Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuyoshi Umemoto
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security
18 October 2013
Thank you, Mr. President,
<Japan’s Principle Policy>
First of all I would like to thank the Secretary-General, the new Executive Director of UN-Women and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for their informative briefings. I also thank and welcome the participation of the representative from civil society. I also welcome today's adoption of the new resolution 2122.
As Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe announced in his statement to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Japan is committed to actively engaging in international agenda concerning women and to making every effort to create ‘a society where women shine.’ We are planning to implement official development aid (ODA) amounting to more than USD 3 billion over the next three years in the areas of women’s social advancement and capacity building; women’s health care; and women’s participation and protection in the field of peace and security.
In order to protect women’s rights and ensure women’s participation in conflict-affected situations, security for those who serve to uphold the rule of law, such as police officers and judges, is a basic necessity; and in this regard gender-responsive transitional justice measures and reforms of justice systems need to be addressed. In particular, women’s access to the justice system must be strengthened so as to protect their rights as well as to protect them from the violence that too often accompanies the transition from conflict.
In this regard, Japan has, for example, supported various efforts to assist victims of sexual violence in refugee camps located in such countries as Sudan, Somalia and Iraq by providing legal advice, representation, and awareness raising campaigns as well as establishing relief and recovery systems which include mental-health care.
In order for member states and the UN system to be able to take effective actions, it is important that we highlight good practices and share lessons learned. Today’s open debate is an excellent opportunity to that end.
<Participation and Protection>
In order to realize a more peaceful society, Japan intends to make its utmost efforts to secure women’s participation and incorporate women’s perspective into each and every phase of conflict prevention, conflict settlement, and peace building, including election processes. Such women’s participation will also contribute to the better protection of the rights and the physical well-being of women, including female human rights defenders, female political leaders and female war correspondents, who are particularly exposed to danger in times of conflict.
<National Action Plan>
From this perspective, Japan has been earnestly developing a national action plan based on UN Security Council resolution 1325. In this action plan, Japan, in collaboration with UN-Women and civil society, will articulate measures to be taken for the sake of promoting women’s participation in such efforts as conflict prevention, the protection of victims of sexual violence, and peace-building and restoration processes.
In July, in collaboration with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), our mission held a special event entitled “Resolution 1325 in Action: Lessons Learned and Reflections”. The summary of the discussion held at this event has been included in the Secretary General’s report, and we hope it will further serve as an input to the Global Review of 1325 in November.
<Support for Women Civil Society Organizations >
Increasing investment in the capacity and resources of women’s civil society organizations which are active in conflict-affected countries should also be considered. In this regard, Japan was one of the initial supporters and continues to be one of the main contributors of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, which directly supports such civil society organizations. We will continue our contribution to the Fund. Furthermore, Japan co-hosted a special event in July with the Fund for the expansion of its donor base, including private sector donors.
In addition, I would like to share with you our experience of utilizing the Japan’s ODA schemes called “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GAGP)”, which we believe is a positive example of a good practice that could be emulated elsewhere in the world. GAGP is intended to provide rapid and direct support to both international and local NGOs active on the ground. Japan has been implementing numerous projects all over the world including in Afghanistan and several African countries through GAGP. Projects such as GAGP provide useful synergies to both donor and recipient countries.
In conclusion, Japan will continue to make its utmost effort towards the implementation of resolution 1325 as we move towards the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the resolution, and will actively participate in the high-level review of resolution 1325 in 2015.
Thank you very much.