Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Side Event: AOSIS@30 “Building Resilience and Expanding Development Horizons through Global Partnerships”

(As delivered)
 
Thank you Moderator,
 
Let me begin by expressing Japan’s congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the activities of AOSIS, and I would also like to congratulate Belize and Ambassador Lois Young for assuming the chairmanship for the next two years at this very important juncture. And I would like to say I really appreciate Lois reaching out to non-member partnership countries since your assumption as chair, and I’m very happy to be here to participate in this very important meeting. I also appreciate the strong statement by the chair herself, and also the Under Secretary-General Fekitamoeloa Katoa.
 
Japan is a peer “island state”. We comprise of more than 6,800 islands and share the priorities and the need to address the challenges, especially climate change and healthy ocean. As the chair rightly said, AOSIS problems have become the world’s problems. It’s a challenge that we all face on this planet. And we look forward to engaging positively in the ongoing process towards the Midterm Review for the SAMOA Pathway.
 
Japan participated in the adoption of the SAMOA Pathway as a member of the bureau, and has been making efforts to support its implementation in bilateral, regional and multilateral contexts.
 
I would refer to one commitment Japan made at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, which was “capacity building for 5,000 people in the area of climate change, disaster risk reduction and health”. In fact, we kept on doing it after we reached the goal, and so in the end we reached 9,324 people, almost double our commitment.
 
Another topic that the chair and Ambassador Young mentioned today is the question about reducing plastic litter in the ocean. Our Prime Minister Abe has expressed Japan’s wish to lead the global efforts toward reducing maritime plastic litter at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January this year. In this context, we are planning to discuss the issue of maritime plastic litter at the G20 Summit in Osaka chaired by Japan this June. So the world should come together to talk about issues that you are raising, the AOSIS issues, as you said is now a world issue.
 
So let me conclude by expressing our unwavering commitment on the priorities of SIDS. Japan stands ready to work with you.
 
Thank you very much.