Statement by H.E. Mr. Toshiya Hoshino Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations at the 2017 Second Regular Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board UNFPA Segment


Mr. President,
Acting Executive Director,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
          At the outset, both for myself and on behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to you and the whole UNFPA community on the loss of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA. Japan remains committed to supporting UNFPA to fulfill its core mandate of promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, building on the strong leadership and legacy of Dr. Osotimehin.
 
Mr. President,
 
          I would now like to make some comments regarding the new Strategic Plan, the associated integrated budget, and future opportunities.
 
< UNFPA Strategic Plan, 2018-2021>
          First of all, I would like to congratulate the secretariat and the Member States involved in formulating the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2018-2021. In our view, this plan embodies the renewed commitment to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and reduced maternal mortality in the SDG era.
 
           In particular, I would like to stress the importance of assisting countries in addressing the demographic challenges of an ageing society, which poses policy and societal challenges not only to developed countries like Japan, but also emerging and developing countries, including many of those in the Asian region. An example of efforts to address this challenge was the forum on active ageing held in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam last month, supported by UNFPA and the Government of Japan, where parliamentarians from across Asia and the Pacific gathered to discuss regional cooperation on ageing issues. We recognize that the ageing aspect is captured in the context of demographic intelligence and policy support in outcome 4 of the Strategic Plan, but we would also like to urge UNFPA to actively support countries in need of assistance in this area.
 
          We hope that the Strategic Plan will be adopted and swiftly translated into concrete programs at the regional and country levels, taking into consideration each regional and country context, including demographic trends.
 
< UNFPA integrated budget, 2018-2021>
Mr. President,
 
          I would also like to briefly touch upon the proposed UNFPA integrated budget. We appreciate the secretariat for its effort to put together a budget proposal in this challenging time. While we are prepared to adopt this budget proposal, we would like to request the secretariat to closely monitor and ensure that the negative impact of the budget decrease to country programs is minimized, and that the overall overhead cost will be controlled based on the comprehensive resource review (CRR). In this context, I would ask the secretariat to update us on the financial situation and CRR in a timely manner, including at the next session of the Executive Board.
 
< UHC Forum 2017>
          Finally, I would like to reiterate the importance and relevance of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), through which all people, irrespective of their backgrounds, including gender and age, are ensured access to basic healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health, which also leads to the realization of sexual and reproductive rights. In this regard, the Government of Japan will host two high-level events on UHC. One will be held in New York on 18 September during the High-level Week, which we welcome your active participation. The other will be held in Tokyo on 13-14 December as UHC Forum 2017. We wish to take these opportunities to promote UHC thereby also advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights.
 
I thank you.