Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board 2nd Regular Session 2012 (UNFPA Segment)
Item 6: Evaluation
4 September 2012
At the outset, I would like to thank the Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, for his comprehensive statement. Japan values the openness with which he has personally engaged himself in dialogue with Member States, as well as his efforts to promote accountability at UNFPA, such as elaboration of its biennial report on evaluation.
My country regards global health policy, including issues of population, to be an indispensable element of our foreign policy. To this end, our country committed to contributing USD 5 billion over five years starting from 2011 to address issues of global health in the field of maternal and child health, as announced at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly on MDGs, in September 2010, and we are steadily implementing that commitment. Japan recognizes that UNFPA is an important partner for advancing global health policy. Japan will continue to actively contribute to efforts to resolve various problems related to global health, including the health-related MDGs.
Last October, the world’s population exceeded 7 billion people for the first time. Population issues are becoming ever more important. We believe that the steady implementation of the Cairo Declaration which was made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 is absolutely necessary. Japan also recognizes that the preparation process for ICPD Beyond 2014 has been carried out mainly by UNFPA. My country regards the population issue, including health-related concerns, as a global issue directly connected to human security. In this regard, Japan has paid careful attention to the above mentioned preparation process and has always stood ready to contribute actively.
There remains only a little time between now and 2015, the deadline for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. With regard to the shape of the world’s global development goals after 2015, we have held meetings of the ‘Post-MDGs Contact Group’ since last year, and have been actively contributing to setting the future global development agenda. Moreover, the members of the High-level Panel on post-2015 development agenda have just been announced. Mr. Naoto Kan, Former Prime Minister of Japan, was included as one of the appointed members. My country sincerely hopes that the post-2015 development agenda will be formulated in such a way as to effectively utilize the many valuable lessons learned from the process of implementing the current MDGs, as well as to take advantage of opportunities for new kinds of partnerships and stakeholder participation that have arisen over the last decade.
Japan highly appreciates that UNFPA has begun to place more emphasis on evaluation, through such means as adopting a ‘three-tiered quality enhancement process’ in order to address the lack of adequate time, funds and human resources for evaluation. On the other hand, while it is important to increase the quality of evaluation, it is also crucially important that the results and lesson learned from these evaluations are appropriately reflected in the programmes that follow. In this regard, there are still problems to be solved before UNFPA can seamlessly integrate the results of its evaluations into its programmes.
Presenting tangible and quantifiable development result is important for Japan to continue its assistance. For this reason, my delegation expects UNFPA to make the utmost effort to present concrete results, increase its accountability and expand its programmes more effectively and more efficiently by improving its function for evaluation.
Lastly, I would like to welcome the launch of the Ageing report, a report on an issue that my Government attaches importance, on 1 October as mentioned by the Executive Director.