Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the Second Committee
(As delivered)Mr. Chair,
I wish to congratulate you, Ambassador Amrit Bahadur Rai of Nepal, and other members of the Bureau on your new appointments. I also wish to thank Ambassador Niang of Senegal and the previous Bureau members for their excellent work.
No one would argue the significance of the work of this Committee against the backdrop of the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please rest assured that Japan will continue to engage constructively, as it did during the last session, in the important discussions of this Committee.
First, I would like to share my Government’s view on the overarching principle that should guide the work of this Committee, and then, present Japan’s policies on specific priority issues.
The spread of the COVID-19 is a serious human security crisis, posing threat to the survival, livelihoods and dignity of people. In addition to immediate responses to protect lives, we need to minimize its social and economic impacts. Inclusive measures focusing on the protection and empowerment of each individual are necessary, so that the most vulnerable people, including women, children, elderly people, persons with disabilities, and those affected by calamities including armed conflict, will not be left behind.
Based on this human security concept, since the outbreak of COVID-19, Japan provided over 1.54 billion US Dollars for medical and health assistance to developing countries. Japan is also providing up to 4.5 billion US Dollars in concessional loans to help revitalize their economy.
Building on the concept of human security, we wish to deepen the discussions in the UN on achieving the SDGs and tackling global issues in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. The impact of COVID-19 is multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral. By placing people at the center, we must realize the nexus of development, humanitarian, human rights, and peace and security, and make sure our discussion in different councils, committees and commissions are coherent.
What matters, at the end of the day, is to deliver to those in need on the ground. Programme budgets need to be scrutinized, so that more resources are directed to the delivery and not for administration. These are, in Japan’s view, among the basic principles that should guide our consideration of the important agendas of this Committee, including the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of UN system operational activities (QCPR).
Next, allow me to share Japan’s policies on the priority issues now.
First - Health. In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, achieving universal health coverage (UHC), along with equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, is more pressing than ever. Japan hopes to advance the discussions on how to implement the political declaration of the High-level Meeting on UHC whereby our Leaders committed to realizing UHC by 2030. Japan welcomes the Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on COVID-19 and Universal Health Coverage issued two days ago.
Second - Disaster risk reduction. Japan focuses on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction throughout the sustainable development agenda, since disasters could nullify years of gain in an instant, particularly when ill prepared. We will continue to support developing countries implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, where the notion of “build back better” originate.
Third - Climate change. Climate change is another persisting threat to human security. The international community needs to cooperate to realize a virtuous cycle of environment and growth. Japan hosted the “Online Platform Ministerial Meeting” on 3 September to discuss climate change and environmental protection in the post-COVID-19 recovery, to build momentum toward COP26.
Fourth - Financing for development. Japan, as the co-lead of a discussion group, contributed to the outcome of the High-level meeting on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond. We hope that this Committee would further deepen the discussion on how to enhance the transparency of the flow of public finance and mobilize private resources to build back better from the ongoing crisis.
Lastly - Digital cooperation and innovation. The launch of the Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation marks an important milestone towards promoting a human-centered digital transformation. Japan will continue to contribute to the discussion on science, technology and innovation (STI) that are inclusive, credible and in support of achieving the SDGs.
Japan looks forward to the constructive discussions in this Committee, under your able leadership, with a view to overcoming the ongoing crisis and building back better a more resilient and harmonious post-COVID world where human security will be better ensured for all.
Thank you very much.
Japan’s aid policies to COVID-19 For Developing countries