Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki,
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board, First regular session 2013
29 January 2013
At the outset, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you, Ambassador Roble Olhaye, on your election as the President of the Executive Board for 2013. Let me also congratulate the newly elected Vice-Presidents. I would also like to thank Ambassador Mårten Grunditz for his excellent work as the President this past year. I also express my appreciation for the presentation by the Executive Director.
I would like to state that the Government of Japan recognizes UNFPA as an important partner for advancing global health policy. Japan has long regarded matters of population, including health-related concerns, as global issues directly connected to Human Security. At the 66th session of the General Assembly last September, a resolution on human security was adopted by consensus. It was a major achievement that the Member States could reach a common understanding on human security. My delegation has strong interest in promoting the implementation of human security throughout the various activities of the United Nations. We recognize that UNFPA, as one of the major implementing entities funded by the Human Security Trust Fund, has already been tackling human security-related projects for the protection of women’s rights. In this regard, Japan looks forward to and expects UNFPA to continue to work with Member States to promote human security.
There is not much time left for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Though many of the goals are expected to be achieved, others are proving difficult, including MDG-5, maternal health. It is well understood that most cases of pre- and neo-natal maternal death can be averted. Therefore, we should be saving the lives of as many pregnant women and nursing mothers as we could. To this end, the Government of Japan announced that it would allocate USD 5 billion over five years starting from 2011 to address global health in the field of maternal and child health. We have steadily implemented this assistance and shall continue to do so.
My delegation recalls that the Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, held a launching event for the Global Ageing report in Tokyo, Japan on 1 October 2012. As described in that report, the issue of ageing is not only the problem for developed countries, but will also come to be a problem for developing countries in the near future. In this regard, Japan appreciates the fact that UNFPA has started to focus its attention on issues of ageing in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). Japan, it should be noted, currently has the largest proportion of aged people among its population of any country in the world, and we would like to share our experiences and lessons learned including various strategies, such as Universal Health Coverage (UHC), to address a growing aged population.
The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD Beyond 2014) will be held next year, and its preparation process is being carried out mainly by UNFPA. Population issues are also becoming ever more important with regard to sustainable development. For these reasons, the continued steady implementation of the Cairo Declaration of the ICPD of 1994 is indispensable for our efforts to address population issues. As always, Japan stands ready to actively participate in the discussions.
With regard to the budget, my delegation appreciates the hard work that has been dedicated to draw up the road map towards an integrated budget. Japan has been following this issue with great interest, especially with regard to the revision of the cost recovery rate. If we make a wrong decision, it may lead to a decrease in the total amount of contributions from the Member States. The revision of the cost recovery rate should therefore be carefully and thoroughly considered, with sufficient data based on careful analysis.
Finally, the Government of Japan will hold the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) in Japan, from 1 to 3 June 2013. TICAD is a heads of state and government level conference, co-hosted by Japan, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, and the African Union Commission (AUC). We hope that TICAD V will contribute to the development of African countries in cooperation with all the participating entities. In particular, health related issues including family planning and maternal health in African countries are urgent concerns that need to be addressed in the context of building “an Inclusive and Resilient Society”, one of the three principal themes in the TICAD V. In this sense, we believe that UNFPA’s role in the development of the countries in Africa is quite unique and important.