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Statement by Professor Arino Yaguchi

Alternate Representative of Japan


Item 28: Social Development


Seventieth Session of the Third Committee

of the United Nations General Assembly

7 October 2015



Mr. Chairman,


          I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you on your assumption of the position of chair of this committee. Let me assure you of my delegation’s utmost support to your efforts and leadership.


          Following last year, I have joined this Committee as a member of the Japanese delegation, based on the recommendation of nine Japanese women’s NGOs. Since 1957, one year after Japan joined the United Nations as a Member State, a representative of Japan’s women’s NGOs has always participated as a member of the delegation. I will actively participate in the discussion of this Committee, recognizing that women’s political empowerment and democratic governance are essential in order to achieve a peaceful and equal civil society.



Mr. Chairman,


          We welcome the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Summit in September. We also strongly support the fact that the 2030 Agenda is based on a human-centered approach, referred to in the document as “leaving no one behind”, which we align with the notion of human security. The Government of Japan looks forward to actively promoting the implementation of the Agenda, and in particular seeks to support vulnerable people and countries.


          In order to implement the 2030 Agenda, various stakeholders such as governments, civil society, the private sector and NGO need to be engaged. Among them, volunteers are expected to play an important role. For this reason, as a part of our contributions to the 2030 Agenda, the Government of Japan, together with the Government of Brazil, will submit a draft resolution regarding volunteerism to the Third Committee, under the item of “social development.”


          Through the adoption of this resolution, we hope to promote the integration of volunteerism into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, especially in the various areas related to peace and development.



Mr. Chairman,


          In order to contribute to the empowerment and the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, the Government of Japan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in January last year. We have also participated actively in international discussions and activities on this issue. For example, at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction, held in the city of Sendai, Japan in March, the international community adopted the Sendai Declaration, which clearly mentions that persons with disabilities are one of the most important stakeholders for disaster reduction.


          Nationally, the Government of Japan continues its efforts toward the enforcement of our national “Reduction of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities” act, which will enter into force in April of next year, including the documentation of corresponding guidelines.


          The Government of Japan contributes to the realization of an inclusive society by engaging in international cooperation where persons with disabilities have an active role as specialists to be sent overseas instead of treating them merely as subjects to be protected.


          Recently, Japan nominated Professor Ishikawa, an authority on the rights of persons with disabilities in our country, as a candidate for the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2016. As engagement with the CRPD is an important aspect of Japan’s contributions to the international community, I would like to take this opportunity to request your generous support for Professor Ishikawa’s candidature.



Mr. Chairman,


          Currently in Japan, persons over the age of 65 comprise 26% of the total population, making Japan one of the most aged countries in the world. It is important to realize a welfare society where the empowerment of the increasing number of elderly people is promoted and their health, safety, and security are ensured. Nationally, the Government of Japan is already engaged in numerous efforts to improve the access of older persons to employment, to improve their work environment, and to combat discriminatory dismissal.


          The negative impacts associated with a rapidly aging society are common and a concern to every country. Therefore, it is important for the international community to cooperate on challenging the issue. Japan will also continue to promote international cooperation in the area of the protection and empowerment of the world’s elderly population, especially by sharing experiences and technology with other countries, particularly those in the Asia and Pacific region, many of which are experiencing a similar situation to ours.



Mr. Chairman,


          We acknowledge that many issues related to social development, such as the elimination of poverty, the preservation of health, the availability of full employment, and the achievement of decent work, are also distinctly relevant and central to our efforts to tackle root causes of the recent and evident problems in Africa. For example, the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa brought into sharp relief the vulnerabilities of the affected countries’ health systems. In addition, poverty and unemployment are the bases of the violent radicalism, which is also a concern also in Africa. Thus, towards the Sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI), which is going to be held next year for the first time in Africa, the Government of Japan aims to realize “quality growth” ensuring the human security in Africa, 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,


          The Government of Japan will engage in the achievement of the empowerment of all individuals, including women, persons with disabilities, youth, older persons, and LGBT people, thereby tackling the many challenging issues faced by the international community issues and leaving no one behind.


Thank you.



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