(As delivered)Thank you, Mme. Chair,
Before I begin my statement, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the people of Indonesia for the lives lost and the destruction wrought by the earthquake and tsunami on the 28th of September as well as the people of Haiti for the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the earthquake on 6th of October. Japan has a special concern for natural disasters, and we stand by the side of the countries and people affected.
Allow me to congratulate His Excellency, Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klee, and the Bureau members on your new appointments. Thanks to the able leadership of the Chairs of the 71st and 72nd sessions, the Committee’s working methods have been much improved. Japan hopes to continue this trend, especially with regard to the negotiation schedule, which should be predictable and well-organized.
Three years after the adoption of the SDGs, multi-stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and academia, strive for its implementation. Our work in the Second Committee also needs to be aligned with the implementation of the SDGs; we should not be left behind. In this regard, we should avoid reopening issues that we agreed upon in 2015, such as the SDGs or the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
Based on the concept of human security, Japan focuses its efforts on such areas as health, education, disaster risk reduction and gender equality. Japan stands ready to contribute to discussions in the Second Committee, bearing in mind that we cannot achieve the SDGs without the participation of the private sector or the effective use of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). With regard to financial discipline, I would like to reiterate our position that unnecessary Programme Budge Implications (PBIs) would not be acceptable.
Allow me to share with you and the Member States Japan’s priorities on the upcoming deliberations.
The first is health. Japan, as one of the co-facilitators of the recent UN High-Level Meeting on the fight against Tuberculosis (TB), contributed to reaching consensus on a political declaration on the fight to end TB, which was unanimously endorsed at the meeting. This was a landmark achievement. However, it is still the case that half of the world population today suffers from a lack of basic medical services. In order to overcome this situation, it is essential for every country to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In this regard, Japan hopes to deepen the discussion on this issue towards the upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on UHC next September.
Disaster Risk Reduction
Second, disaster risk reduction is an overarching and important means for achieving each of the Sustainable Development Goals. Disasters can significantly impede progress. Japan has committed itself to mainstreaming disaster risk reduction as an integral part of the sustainable development agenda, and has made significant contributions in this area, including through organizing the past three UN World Conferences on Disaster Risk Reduction. Taking advantage of the strong momentum fostered during the recent High Level Political Forum, we would like to further expedite the full implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Third, climate change has manifested more rapidly than we had expected. All countries must engage with the same sense of urgency. Therefore, Japan will actively engage in discussions relating to climate change throughout this Committee. Japan also strongly supports the Secretary-General’s decision to convene the Climate Summit 2019, which will bring the international community together for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement from 2020.
Fourth is the role of the private sector; it is obvious that we cannot achieve the SDGs without their active participation. It is time for us to consider entering a phase in which the involvement of the private sector is encouraged in every resolution possible. Japan intends to pursue their deeper engagement through the negotiation of the agenda on global partnership. In this regard, Japan wishes to highlight the activities of the Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce.
Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
Finally, Japan strongly believes in the role of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) toward the achievement of the sustainable development agenda, and that is why Japan took the role of Co-Chair of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum in 2018. We will continue to contribute to deepening the discussion on STI through this Committee.
To conclude, Mme. Chair, under your competent guidance and leadership, Japan looks forward to exchanging views with other Member States in a constructive manner, in order to bring about meaningful results in this session, with an eye to accelerating the implementation of the SDGs through the G20 Summit and the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which we will be hosting next year.
I thank you.