Statement by Ambassador, Mr. Jun Yamazaki,
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations,
High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development
4 October 2013
At the outset, I would like to express my condolences to the families of the victims of the tragic incident in the Mediterranean.
I would like to express my gratitude to all who were involved in preparing this session. My appreciation goes especially to Mr. Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration and Development, Mr. William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Population Division of UN-DESA.
Since the first High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development was held in 2006, various discussions have taken place concerning international migration and development. The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), which was formulated as a follow-up mechanism to the first High-Level Dialogue, has made a special contribution to these discussions.
International migration occurs in many different forms. They include not only voluntary migration but also involuntary migration which occurs due to conflicts or natural disasters. It is important therefore that we appropriately take into account the reasons that underlie each individual migrant’s journey when we discuss international migration and development.
The General Assembly adopted a resolution on Human Security in September last year. Human Security focuses on different circumstances of each individual and thus promotes the protection and empowerment of all individuals. Therefore we think it is an appropriate concept with which to approach the varying reasons underlying international migration in all its forms.
Japan has been supporting and implementing various programmes such as support and advocacy for refugees and internally displaced as well as the victims of human trafficking in Africa, Middle East and Asia, in cooperation with relevant United Nations and international organizations. These programmes focus on strengthening the capacities of communities through such mechanisms as the Human Security Trust Fund. Moreover, through both grant aid and technical assistance, we promote efforts to strengthen the management of national borders by helping various countries to establish and strengthen their institutions of border and port control, and to prevent the spread of organized crimes and terrorism.
Human trafficking is becoming a serious and grave concern. Japan developed its “2009 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons” in December of that year in response to the perpetrators of this crime becoming increasingly cunning and clandestine. Close cooperation between countries of origin and destination countries is essential. Government of Japan has been contributing to the promotion of the information-sharing on human trafficking and its prevention both bilaterally and multilaterally through the Bali process. The regional cooperative framework on human trafficking and trans-boundary crimes in the Asia-Pacific region is an example.
Conflicts and disasters make the return of international migrants to their countries of origin difficult. It is therefore also necessary for us to respond to these difficulties. Japan provides assistance through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the return of refugees to their home countries.
Capacity building through strengthening abilities of individuals is essential both for the well-being of international migrants and for the benefit of the economic development of both countries of origin and destination countries. From such a perspective, Japan has been providing assistance for capacity building in such areas as education and health.
The nexus of international migration and development is one of the most important issues for the international community, particularly as it continues to experience the effects of globalization. Japan will continue to participate in the discussions on this subject and we are ready to actively contribute to various international efforts on this topic.
Thank you, Madame President.