(Check against delivery)
Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuyoshi Umemoto
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
on Item 2: Strategic Plan
At the 2013 Annual Session of the Executive Board
25 June 2013
At the outset, I would like to commend Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN-Women, for her leadership and well-prepared statement. I would also like to express my appreciation to H.E. Mr. Normans Penke, President of the Board, for his proactive role; I would like to assure you, Mr. President, that Japan, as a Vice-President of the Board, will continue to work closely with Your Excellency and to contribute actively to the work of the Board.
<The Strategic Plan>
On the Strategic Plan, we would like to applaud the enormous efforts made by UN-Women to produce concrete results on the ground in the all priority areas of the Plan. We also welcome the progress made by UN-Women in promoting the efficiency of the institution by strengthening its system at the country level.
Let me emphasize that Japan will continue to be actively engaged in the process of the development of the Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017. We appreciate UN-Women for providing Japan and other Member States with briefings and consultations in response to their requests in the process. In this Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017, Japan expects the newly established Gender & Humanitarian Action Unit will be further strengthened. In this regard, we would like to request a briefing from UN-Women on its engagement in the area of humanitarian action, including disaster risk reduction, response and early recovery, sometime later this year.
<The Evaluation Function>
On the Evaluation Function, we welcome and commend the efforts and leading role taken by UN-Women in the harmonization of evaluation reporting through the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan (SWAP). Japan expects UN-Women to further strengthen its evaluation capacities.
<Cooperation between Japan and UN-Women>
As Ms. Puri’s recent visit to Japan clearly has shown, cooperation between Japan and UN-Women is becoming increasingly developed and strengthened. I would like to highlight three points that illustrate this close relationship:
(1) Ending Violence against Women and Girls
First, “Ending Violence against Women and Girls” is one of the issues to which Japan attaches the greatest importance. Japan took part in the UN-Women’s “COMMIT” initiative, and recently made a contribution of US$ 1 million to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, of which Japan was one of the initial and the main supporters. Furthermore, we are currently working closely with UN-Women in the efforts to raise awareness of the Fund to expand its donor base to include private sector donors.
(2) Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V)
Second, with regard to Africa, earlier this month, Japan, together with other co-organizers, hosted the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) V. We are very grateful for Ms. Puri’s participation and her contribution to the discussion at the thematic session “Driving Development in Africa through Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment”.
At that session, the Japanese Foreign Minister specifically noted in his statement the importance of focusing on women in all aspects of development, and stated that Japan always keeps this point in mind when engaging in assistance programs in Africa. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Yokohama Declaration 2013 stresses the importance of mainstreaming women in order to ensure the legitimate rights of women and their role and participation in all spheres of life on the African continent, and also to increase access to services and expand opportunities for training and employment. The inclusion of these various elements made TICAD V the most “woman-friendly” TICAD to date.
(3) Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Natural Disasters
Third, at last year’s session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the “Resolution on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Natural Disasters” was proposed by Japan and adopted. This resolution urges Governments and other stakeholders to ensure equal opportunities for women to participate in decision-making at all levels regarding disaster risk reduction, response and recovery, as well as to strengthen the capacities of relevant authorities to apply a gender-sensitive approach.
The Secretary-General is requested to report to the CSW at its 58th session in 2014 on the implementation of the resolution, and our Mission has been in close contact with UN-Women’s Gender and Humanitarian Unit in this regard.
We would also like to point out that the perspectives of the resolution will be incorporated into our National Action Plan, which is being developed in consultation with UN-Women and civil society.
Finally, Mr. President,
Japan, as a Vice President of the Executive Board, will continue to actively cooperate with and contribute to the activities of UN-Women through budgetary assistance and by providing personnel to the organization.
I thank you, Mr. President.