Members of the Bureau,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to express my heartfelt congratulations on the adoption of the Declaration on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development. I would particularly like to thank you, Mr. President for your leadership and commitment.
This year marks not only the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) but also the 50th anniversary of UNFPA. During this time, we have made impressive strides, including a steady decline in maternal and infant mortalities, and improved access to sexual and reproductive health services and education. We trust that the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 in November will further accelerate the implementation of the ICPD Program of Action in countries around the world.
Today the world is also facing emerging demographic transitions, including population ageing, migration, and urbanization. Besides the unfinished business of the ICPD, we need to address these challenges well in advance with policies informed by accurate demographic data. As a country with the world’s oldest population, Japan is willing to share our experiences through various avenues. In this connection, we will co-host a side-event, together with UNFPA and other partners, on policy options for low fertility and ageing to be held on 3 April, that is tomorrow, in Conference Room E during the lunch hour. We invite all of you to participate, and look forward to sharing experiences with you.
This year, Japan is calling for the promotion of Universal Health Coverage to ensure health for all, as we host a series of relevant events, including the G20 Summit in June and the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD 7, in August, and as the chair of the Group of Friends of Universal Health Coverage.
In this landmark year, we would like to reiterate Japan’s commitment to the agenda of ICPD and broader population and development issues as a core driving force for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals so that no one will be left behind.
I thank you, Mr. President.