Statement by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the 2018 Annual Session of the UNICEF Executive Board

(As delivered)

Thank you, Mr. President,
 
And I thank the Executive Director for the comprehensive report and the strong vision statement. Japan would like to commend the continued active role of the Board and Ms. Fore’s leadership since their appointments. Japan looks forward to further advancing our co-operation with UNICEF.
 
Mr. President,
 
Japan has been proactive in promoting the implementation of the SDGs both internally and internationally. Japan’s SDGs Action Plan 2018, developed under the leadership of Prime Minister Abe, places the empowerment of the next generations and women as one of its core pillars.
 
In this connection, let me recall Japan’s strong commitments announced at the Solutions Summit in Stockholm this year. Japan became a pathfinding country of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, and Foreign Minister Taro Kono joined its board. Moreover, the Government of Japan has disbursed support amounting to approximately 6 million dollars to the Fund to End Violence against Children, which is hosted by UNICEF. Japan is proud to have become the first country to contribute to the humanitarian window of the Fund and is committed to working with UNICEF to address this important issue. These contributions are an expression of Japan’s strong commitment to leaving no one behind, particularly the most vulnerable, including those in humanitarian situations.
 
Mr. President,
 
Japan places particular importance on promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in order to enable all people, including children in all situations, to access basic health services at an affordable cost, by the year 2030. Again, effective partnership is crucial, and in this regard, we see UNICEF as one of our most important partners. Japan would like to commend UNICEF’s attention to the hardest to reach, as well as its context-sensitive approach, which aligns with our human security approach
 
We look forward to further collaborating with UNICEF in health related areas, and hope to see UNICEF’s active engagement in a series of upcoming events, including the UN High-Level Meetings on TB and NCDs in September, the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata in October, and the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC to be held next year.
 
Mr. President,
 
Japan wishes to echo our colleagues in requesting UNICEF to steadily push forward the UN development system reform. We believe that it is fundamental for all UN development system entities, including UNICEF, to ensure stronger coordination and partnership within and beyond the UN development system, while harnessing each’s own comparative advantages. It is important to enhance the efficiency and impact of the UN development system as a whole, not solely of UNICEF. We expect UNICEF to play an active role in bringing about tangible results through a more effective and coordinated approach, as One UN.
 
Mr. President,
 
Japan wishes to add its voice to the condemnation of sexual exploitation and abuses (SEA) and sexual harassment, and to welcome the leadership of the UN Secretary-General and Executive Director, and the heads of the UN Funds and Programs in addressing these issues through the introduction of concrete mechanisms and actions. We would like to stress that efforts to address SEA and sexual harassment must be followed up coherently across the UN system.
 
Mr. President,
 
Finally, with regard to its contributions for 2018, Japan commits to contribute around 19 million dollars to UNICEF for its core budget, in addition to the 70.6 million dollars which we have also disbursed to its non-core budget, including a 15.7 million dollars contribution to improve the conditions for displaced persons from Rakhine State to Bangladesh.
 
In light of the current severe situations surrounding children in many parts of the world, Japan considers it important for the international community to make concerted efforts to help children and protect and promote their rights in collaboration with UNICEF. Japan remains deeply committed to its close cooperative relationship with UNICEF, and will continue to support its activities both substantively and financially.
 
I thank you.