H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Discussion of the Economic and Social Council: Humanitarian Affairs Segment

(As delivered)

Thank you, Chair.
As many speakers have already pointed out, the world is facing increasing trend of the humanitarian needs, both in funding required and people targeted. Conflict, economic shocks, climate change and the failure of political systems to address them, are not just counted as causes and drivers of humanitarian crises, but as multiplier that makes humanitarian crises more complex.
Timely assistance is needed more than ever to respond to such increasing and complex humanitarian needs. In this regard, Japan decided in February this year to extend total of over 600 million US Dollars for humanitarian crisis, counter-terrorism and stabilization of society, namely in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including Bangladesh and Myanmar in response to displacement from the Rakhine State. In April, we also decided to extend total of 14 million US Dollars to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. We do hope that these early contributions of the year help UN and other humanitarian organizations to implement their humanitarian actions in a timely and predictable manner.
Furthermore, we are also implementing technical assistance as well as small grassroots grant projects in partnership with local NGOs. We hope that combination of various funding mechanisms from local to national and international level will effectively reduce people’s humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability – which is the theme of this Segment.
Mr. Chair,
Having just introduced Japan’s humanitarian assistance, we think that the amount of the contribution alone is not sufficient. As we face increasing and complex humanitarian crises these days, we strongly believe that effective utilization of assistance focusing on outcomes and impacts, not on outputs, is important in addressing the humanitarian needs effectively on the ground. Japan has a strong view that the joined-up approach of humanitarian-development-peace, or “nexus”, is a relevant approach from this perspective. At the same time, we believe that the modalities of implementation of nexus can be different depending on each country’s context, and therefore, it is time for the international community to focus on the implementation on the ground and effective sharing of good practices and lessons learned, rather than on merely continuing discussions on norms and concept.
I wish to add that innovation has a large potential to make our assistance more effective. Japan, mindful of technology and innovation, intends to focus on effective delivery of assistance to people in need within limited resources. We will pay close attention to efforts of applications of innovative technologies and approaches such as the Blockchain in the field while maximizing efficiency, accountability and impact.
Mr. Chair,
I look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions here at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment. Japan continues to commit itself to working closely with the UN and member states on the follow-up efforts from the World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul as well as the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants held here in New York in 2016. I also welcome the Council members’ hard work on the draft Resolution. I would like to strongly commend the fair and experienced co-facilitation of Switzerland and Zambia.
In closing, I would like to stress once again that Japan would like to continue to strengthen our work in the humanitarian assistance with a particular focus on humanitarian needs on the ground, effective approaches to bring about outcomes and impacts to the people in need, and in doing so, placing Human Security action at the center of our response.
I thank you.