(As delivered)Mr. Chair,
Gender equality and the empowerment of women is not only a precondition for promoting human rights of all but they also maximize the potential of women. I believe that more engaged societies and stronger economies can and should be realized through efforts in these areas.
Based on this idea, Japan has been reinforcing its international cooperation and development assistance with a view to achieve ‘a society where women shine’ all around the world.
The Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved without realizing gender equality and women’s empowerment. SDG 5 targets holistic solutions to the challenges that women and girls face. Every actor including the United Nations must respond to these urgent challenges in a cooperative manner.
Japan welcomes the Secretary-General’s initiative to place gender equality as important issue of the United Nations and to make the UN a gender responsive institution. We welcome, in this regard, the announcement last month of his system-wide strategy on gender priority. Japan is ready to fully support its steady implementation.
My country is actively taking measures to promote gender equality in the international arena. Let me touch upon a couple of our commitments announced since last year.
At the third World Assembly for Women, “WAW”! in short, which took place in Tokyo last December, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Japan’s commitment to provide more than 3 billion US dollars over the following three years for the promotion of participation as well as advancement of women in developing countries, focusing on 1) respecting their human rights, 2) establishing a foundation for their empowerment, and 3) promoting their leadership in politics, economy and public sector.
Moreover, Japan announced its commitment to provide 50 million US dollars to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, “We-Fi”, which was established at the G20 Hamburg Summit this year.
“Women, Peace, and Security” is one of the agenda on which Japan places great importance as non-permanent member of the Security Council. In 2015, the Government of Japan formulated its first Action Plan on the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1325 with close consultations of civil society. This June, we released our first annual report to demonstrate the Plan’s timely implementation and proper monitoring.
Government of Japan maintains a close working relationship with UN Women. Japan became the second largest donor to UN Women in 2016, with core and non-core contributions combined. This is also an example of Japan’s efforts to achieve the promises made by Prime Minister Abe when he was chosen to be one of the 10 champions of “He for She” Campaign. We will continue implementing our commitments to show that we indeed keep our words.
It is through a collective effort that we can establish ‘a society where women shine’ globally. To this end, every year since 2014 Japan has been hosting the World Assembly for Women, “WAW!” in Tokyo to discuss various aspects of women’s empowerment with the world’s top women leaders and other relevant stakeholders.
This year, we will hold WAW! from November 1st to the 3rd . We are wholeheartedly looking forward to welcoming participants from all over the world.
I thank you.