Participation of Mr. Naoto Kan, Former Prime Minister of Japan, in the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

August 1, 2012

  1. (New York) On Tuesday 31 July, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, announced the members of the upcoming High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and that Mr. Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan, would be one of the participants on the panel.

  2. Currently the international community is accelerating its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of common international development objectives to be reached by the target year of 2015. At the same time, more serious discussions will begin regarding the future of international development beyond 2015. This panel will be convened as one of those discussions, and is expected to submit recommendations to the Secretary-General by producing a report in the second quarter of 2013.

  3. Mr. Kan participated in the UN MDGs summit in 2010 as Prime Minister. At that summit he announced Japan’s new policy toward the achievement of the MDGs, in particular the fields of health and education, and launched the ‘Kan Commitment’, pledging a total of 8.5 billion US dollars over 5 years starting from 2011 to this end. Furthermore, the MDGs Follow-up Meeting was held under his leadership last June in Tokyo, and contributed to gathering the political will of various UN Member States with a view to promoting the MDGs. In addition, Mr. Kan has ample knowledge concerning the promotion of renewable energy, as well as the environment and sustainability. Therefore, he was chosen and appointed to be a member of the panel of eminent persons by the Secretary-General.

  4. The Government of Japan welcomes the SG’s decision to appoint Former Prime Minister Kan to the panel, and the Government of Japan will positively and actively support Mr. Kan’s contribution to the discussions to frame the post-2015 development agenda.

[Reference 1] Millennium Development Goals
The MDGs were formulated by merging various international development goals, which were adopted at several major international conferences held in 1990s, and the United Nations Millennium Declaration which was adopted at the Millennium Summit of world leaders in September 2000, and recognized as common set of goals for development by international society in 2001. The MDGs comprise eight goals, such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and reducing child mortality rates, among others, under which 21 targets and 60 indicators were established. Their target for achievement is 2015.

[Reference 2] High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Members of the Panel have been selected from the governments of the UN Member States, the private sector, academia, civil society and youth organizations. Special attention has been paid to gender and geographic balance. Moreover, all members are expected to attend this discussion in their individual capacities.

[Reference 3] Japan’s contribution to achievement of the MDGs as presented at the 2010 MDGs Summit
1)  New Global Health Policy
In the field of health, Japan has focused on maternal health, the three major infectious diseases of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and responsive measures to global public health emergencies. In so doing, Japan has been providing assistance that will in total amount to USD 5 Billion over 5 years since 2011. This includes aid of USD 8 million to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In order to save the lives of 11.3 million children and 430,000 mothers around the world, Japan will make utmost efforts to increase aid for pre- and neo-natal care. The Japan-led maternal health support model “EMBRACE” (Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care) covers periodical medical examinations for pregnant women, healthcare for newborn babies at hospitals with proper equipment and staff, improved access to hospitals, and vaccinations.

2)  New Education Cooperation Policy
In the field of education, Japan has focused on basic educational support, post-basic educational support, and support for vulnerable countries. In so doing, Japan has been providing assistance that will in total amount to USD 3.5 Billion over 5 years from 2011. The aid aims to provide better environment for quality education while being responsive to children in isolated areas and providing support for particularly vulnerable countries. Meanwhile, the aid considers continuous educational opportunities for those who completed basic education systems. The Japan-led basic education support model “School for All” works to improve quality of teachers, management of schools, treatment of women and handicapped, and problems of nutrition and public health by consolidating school, community and administrative sections while making comprehensive improvements to the learning environment.

[Reference 4] MDGs Follow-up Meeting
On June 2-3, 2011, Japan co-hosted the MDGs Follow-up Meeting in Tokyo, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The meeting was attended by more than 300 participants from over 110 countries, 20 regional and international organizations, domestic and international Non-Governmental Organizations, and civil society. Discussions took place among the participants on genuinely effective approaches to achieving the MDGs, as well as on how international goals should be set beyond 2015.

    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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