(As delivered)


Statement by H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Minami

Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations 

At the General Debate of the Economic and Social Council

Humanitarian Affairs Segment

ECOSOC Chamber

27 June 2016


Mr. President,


          At the outset, I would like to thank the Deputy Secretary-General for the statement and the presence in the Humanitarian Affairs Segment. I would also like to welcome Under Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien.


          As many speakers have already pointed out, the world is facing an unprecedented level of forcibly displaced persons. The funding gap for humanitarian assistance has also become larger than ever. Humanitarian issues have become one of the top priorities of the UN and other international fora.


          Against this backdrop, the World Humanitarian Summit was convened last month. I would like to express my sincere respect for the efforts of the staffs of OCHA and the WHS Secretariat. Japan supported the WHS process from the very beginning. Japan is proud to have co-hosted one of the first Regional Consultations in 2014 in Tokyo with Indonesia and OCHA, which piloted the subsequent WHS process through Istanbul.



Mr. President,


          Humanitarian affairs should be addressed in cooperation with various actors, such as development actors, NGOs and the private sector. This has become even more important in recent years, as humanitarian crises have become even more protracted and complex. In this regard, we appreciate the multi-stakeholder nature of the WHS, which provided an opportunity to put the views of various stakeholders together into common concrete outcomes.


          Various observations have been made of the WHS process by Member States, especially with regard to Member State participation. Nevertheless, no matter how you view the process, we should cooperate and work seriously to implement its productive recommendations on the ground. Our ultimate goal is not to evaluate the process itself but to better serve people in need.


Mr. President,


          Among the issues discussed at the WHS, Japan attaches particular importance to strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus. Poverty and disparity are often the root causes of humanitarian crises. Therefore, building the capacity of the affected people through education or vocational training is crucially needed. Also, we need to pay serious attention to host communities accepting displaced persons. Without proper support, such communities can quickly reach their limits, for example, with regard to basic infrastructure. Assisting their economic and social development is of critical importance.


          Based on these ideas, Japan co-hosted a side-event in Istanbul together with the Solutions Alliance and introduced good practices of productive collaboration between the humanitarian and development sectors. In this side event, we announced a Joint Statement entitled “Five Principles for Strengthening the Humanitarian-Development Nexus”. This summarized key points that are assessed as fundamental to achieve better collaboration between humanitarian and development actors, such as 1)Ensuring meaningful participation of the most affected, 2)Including forced displacement issues in development plans, 3)Marshaling the comparative advantages of both actors, 4)Developing a common vision through joint analysis , and 5)Seeing such collaboration as an integral part of promoting peace and security. We hope that this Five Principles will serve as a guideline when addressing protracted crises.


Mr. President,


          I look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions here at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment, based on the outcomes of Istanbul. The follow-up of the WHS will best be accomplished by making the maximum use of the many existing fora, rather than creating another new mechanism.


          Especially, we welcome the outcome of the Grand Bargain launched at Istanbul. We are looking forward to its implementation.


          I welcome that the Council members have reached an agreement on the draft Resolution. During the negotiation, the Member States discussed intensively how we could reflect the outcomes of the WHS on to various issues within an intergovernmental resolution. On this occasion, I would like to strongly commend the fair and experienced co-facilitation of Switzerland and Bangladesh.


Mr. President,


          Before concluding, I would like to stress the following points: 1) People should be placed at the center of humanitarian action, 2) we should break down silos, and 3) it is time to start making real changes on the ground. Japan is firmly committed to further engage in humanitarian issues.


I thank you, Mr. President.


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