Statement by Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Joint Debate of the General Assembly, Sixty-seventh Session
On Agenda Item 70 : Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian
and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations,
including special economic assistance
13 December 2012
At the outset, I would like to commend Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos, for her prominent leadership in coordinating emergency humanitarian assistance by humanitarian agencies as well as her dedication shown by visiting wherever the UN’s humanitarian assistance was required. I would also like to express the appreciation of my government for the tireless efforts of all the UN staff engaged in emergency humanitarian assistance.
Indeed in 2012, we were confronted with many humanitarian crises all over the world including the Sahel region, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Myanmar to name but a few. Our challenge is for the UN to continue to improve its responses to humanitarian crises including by strengthening its response capacities, improving humanitarian coordination, strengthening the accountability of all stakeholders and recognizing the importance of strengthening emergency administrative procedures as rightly addressed in the resolution to be adopted today. Japan fully supports the continuous improvement in the United Nations’ system of humanitarian assistance through the IASC Transformative Agenda and for its part, made contributions both to various humanitarian emergencies and to individual UN humanitarian agencies.
One of the most important themes common to today’s resolutions is the strengthening of partnerships between the UN humanitarian system and the growing number of humanitarian actors outside the UN. Japan highly appreciates continued efforts on the part of USG Amos, ASG Catherine Bragg and all the staff of OCHA toward this end, including direct outreach to the capitals of partner countries.
The importance of various partnerships was ascertained in the “World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku,” which was held in Japan on the 3rd and 4th of July this year. The participants at the conference agreed upon the critical importance of operational coordination in response to disasters through broad-based partnerships among various stakeholders that transcend sectorial differences. Such partnerships include, inter alia, local governments, the business community and NGOs.
Japan is also making efforts to build various partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in the field of disaster management. For example, in order to strengthen the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center) in Jakarta, Japan is providing communication equipment, dispatching a disaster management expert and an ICT experts, and supporting the creation of emergency reserve stocks against natural disasters. By various efforts including the aforementioned, Japan supports the establishment of the “Disaster Management Network for the ASEAN Region.”
Strengthening resilience is another common theme of this year’s resolutions. In the efforts toward establishing more resilient communities, closer cooperation between national stakeholders and humanitarian and development actors is important. In this regard, we support the strong leadership of USG Ms. Amos on the IASC Transformative Agenda, and look forward to positive developments on disaster preparedness through this framework.
In conclusion, let me reiterate Japan’s commitment to enhancing the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. At the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku, Prime Minister Noda expressed Japan’s determination to lead international efforts toward disaster risk reduction as well as its commitment to provide 3 billion dollars over three years starting in 2013 to that end.
Japan welcomes the resolution on the International Strategy on Disaster Reduction adopted this month by the Second Committee, in which it was decided to convene the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in early 2015 in Japan. Let me assure the General Assembly that Japan will spare no efforts towards the success of this conference.
I thank you, Mr. President.