a bridge to various processes leading up to 2015 and beyond, especially the discussion on the post-2015 development agenda, the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai City, Japan, in March 2015, and the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2016.

 

We would like to express our deep gratitude to all the participants of the four informal consultations, who, in the spirit of cooperation and flexibility, worked together to arrive at the text before you today.

 

Based on these consultations, we have strengthened the text and highlighted, for example, the necessity of women’s access to sexual and reproductive health care, the particular vulnerability of women in the context of displacement, the importance of enhancing women’s full participation in every phase of DRR, response and recovery, and the importance of mainstreaming of a gender perspective in disaster risk management, prior to disasters, to strengthen the resilience of communities.

 

Disaster preparedness efforts, into which a gender perspective has been incorporated, have the potential not only to improve resiliency, response and recovery efforts, and thereby protect women and girls when disasters strike, but also to empower them, both in the context of natural disasters and in their normal lives.

 

Mr. Chair,

 

We hope that this resolution will be adopted by consensus and we invite all delegations to become co-sponsors. 

 

I thank you.

 

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