UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board
1st February 2011
Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun YAMAZAKI,
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Since this is my first occasion to deliver a statement at the Executive Board, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you, Ambassador Mårten Grunditz, on your election as the President for 2012. Let me also congratulate the newly elected Vice-Presidents. I would also like to thank Ambassador Edita Hrdá for her excellent work as the President this past year.
I would like to state at the outset that the Government of Japan recognizes UNFPA as an important partner for advancing global health policy. We also welcome the various efforts under the leadership of Executive Director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin to strengthen the organizational function of UNFPA. We expect UNFPA to work effectively and efficiently as a unified organization through strengthened information sharing within UNFPA and capacity building among its staff, as it implements programmes through its regional offices to areas and people that need its support.
Last October, the world population reached 7 billion people, and population issues have continued to increase in importance. Japan has long regarded matters of population, including health-related concerns, as global issues directly connected to Human Security. In this regard, at the Millennium Developing Goals (MDGs) High-Level Summit of the United Nations in September 2010, the Government of Japan announced that it would allocate USD 5 billion over five years starting from 2011 to address global health in the fields of maternal and child health. We have been implementing such assistance and will continue to do so. .
Japan attaches much importance to the issues of global health and population in its overall foreign policy, and for this reason, the Government of Japan established the Global Health Policy Division within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last September. The unit is expected to enhance Japan’s contribution to achieving the MDGs, in particular the health-related goals. We intend to continue to actively contribute to tackling various issues in the area of international health and the health-related MDGs.
We are acutely aware of the view that most cases of pre- and neo-natal maternal death can be prevented. We want to save the lives of as many pregnant women and nursing mothers as we can by realizing in practice and in cooperation with other partners the EMBRACE program, that is Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care program, which our country has proposed, so that we may provide effective maternal health support.
It is important for me to point out that, in providing support, my Government is required to show concrete and easily recognized outcomes. For example, it is necessary for us to not only indicate the number of midwives that we will foster, but also the number of births that the fostered midwives will attend and the number of pregnant women that will be saved. These results need to be indicated quantitatively. UNFPA is an important partner for us as we implement our international health policies and we expect UNFPA to make efforts to indicate concrete and quantitative outcomes in terms of improvements to maternal health in supported countries.
Finally, with regard to the revision of the UNFPA financial regulations and rules, we recognize that UNFPA has made various efforts to explain in detail how and why these revisions needed to be made. Financial issues are a crucial topic to every donor and we expect UNFPA to continue to utilize its funds effectively.