Statement by H. E. Mr. Hiroshi Minami

Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

2016 First Regular Session of the UNICEF Executive Board

2 February 2016


Thank you, Mr. President,


        At the outset, I am honored to become a Vice President of the UNICEF Executive Board for 2016. I will support the new President in order to contribute to UNICEF’s overall activities. I would also like to thank the Executive Director, Mr. Anthony Lake, for his focused statement.


        Among the biggest achievements of the United Nations in the last year, the 2030 Agenda and Paris COP21 are very important outcomes for future generations as rightly pointed out by Mr. Lake.


        The children of today will have become important players of our society in the year 2030. But for now they may be still vulnerable and need to be nurtured with particular care. We must focus on them and seriously think about how to protect and empower them based on the notion of a “people and children-centered” approach.


        In order to implement the 2030 Agenda appropriately, the availability of reliable disaggregated data in the global indicator set, which is to be adopted by the Statistical Commission this coming March, is crucial. Disaggregated data is critically important for grasping the situation on the ground, strengthening country programmes and effectively mobilizing resources so that no children are left behind.


Mr. President,


        Japan believes that strengthening humanitarian-development nexus from the earliest stages of humanitarian crises is crucial because refugees are facing protracted situations and they have to be treated with dignity. The World Humanitarian Summit to be held this year will be a very good opportunity to discuss this issue, but we have to take concrete actions and show visible output as soon as possible.


        In this regard, UNICEF is a unique organization because of its work in both the humanitarian and development arenas. Japan therefore expects UNICEF to take a prominent role in the discussions of the Summit based on its extensive experience and knowledge.


Mr. President,


        At present, the international community is faced with a number of humanitarian crises around the world. One of the most serious crises is in Syria. Japan just decided a new contribution to UNICEF amounting to 115.5 million USD in its supplementary budget to support the response to these humanitarian crises in the world. Out of 115.5 million USD 37.7 million USD will go to Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries. Japan will continue to make every effort, in collaboration with our strong partner UNICEF, to support children in order to give them hope for the future.


Mr. President,


        Japan welcomes the UNICEF resource mobilization strategy to be shared with the Member States. UNICEF has several existing strengths in resource mobilization, such as its strong mandate of “Protecting Children” and its national committee network. However, Japan also expects UNICEF to further improve its resource mobilization by exploring new potential strategies such as in-kind contributions and flexible partnerships.


        At the same time, Japan understands the current severe financial situation faced by UNICEF therefore the Japanese Government is trying to secure its core contribution to UNICEF and has submitted to the Diet the budget plan including a proposed 4% increase on a yen basis of its core contribution to UNICEF fiscal year 2016 compared to FY 2015.


        Last but not least, at the present moment many pregnant women or women who may become pregnant are rightly worried about the threat of Zika virus, which has recently spread to Latin America. Japan expects UNICEF to support these people in particular through strengths in community involvement and advocacy.


        In conclusion, as a member of Friends of Children, I would like to reiterate that Japan will continue to be positively involved in the discussions on the discussions on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and the efforts to fight against climate change challenges. Also Japan is pleased to continue working in collaboration with UNICEF and other Member States.


I thank you, Mr. President.



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