Statement by Dr. Akane Miyazaki, Special Advisor to the Government of Japan (Item 28: Social Development) at the 73rd Session of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

(As delivered)
 
Mr. Chair,
 
Allow me to begin by extending my heartfelt congratulations to you on your assumption of the position of chair of this Committee. Let me assure you of my delegation’s utmost support to your efforts and leadership, as well as those of the bureau members.
 
I am attending this Committee as the Special Advisor to the Japanese delegation on the recommendations of eight Japanese women’s NGOs. Since 1957, a representative of Japan’s women’s NGOs has participated in the discussions of this Committee. I will actively participate in this Committee, recognizing that women’s political empowerment and democratic governance are essential to achieve a peaceful and equal civil society.
 
Mr. Chair,
 
Japan places great importance on the holistic empowerment of all individuals, including women, persons with disabilities, older persons, youth and LGBTIs. From the perspective of Human Security, we have been taking various measures to realize social development both domestically and internationally.
 
On the domestic scene, Japan aims to build a society in which every person can actively participate regardless of their age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or status of disabilities - through raising awareness for the elimination of discrimination, addressing economic disparity and poverty, and improving working environments.
 
International efforts are imperative to achieve a society, where no one is left behind. Allow me to introduce examples of Japan’s contributions, particularly in the field of supporting persons with disabilities and social development in Africa.
 
Mr. Chair,
 
Japan promotes the empowerment and the rights of persons with disabilities towards an inclusive society with respect for diversity. We will make use of the momentum of the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games to promote the active participation of persons with disabilities in various sectors, including sports.
 
In February 2017, the “Action Plan on Universal Design 2020” was established at the Meeting of the Ministerial Council on Universal Design 2020. Proactive initiatives for “Mental Barrier-Free” and “Universal Design” urban development were shared in the second meeting held last January. Japan will continue to advance measures to realize an inclusive society.
 
Mr. Chair,
 
Since 1993, Japan has led the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to support the stable and self-sustaining growth of Africa. Specifically, we have been putting forth efforts to achieve “Quality Growth” by promoting robust health systems including universal health coverage, supporting education and vocational training for youth, fostering a culture of lawfulness, promoting the rule of law through capacity building in juvenile justice systems, and accelerating women’s social advancement.
 
Japan also pledged to invest 30 billion dollars from both governmental and private sector sources for the future of Africa at the 6th TICAD Summit, and we have been steadily implementing this commitment. We will host the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo on the 6th and 7th of this October, and the 7th TICAD Summit in Yokohama in August of next year. Japan will be preparing for the summit in order to further encourage the development of Africa.
 
Mr. Chair,
 
Since 2014, the Government of Japan has been hosting the World Assembly for Women (“WAW!”) in order to realize a society where women shine. The next “WAW!” symposium will be held in Tokyo in March, 2019. We look forward to welcoming guests from the Member States.
 
This year, we are facilitating the resolution on volunteering to submit to this committee. My country will continue to address issues surrounding social development by empowering every individual, including women, persons with disabilities, youth, older persons and LGBTIs, as well as by promoting participation of volunteers in the spirit of “leaving no one behind”.
 
I thank you.