Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
First Regular Session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
24 January 2011
Thank you, Madam President.
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your election as the first President of the UN Women Executive Board.
I also welcome the official beginning of the work of UN Women under the strong leadership of its Executive Director, Madam Michelle Bachelet, and am encouraged by the commitment she has just expressed to empowering half of the world’s population. I also commend the members of the UN Women Transition Team for their dedication to the work they so successfully carried out.
Today I would like to touch on three objectives to which Japan attaches great importance, and towards which it hopes UN Women will work.
The first is strengthening the coherence of the UN system on the ground. A key to UN Women’s success is achieving tangible progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women through assistance at the field level. We hope UN Women will work hard to develop and coordinate country-specific frameworks to deliver assistance more effectively and efficiently, while complementing the work of other agencies such as the UNDP and UNFPA. We also expect UN Women to strengthen collaboration with NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs).
The second objective is promoting women’s economic empowerment. Last year, Japan served as chair of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and in that capacity presided over a series of meetings on gender in which UN Women participated, and which highlighted the importance of achieving economic growth by enhancing women’s economic opportunities and entrepreneurship. In this connection, I would just mention the “Women’s Empowerment Principles” initiative launched by UNIFEM last year as an important tool for enhancing collaboration between UN Women and the private sector. For its part, the Japanese Government will work closely with the UN Women Liaison Office in Japan and the Japan National Committee for UN Women to strengthen the connection between UN Women and the private sector.
The third objective is promoting the “women and peace and security” agenda. We expect UN Women will play a leadership role within the UN system in operationalizing the set of indicators that will enable us to monitor the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325, and also in accelerating women’s participation in peacebuilding. With a view to strengthening the consolidation of peace in Afghanistan, Japan has recently contributed 4.5 million dollars to the UN Women’s project to assist the Afghan Commission for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
We expect that the views expressed by the UN Women’s Executive Director will take concrete form on the basis of the outcome of the ongoing field capacity assessment and discussion in this Executive Board, and that the strategic plan will be presented at the earliest possible date. As it is essential to employ a multi-sectoral approach, based on the concept of human security, when addressing gender issues, Japan hopes that the good practices emerging from UNIFEM’s cooperation with other agencies in projects funded by the Trust Fund for Human Security will be reflected in the UN Women’s strategic plan.
The Executive Board must make the utmost effort to enable UN Women to commence its full-fledged activities soon, and in fact to produce clear results in order to attract funding from the international community. To that end, it needs to establish its capacity and implement programs. Japan expects also that UN Women will function efficiently and effectively as a body that addresses normative, strategic and also operational activities in a more comprehensive manner. From these perspectives, Japan will actively contribute to the work of the Executive Board.
I thank you, Madam President.