Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Annual Session of the Executive Board of UNICEF
Item 3: Annual Report of the Executive Director of UNICEF:
Progress and achievements against the medium-term strategic plan
5 June 2012
First of all, I would like to thank the Executive Director, for his comprehensive and thoughtful statement as well as the Deputy Executive Director Gupta for the presentation of the annual report on UNICEF’s progress and achievements against the medium-term strategic plan in the morning session. I also thank the presence of the other Deputy Executive Directors.
As was referred to in the annual report, the various MDGs related to UNICEF programmes, including the achievement of universal primary education (MDG2), the reduction of the mortality rate of children under the age of five (MDG4) and the combat against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG6) are making notable progress. Furthermore, with regard to access to safe drinking water (MDG7), the goal has already been achieved globally.
For our part, at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the General Assembly, the Government of Japan announced the “Kan Commitment”, which contributes, inter alia to the advancement of the MDGs related to health and education. As part of this commitment, we pledged to contribute both 5 billion USD in the area of health, including contributions of up to 800 million USD to the Global Funds for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and 3.5 billion USD in the area of education over 5 years starting from 2011. Such efforts are contributing toward achieving the MDGs 2, 4, 5 and 6.
Nevertheless, there remain goals among the MDGs that are yet to be attained. And despite the achievement of MDG7, half of all people still have only incomplete access to safe drinking water, and there remains a gap between access to water and sanitation. Furthermore notable disparities among different areas within a given country and among countries within given region have been increasing. My Government believes such situation requires us to focus our efforts toward the most vulnerable whom our assistance has heretofore had difficulty in reaching. In this regard, the Government of Japan highly values and supports UNICEF’s current approach to focus on equity with a view to ameliorate such disparities not just based on moral but also on cost-effectiveness grounds.
Though UNICEF’s revenue for 2011 increased by 1% compared to the previous year, the global economy is still in a difficult situation. It therefore is quite important that UNICEF continues its various efforts to increase its revenues and improve effectiveness and financial efficiency of its operations.
We are expecting UNICEF to promote efficient and effective use of financial resources through the implementation of IPSAS and VISION, which was introduced this year. We are also paying attention to how UNICEF is tackling the issues of organizational reform and developing new strategic plans utilizing such instruments with a view toward cost-effectiveness.
The quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) of UN operational activities for development is scheduled for this fall. The next mid-term strategic plan (MTSP) (2013-2017) of UNICEF is to be formulated based on the results of this review. In this regard, we expect UNICEF to develop an effective and efficient strategic plan that is more focused while emphasizing equity, and is based on the annual report.
Not only has the Government of Japan contributed to accelerating the achievement of the MDGs, but it also is leading international discussions concerning the international development goals after 2015. Japan has organized meetings of the “post-MDGs Contact Group” since last year to exchange views among interested countries and international organizations including UNICEF.
My Government will continue to support UNICEF in making further progress in achieving the MDGs and also wishes to actively contribute to the discussions on the post 2015 development goals.
Thank you Madam President.