Statement by H.E. Jun Yamazaki,
Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations
First session of the Open Working Group
On Sustainable Development Goals
15 March 2013
Ladies and Gentleman,
Let me begin by expressing congratulations to H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, and H.E. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, on their assumption of the duties of co-chairs of the OWG. I would also like to express my appreciation for their excellent work as co-facilitators prior to this session as well. We expect Their Excellencies to continue to play leading roles in this important process.
As we are all aware, the agreement to commence negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals was one of the main outcomes of Rio+20. However, despite that agreement nine months ago, we have not in fact begun discussions on the substance of the SDGs yet. It is our hope that we will be able to have the substantive discussion as soon as possible. Japan, as a member of the OWG, is committed to contributing actively to the discussions.
Considering that the OWG will submit its report to the GA at its 68th session, we feel that it would be appropriate to request the Secretary-General to submit a new report in 2014, which would likely include, inter alia, concrete recommendations for how to integrate the SDGs into the post-2015 development agenda.
I would like to point out that paragraph 245 of the outcome document of Rio+20 stipulates that the SDGs should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations Development agenda beyond 2015. It is important that we closely coordinate the processes of both the OWG and the post-2015 development agenda. As for the post-2015 development agenda, several key elements of this process are already underway: discussions are taking place among the Secretary General’s High Level Panel; a report of the Secretariat-General’s is planned to be issued; an MDGs Special Event is scheduled for September this year; and various consultations are being organized by UNDG. We, the Member States, should always be mindful of how to integrate the work of this OWG into that of the post-2015 development agenda.
Bearing in mind the importance of the eventual integration of the work of these two processes, allow me to touch upon Japan’s basic position and ideas on the post-2015 development agenda on this occasion:
First of all, the post-2015 development agenda should consist of simple, clear, easy to understand, and measurable goals. This is critical for the new framework to be politically appealing. Furthermore, the post-2015 development agenda must be able to respond to the needs of the people. In this regard, Human Security can serve as an effective approach to create a framework which protects and empowers individuals to realize their full potential, and reaches out to society’s most vulnerable members.
Second, sustainability is an indispensable element of development. For this reason, Japan attaches great importance to the OWG; though we recognize that integrating sustainability into development is a challenge. We know that sustainable development, consisting of social, economic and environmental pillars, would encompass every aspect of our lives. Therefore, the manner in which we prioritize key issues and the effectiveness with which we communicate will determine the strength of the SDGs, and hence the post-2015 development agenda.
Third, the world is in need of partnerships that go beyond the traditional North-South divide, and include the private sector, emerging economies, and civil society. Therefore, I would like to emphasize the importance of establishing such new partnerships as we consider both the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda. These partnerships should be based on mutual support and enhancement of ownership, and include good governance and mobilization of domestic resources.
Mindful of the urgency of this issue, we look forward to having an effective and fruitful discussion with all the partners of the SDGs OWG.
I thank you.