Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board: UNFPA Segment

(Check against delivery)
 
Mr. President,
Executive Director,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I would first like to congratulate the 50th anniversary of UNFPA and the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). I wish to commend UNFPA for its leadership in advancing the population and development agendas.
 
As we discuss the annual report on the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2018-2021, we are gratified to see that many of the goals are on track to be achieved, while some improvement is necessary. In particular, we would like to see continuous focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized populations with a view to ensuring Universal Health Coverage.
 
Also, we would like to draw your attention to the independent evaluation of UNFPA by MOPAN led by Switzerland and Japan. The findings will be discussed at a launch event to be held during the lunch hour today with Executive Director Dr. Kanem. We are glad that the overall assessment was positive and hope that the findings and recommendations will duly be reflected in future UNFPA activities.
 
In the area of Sexual and Gender-based violence especially in humanitarian settings, Japan is pleased to contribute more than 54 million USD to partners including 13 projects of UNFPA in 2019. We also welcome the strengthening of the Humanitarian Office of UNFPA in Geneva and look forward to further collaborations.
 
Mr. President,
 
This year, Japan is calling for the promotion of Universal Health Coverage to ensure health for all, as we host a series of global events, including the G20 Summit later this month, the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD 7, in August, and also as the chair of the Group of Friends of Universal Health Coverage towards the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on UHC in September. We believe that UNFPA has a major role to play in assisting countries to achieve UHC through sexual and reproductive health and demographic intelligence.
 
As a country experiencing dramatic population ageing, Japan has been sharing lessons learned in various global and regional fora. We expect UNFPA to play an active role in providing technical guidance and fostering knowledge exchange among Member States from the perspective of the life-cycle approach, including on how to address low fertility and population ageing.
 
Finally, Japan expects the Nairobi Summit on the ICPD25 to be the prime opportunity to reflect on our achievements and unfinished agendas on sexual and reproductive health rights. We also expect the Summit to address population issues, including ageing, urbanization and mobility.
 
In this landmark year, we would like to reiterate Japan’s commitment to support UNFPA as a critical partner in the achievement of UHC and to leave no one behind.
 
I thank you.