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

(As delivered)

Thank you, Madam President,
 
At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, for her comprehensive statement on the annual report.
I would also like to join the others in congratulating Ms. Åsa Regnér on her appointment as Deputy Executive Director, and especially welcome her recent visit to Japan.
 
A couple of weeks ago, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the repositioning of the UN development system. This was just the first step toward our common goal of a more efficient and coherent UN development system. In this regard, we request UN-Women to actively engage with the Secretary-General, the other UN development system entities and the Member States so that gender perspectives remain a priority agenda in the forthcoming discussions.
 
Madam President,
 
We commend UN-Women for reaching a majority of the objectives of the Strategic Plan 2014 through 2017.
Under the current Strategic Plan (2018-2021), we expect UN-Women to ensure further collaboration with the other funds and programs in harmonizing their approaches to pursue more result- and impact-based outcomes on the country level.
In this regard, we would like to raise the following four points regarding the future work of UN-Women.
 
First, to strengthen its programming, UN-Women should accelerate its consolidation of the Flagship Programming Initiatives (FPIs). Japan appreciates the development of the FPIs, as we consider them the most innovative idea to enhance a common framework of delivery. In this respect, we are proud of our decision of last March to take a lead of the “Women’s LEAP in Crisis Response” in the FPIs, and hope that other Member States join our efforts.
 
Second, the United Nations System-wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP: 2012-2017) has contributed to improving the accountability of the whole UN System, and we commend the steady progress on all indicators of the UN-SWAP over the last six years.
However, more efforts are needed in the areas of gender architecture and parity, resource allocation and capacity assessment. As one of the co-facilitators of the ECOSOC resolution on gender mainstreaming of the UN system, Japan requests UN-Women to continue taking a leadership role to fully implement the second phase of UN-SWAP (2018-2022).
 
Third, while we recognize that UN-Women has achieved continuous growth of its overall resources over the last four years, the stagnation of its core budget remains a major challenge for UN-Women to address.
We recognize the UN-Women’s finances will never be robust and sustainable if only the top 10 donors, which include Japan, continue to provide nearly seventy percent of its entire core budget.
In this connection, we take positive note of and are willing to back the recent efforts of UN-Women to enhance its donor base by strengthening ties with private companies, foundations and other stakeholders.
           
Finally, we would like to reiterate the importance of partnerships. In order to implement the 2030 Agenda in the most effective way, UN-Women has to consider further partnerships with other UN entities and beyond, including non-UN actors.
 
To conclude, Madam President, Japan will continue to take a leading role in championing women’s agenda, and is looking forward to working with UN-Women, the Member States and other stakeholders.
 
Thank you.