Statement by H.E. Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations at the 2017 Second Regular Session of the UNICEF Executive Board

Thank you, Mr. President,
          At the outset, Japan reiterates its appreciation for UNICEF’s hard work to save children and protect their rights, and highly values the results that UNICEF has delivered amid complex, difficult and often hazardous circumstances.
          With the extremely severe situations facing children in many parts of the world today, UNICEF’s work to protect children and preserve their rights is more important than ever. Japan wishes that UNICEF will continue to serve as the guardian of children’s rights, and we reassure that Japan will stand with UNICEF to make the world a better place for every child.      
<Promotion of the SDGs>
Mr. President,
          Japan has been proactively promoting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both domestically and internationally. In July, we presented our various efforts toward achieving the SDGs in the Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum. On that occasion, we announced our commitment to provide 1 billion dollars of assistance by 2018 focusing on children and youth. It is our clear intention that Japan will implement the SDGs placing emphasis on assisting children and youth, who are the next generation that will shape the future. Japan believes that UNICEF is a reliable partner with whom we can realize our commitment. We therefore look forward to continuing our close cooperative relationship with UNICEF.
<UNICEF Strategic Plan>
Mr. President,
          Japan welcomes the final draft of UNICEF’s new Strategic Plan 2018-2021, which has been just presented to the Executive Board at this session, and reiterates its appreciation for the great efforts of UNICEF and the members of the Board who have brought us to this stage. Japan is pleased to see that the new Strategic Plan reflects the constructive comments proposed by various Member States and stakeholders, as well as its consistency with the SDGs and alignment with the QCPR, including the focus on UNICEF’s comparative advantages and the establishment of the ‘common chapter’.
          Japan also appreciates that the Strategic Plan incorporates several elements to which we attach particular importance. These include the concept of human security, coherence and complementarity between development and humanitarian activities, promotion of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and responses to key illnesses including diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria and tuberculosis. Japan looks forward to the adoption of the Strategic Plan in this regular session.
<Cooperation with UNICEF in global health and promotion of UHC>
Mr. President,
          As we all know, Goal Area 1 of the new Strategic Plan states, ‘Every Child Survives and Thrives’. Japan values global health from the viewpoint of realizing human security and has been playing a leading role in promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Japan believes that promoting UHC for all children will guide us to achieve this important Goal.
          In this regard, we would like to announce that Japan, together with UNICEF and other partners, will co-host a high-level side event to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, titled ‘World Leaders for Universal Health Coverage’, on September 18th at UN Headquarters. We invite all interested parties to attend.
          Japan will also co-host with UNICEF and other partners the UHC Forum in Tokyo in December, inviting heads of state, ministers, high level government representatives and various other stakeholders.
          We look forward to a continued close partnership with UNICEF, including in this area.            
Thank you, Mr. President.