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Statement by Ms. Naomi Kuroda

First Secretary of Japan to the United Nations

At the Commission for Social Development

Agenda item 3(a): Rethinking and strengthening social development

in the contemporary world.

08 February 2016



Mr. Chairman,


        The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a historic document which was adopted last year, coinciding with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development, began to be implemented in January. Japan, as a promoter of human security, strongly supports the 2030 Agenda’s people-centered approach, which aligns with the outcome of the Copenhagen Declaration.


        The Commission for Social Development, along with the other functional Commissions of ECOSOC, is expected to support the review of the progress of the new agenda. The Commission for Social Development should support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including social development, in a holistic and coordinated manner, instead of taking traditional siloed approach. Toward this aim, we will participate actively in the discussions of the Commission.


Mr. Chairman,


        In consideration of the priority theme of this year’s session of the Commission: “Rethinking and strengthening the Social Development in the contemporary world”, the UN Secretary-General has presented several recommendations in his recent report. These recommendations include useful elements which should be considered in the discussions on the future role of the Commission for Social Development. Today I would like to discuss two of these recommendations.


        First, the Secretary-General reminds us that Governments should provide nationally appropriate social protection systems with special efforts made to reach those most vulnerable. The public social protections provided by governments are necessary to break the cycle of poverty and possibly turn crisis into opportunity. From this point of view, it is particularly important that we address poverty in families with children. Children are the future of every country. It is a necessary condition that children be able to receive a proper education without being adversely affected by their growing environment in order for them to have any chance to break their link in the chain of generational poverty.


        On this point, the Government of Japan adopted a policy outline to combat child poverty in August 2014. This policy outline aims to improve children’s growing environments and to generate equal educational opportunities for all children. This outline includes educational support, job assistance for guardians, and continued research into child poverty.


        Second, the Secretary-General recommends scaled-up and more effective international support as a requirement of social development, including through enhanced ODA and more effective international cooperation among others. On this point, first, we would like to reaffirm that each country has a primary responsibility for its own economic and social development as reiterated in the 2030 Agenda. And second, national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment.


        In the implementation of its development cooperation, Japan considers it crucial to promote Human Security. We deem it important to realize cooperation through the protection and empowerment of individuals, paying special attention to those most liable to be vulnerable such as children, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and refugees and internally-displaced persons. From this point of view, Japan amended its Official Development Assistance Charter for the first time in 12 years and included the aforementioned points of view. Grounded in this basic policy, the Government of Japan, towards the Sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI), which is going to be held this August in Kenya, aims to realize “quality growth” in Africa that ensures human security. This means, we will pursue greater prosperity of our partner countries, not only through further economic development but also by strengthening health systems and supporting social development, including comprehensive education and women’s empowerment.


Mr. Chairman,


        Allow me to conclude by stating that the Government of Japan will continue to tackle the challenging national and international issues of social development in order to ensure that no one is left behind.


I thank you.




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