Opening Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuyoshi Umemoto
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Special Event entitled “Harnessing the Power of Technology
To Prevent Violence against Women and Girls”
15 July 2013
Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Jan Eliasson,
Acting Head of UN Women and Assistant Secretary-General Ms. Lakshimi Puri,
Director of Program Division at UN Women Ms. Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett,
Distinguished Panelists, Ms. Alejandra Colom and Ms. Karen Naimer，
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to today’s Special Event entitled “Harnessing the Power of Technology to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls”. I’m very pleased to co-host this event in partnership with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
“Women’s issues are world issues,” so stated Ms. Bachelet at the beginning of this year. We are witnessing women’s issues -especially the issue of violence against women and girls- take ever more prominent positions in dialogues at various international fora such as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Security Council and G8.
We are also very much aware that the Secretary-General has presented “Working with and for Women and Young People” as one of the five priority agenda items of his second term, and that he continues to be committed to the issue.
The entire international community needs to tackle the issue of ending violence against women and girls. Japan for its part places great emphasis on this agenda. As stated in his Foreign Policy Speech of our Foreign Minister Kishida in the Diet, Japan will continue to address this challenge, and ‘actively participate in international initiatives on human rights issues, including the protection of women’s rights.’
Japan supports the Secretary-General’s ‘Say NO – UniTE to End Violence against Women’ campaign and in January we joined the UN Women’s ‘COMMIT’ initiative. As one of our efforts to materialize our commitment, in March, Japan made a new contribution of 4.5 million US dollars for programs to prevent sexual violence and support victims in countries such as Libya, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali. This includes a 1 million dollar contribution to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, of which Japan was one of the initial supporters and continues to be a main supporter. Our contribution is currently helping the Trust Fund’s initiative, ‘Addressing Violence against Women in Post-conflict and Transitional Libya,’ the first initiative by the Fund in that country. In April, our mission was also privileged to attend the opening session of the workshop organized by the Trust Fund.
Japan has been an active member of the Executive Board of UN Women since its creation, and this year Japan has been further deepening its cooperation and collaboration with UN Women as a Vice President of the Board. Last month, Ms. Puri visited Japan, where she kindly call her ‘second mother county’, and participated in the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), where a thematic discussion entitled ‘Driving Development through Gender Equality: Advancing the Empowerment of Women’ took place. We are grateful for her contribution. The Government of Japan has also extended an official invitation to the new Executive Director，Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who was appointed by the Secretary-General last week. We look forward to working with her.
Furthermore, last week in this room, we hosted a panel discussion on Security Council Resolution 1325 National Action Plans in cooperation with a NGO. UN Women contributed to the discussion as one of panelists. We are now earnestly working to elaborate a concrete plan in close consultation with UN Women as well as the civil society.
Today, I am very much looking forward to hearing the presentations by two grantees of the Trust Fund on pioneering efforts aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls by using cutting-edge technology. We hope that this event will contribute to raising awareness of the Trust Fund and to expanding its donor base, including private sector donors.
Thank you for your attention.