Statement by H.E. Mr. KIMURA Tetsuya, Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate
Thank you, Madam Chair.
At the outset I would like to join the previous speakers in congratulating you and all the bureau members on your election. The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a human security crisis, posing serious and multifaceted threats to life, livelihood and dignity of people across the globe. As its impact spirals across social and economic dimensions, we must take inclusive measures to protect and empower all individuals. The international community must unite to leave no one behind. From this standpoint, Japan vigorously supports developing countries’ efforts to build resilient health and medical systems, taking full account of the aggravated impact of the virus on women, children, persons with disabilities, refugees and people in conflict and respecting human rights. As the Secretary-General’s policy brief “COVID-19 and Human Rights” stresses, putting people and their rights at the forefront of our response for recovery is of utmost importance.
(Freedom of expression)
The fight against COVID-19 must not be used as an excuse to undermine the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Japan is concerned about the spread of violent extremism, hate speech and intolerance. Freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly are fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They must be upheld in every country, in every context including the anti-racism movement.
This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. We must not allow the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls to undo the progress made in gender equality over the past decades. In this context, Japan supports the Secretary General’s policy brief. We have assisted women through measures such as prevention of domestic violence within Japan in order to build back better while also continuing to empower women globally through various channels including through assistance to tackle sexual violence in conflict.
(Congress, cybercrime and other crimes)
Japan considers strengthening the rule of law and fostering a culture of lawfulness as essential to achieving the SDGs. Japan will host the 14th UN Crime Congress and the Youth Forum in Kyoto next March and powerfully advance these critical norms. The Kyoto Crime Congress will be the first major UN conference held outside of the UN offices since the onset of the pandemic, and we ask for support from all countries to successfully hold the event.
While crimes such as drugs, corruption and human trafficking continue to be critical, cybercrime has been particularly severe in the wake of the pandemic. To effectively tackle this crime, tight cooperation among countries is essential. Therefore, Japan believes that any process towards elaborating a new convention on cybercrime must proceed on a consensus basis.
The issue that the DPRK forcefully abducted Japanese nationals is one of the most serious violation of human rights by the DPRK, and Japan continues to take this issue extremely seriously. The families of the victims, who were abducted in 1970s and 80s, continue to age. Ms. ARIMOTO Kayoko, the mother of the abducted Ms. ARIMOTO Keiko, passed away this February. Mr. YOKOTA Shigeru, the father of the abducted Ms. YOKOTA Megumi also passed away this June. There is no time to lose. Japan seeks the understanding and cooperation of the international community for the return of all abductees to Japan as quickly as possible.
Japan continues to call on the DPRK to sincerely listen to the calls of the international community and take concrete measures toward the early resolution of the abductions issue and cooperation with the international community. Japan is determined to directly face the DPRK and take all possible measures toward resolving outstanding issues of concern, including the abductions issue.
Japan is determined to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer as the proof of humanity’s victory over the pandemic. The Tokyo 2020 Games will be a great opportunity to embrace diversity and inclusion, as well as increase accessibility for persons with disabilities through a whole-of-society approach.
I thank you.