(Check against delivery)Mr. Chair,
Gender equality and the empowerment of women maximize the potential of women. Japan recognizes that the greatest potential of society can be unlocked through the continued empowerment of women, and Japan is reinforcing its international cooperation and development assistance with a view to achieving ‘a society where women shine’ all around the world.
As we approach 2020, the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, Japan will further strengthen our national and international efforts to promote women’s empowerment.
Let me first highlight our domestic efforts in this regard. We made revisions to the “Act on Promotion of Female Participation and Career Advancement in the Workplace” in May and the “Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims” in June. The former aims to further promote active participation of women in workplace by broadening employers’ obligation in drafting action plans and enhancing information disclosure, while the latter intends to improve the protection of victims of spousal violence through early detection and intervention by the coordination and cooperation among relevant organizations in consideration of relation between domestic violence and child abuse.
In addition, Japan, in collaboration with the G20 engagement group W20, hosted the Fifth World Assembly for Women, or “WAW!”, in March, where Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s commitment to providing quality education and human resource development opportunities for at least 4 million girls and women in developing countries over the course of three years from 2018 to 2020.
Furthermore, as the G20 presidency this year, Japan hosted the Leaders' Special Event on Women’s Empowerment on the sidelines of the G20 Osaka Summit, where Women’s Empowerment was discussed as one of the main themes. Particular emphasis was placed on (1) reducing the gender gap in women’s labor participation, (2) enhancing support for girls’ and women’s education, and (3) engaging with women business leaders and entrepreneurs, all of which were also included in the G20 Osaka Leader’s Declaration.
In regards to collaboration with the United Nations, Japan made a contribution of about 24 million USD in total to UN-Women last year. As one of UN-Women’s top donors, Japan will continue to support their earmarked projects in developing countries. We believe that continued Japan-UN-Women policy dialogues, the first of which was held last month, will also contribute to strengthening our partnership in various fields.
In addition, Japan has consistently supported the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (SRSG-SVC) and as of now, Japan contributed 11 million USD in total in order to support the empowerment of conflict-affected women and girls in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the improvement of judicial systems for preventing sexual violence in conflict.
Japan has also been promoting the Women, Peace and Security agenda in collaboration with relevant countries and agencies. For example, Japan has supported UN-Women and UNFPA projects aimed at supporting conflict-affected women and preventing sexual violence in conflict, and provided assistance to Afghanistan to strengthen their judicial systems, procedures for investigations and the capacities of their armies and police forces through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
To conclude, Japan continues its efforts to realize ‘a society where women shine’ with the cooperation of UN organizations, Member States, the private sector and civil society partners. In this connection, the sixth WAW! Symposium will be held in Tokyo on April 3rd and 4th next year. We are looking forward to welcoming participants from across the world.
I thank you.