Statement by H. E. Mr. Hiroshi Minami

Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Statement

27 January 2016


Mr. President,


        At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation for the comprehensive statement given by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA. I also cordially welcome the new Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Laura Londén. We are looking forward to closely working with you.


Mr. President,


        Japan is committed to promoting the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). As one of the most crucial elements of UHC, Japan emphasizes the importance of maternal and newborn health. We believe that this area can be achieved by strengthening health systems. In this connection, in December 2015 Japan organized the International Conference on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Tokyo. It was concluded successfully with the participation of Dr. Osotimehin.


        Japan also believes that we need to strengthen Global Health Governance in order to respond to adequately public health emergencies such as the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. When a public health emergency erupts, the area of maternal and newborn health often becomes neglected. Many pregnant women and new mothers cannot have access to appropriate health services because resources are diverted toward responding to the epidemic. Japan would like to work in close cooperation with UNFPA in the field of public health emergency response in order to ensure the continuation of adequate maternal and newborn health services specifically during a public health crisis or natural disaster. On that note, Japan expects UNFPA to show strong guidance to pregnant women or women who may become pregnant, who are rightly worried about the threat of Zika virus especially in Latin America.


Mr. President,


        In May 2016, Japan will host the G7 summit meeting at Ise-Shima. The Sixth Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD VI) will be held for the first time in Africa in this year. Japan expects that the issues of UHC and Global Health Governance will be taken up in the agendas of both events. Also, in April 2016, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development will be held in Tokyo with the support of UNFPA. I would like to express our sincere appreciation for UNFPA’s support. Japan would also welcome any policy inputs from UNFPA for these conferences.


Mr. President,


        Earlier this month, Dr. Osotimehin stated in his briefing that UNFPA has been facing difficulties over its finances, in particular its decreasing regular resources, which might affect its ability to achieve its planned activities. In consideration of this financial situation, the Government of Japan has submitted to the Diet a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016 which includes a 17% increase in its contribution on a Yen basis to the core resources of UNFPA. This budget proposal is currently under consideration by the Diet. In addition, I am very delighted to announce that the Diet of Japan just approved the supplementary budget which includes the additional contributions of 15 million US dollars to the UNFPA projects in conflict affected countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Yemen and others. These contributions will be disbursed by March.


        The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in September, 2015. Many of the goals and targets of the Agenda are related to the areas of population and development, either directly or indirectly. Therefore, Japan expects that UNFPA will support the Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda by fulfilling its mandate and breaking away from the ‘silo approach’. For its part, Japan continues to support and contribute towards UNFPA’s efforts.


I thank you, Mr. President.



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