Thank you Mr. President,
And I thank Madam Executive Director for her vision statement.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) and the 50th anniversary of UNFPA. Half a century on, UNFPA’s mandate as UN population agency is as important as ever. Under the leadership of Dr. Kanem, we look forward to refocusing and deepening discussion of critical population issues.
In November last year, during the Midterm Review of the Asian and Pacific Declaration on Population and Development, a regional report was adopted to feed into the Global Review of the Programme of Action of the ICPD. We expect that the global discussions on demography reflect diverse and rapidly changing regional and country realities so that each country can proactively implement policies based on accurate demographic trends.
As the country with the most senior population in the world, Japan co-organized a side-event with UNFPA during the regional review to deepen understanding on necessary measures to address ageing issues in Asia. We expect UNFPA to proactively address the issue of ageing, which is also becoming an emerging challenge in other regions, including in Africa.
We welcome the agenda and discussions on the Evaluation of UNFPA support to the prevention, response to and elimination of gender-based violence and harmful practices at this session. As a keen and continuous supporter of projects to address gender-based violence in the Asia, Africa and Middle-East regions, we expect UNFPA to strengthen its implementation and evaluation systems.
March this year, Japan will convene the fifth World Assembly for Women, or WAW!, in Japan. The fifth WAW! Of this year will include the theme of “Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention, Peace Building and Reconstruction”. As we have argued in a consistent manner, inclusivity is the key for effective prevention and sustainable peace building. In this regard, women’s participation in every phase of any programs is crucial. As we recognize UNFPA is playing an active role in this area, in particular, on integrated reproductive health and gender based violence services, that Japan has been supporting in Asia, Middle-East and African regions, we would like to promote further our existing cooperation in this regard.
This year, Japan will call for the promotion of Universal Health Coverage to ensure health for all, as we host a series of global events, including the G20 Summit meeting in June, 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 towards the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on UHC in September. In this landmark year, we would like to reiterate Japan’s commitment to supporting UNFPA as a critical partner in the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and to leave no one behind.
And we can do better, together. Thank you.