(As delivered)



Statement by Mr. Katsuhiko Takahashi

Minister of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations


UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board, First Regular Session 2014


28 January 2014




Mr. President,


The Government of Japan regards global health issues, including population, as an important area to be covered by our foreign policy and recognizes UNFPA as an indispensable partner for advancing global health policy. In September 2010, at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Japan committed to contributing $5 billion USD over five years starting from 2011 to address development issues in the field of health. Since then we have been steadily implementing that commitment by, for example, implementing the EMBRACE (Ensures Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care) programme which provides a continuum of care to mothers and children, as well as providing vaccinations for children in African countries and other regions, including for polio-eradication in Nigeria and Pakistan.


With regard to the MDGs, we have only about 700 days left until the deadline to accomplish them. In this context Japan will continue to actively engage in efforts to accelerate progress towards their achievement through ever closer relationships with relevant organizations including UNFPA.


With regard to the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Japan has been actively contributing to this ongoing discussion through such efforts as organizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda Contact Group since 2011. My Government hopes to contribute many valuable lessons learned and knowledge accumulated to the process of formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In the context of health and Post-2015 Development Agenda, we strongly hope that Universal Health Coverage is reflected therein in order to ensure access to essential health-care services for all, and we will continue our constructive discussions with the other stakeholders towards this end.


Mr. President,


In 2050, the world population is expected to exceed 9 billion. Given this projection, the issue of global population is increasing in importance, including within the context of sustainable development. The steady implementation of the Cairo Declaration, adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994, continues to be imperative. We also acknowledge the importance of preparing for ICPD Beyond 2014 this September, and expect UNFPA to continue to play a major role in this ICPD process.


My country recognizes global health, including population, as a global issue tied directly to human security. We therefore follow the ICPD process with great interest.  I myself am a Vice President of the 47th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), and Japan will continue to actively participate in discussions on population in this context.


Mr. President,


Both UNFPA’s evaluation policy (DP/FPA/2013/5) and its strategic Plan 2014-2017 were approved in the last session of the executive board, and Japan appreciates the efforts of the Executive Director, Dr. Osotimehin, to promote accountability by engaging in numerous opportunities for exchanges of views with the Member States for quite a while now.


We also recognize that UNFPA’s evaluation policy and its strategic plan are inseparably linked. My delegation expects UNFPA to continue its efforts to focus on its uncompleted mandates, in particular family planning, maternal health (i.e. MDG5) and HIV/AIDS. Japan will observe how UNFPA evaluates its programmes, especially in relation to the 2012 quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) and how it will reflect the results of its evaluations into its programmes hereafter.


Mr. President,


The Government of Japan recently submitted its proposals for regular budget contributions to UNFPA for FY2014 and supplementary budget contributions for FY2013 to the Diet, our parliament. Even under the current severe budgetary circumstances and the recent rapid decrease of the relative strength of the JPY against the USD, we have made the effort to maintain comparable regular budget contributions to UNFPA for FY2014 on a USD basis, because UNFPA remains an important partner in delivering support, especially to women and girls in need. At the general debate of the UN General Assembly in September last year, our Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, expressed his intention to contribute to the improvement of women’s health care. Japan will continue to work together with UNFPA to seek to bring about a “society in which women shine”.


Mr. President,


I wish to conclude my statement by saying that we expect UNFPA to continue its work focusing on its mandate. We would also expect that it would do so by pursuing its work in an efficient, effective and transparent manner. We look forward to the results delivered through such efforts.


Thank you.


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