Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, At the Africa Dialogue Series 2019, Session 5 “Shared Responsibility and the Humanitarian and Development Nexus: Financing for Transitions”

(As delivered)

Japan echoes the panelists as to the value of the humanitarian-development nexus approach as an advocate for Human Security. So I agree with what the representative from the World Bank said that it’s about the people at the very outset of this panel discussion. In protracted crises and fragile settings, it is crucially important to analyze and address vulnerabilities at different levels within the state and society. This must be coupled with the efforts of building resilience of individuals and social systems working with multiple partners beyond organizational and sectoral silos.
We recognize refugees and IDPs not only as subjects for protection, but rather as a group of people who will become self-reliant, and take on the responsibility of rebuilding their home countries. From this perspective, Japan has been implementing numerous projects in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, emphasizing on context-specific approach and sustainability.
Indeed, what is important is to put into practice the nexus in a highly specific context. As the representative of IFRC has said, “localization” is the key. And we should consider the concrete efforts to build resilience of the individuals on the ground, which brings the humanitarian side and development side effort together, making them more coherent and effective.
We have a concept of human security as we promote our development and humanitarian process, and we can apply this approach to international assistance to refugees and IDPs obviously. And since there was some discussion on the situation in Northern Uganda and South Sudan context and let me give you one, very concrete example, which is our aid agency JICA  is doing with UNHCR,  the project called “Promotion of Rice Development Project (PRiDe in short).” This is a project aimed at helping both refugees living in the refugee camps and the local Ugandan residents living the camps, and the idea is to let them acquire specific skills for rice farming. I think this is a very important project to enhance the capacity building because we consider investing to the human resources is a very important part. In that regard, I was very struck with the presentation by Mr. Waititu of Equity Bank who talked about the banking system that reaches out to refugees in the camp. I agree with him that a bank account can provide the identity of that person but also gives dignity and pride to the people. I think this is exactly the idea of human security in action, and those are the ideas to build the resilience of the people,  Making people fulfill the full potential of those people on the ground by  providing the opportunities is very important. Yes, the Madam Moderator was quite right in the sense that what we need to do is to provide opportunities to the people, both the IDP and the refugees on one side and the local community on the other side. So I think that when we talk about the financing for the transition there are two aspects: one is how to mobilize the funds, the other is how to use the funds. And when we use the fund, focusing on the capacity and resilient side, I think, is very important.

Then what becomes of the financing side? That is, mobilizing resources. In this connection, I am very happy to tell you that Japan this year is serving as a chair of the Leading Group on the Innovative Financing for Development, so we are very much interested in exploring every new avenue, including solidarity tax and other ideas, to go beyond the traditional official development assistance. I say this because we need to have additional resources to fund the development and humanitarian needs. This is something that TICAD 7 conference, we have this year in August for African development, will talk about. We organize TICAD every three years. We are thankful to the cooperation with the United Nations, definitely OSAA, and the Secretary-General himself, the UNDP and the African Union Commission, and of course the World Bank system, we are always appreciative of these co-organising entities. One area we definitely focus on is how to engage the private sector in a more dynamic way so that all the knowledge we are given here today, and my colleagues in Tokyo are thinking about in collaboration with UN and UNDP, and AU Commission and World Bank, will definitely provide a good impetus to the humanitarian development nexus discussion focusing on human security aspects. I will be happy to present this outcome in the upcoming SGD summit in September.
Finally, I also recognize the point made by our colleague from the Equity Bank of Kenya as to the importance of innovation. In fact, Japan has a vision of the “Society 5.0,” that is the idea to bring together the cyberspace and physical space to improve human life while solving the social issues. And I think that innovation in the financial sector should be a part of it, and it can be realized in Africa in a more dynamic way, because in Africa, I think there are so many opportunities to try something very new and innovative. So I would like to highlight this point as a new area of collaboration between Japan and Africa.
Thank you very much for your time.