(Please check against delivery)
Statement by Mr. Makoto Hashizume
Delegation of Japan
On Agenda item 98: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
and Agenda Item 99: International Drug Control
Sixty-first Session of the General Assembly
5 October 2006
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.
This afternoon my delegation would like to say a few words about the efforts being made by the Government of Japan in the field of international crime prevention and criminal justice as well as drug control, especially in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Let me first refer to the recent visit to Japan by Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UNODC, July, this year, during which Mr. Costa met with high-ranking Japanese government officials of various relevant ministries and visited the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI). It was an extremely useful visit, in that the two sides were able to exchange views on the broad direction of future policy cooperation, especially regarding the UNODC's activities in the Asia-Pacific area, and in that, through the media, the people of Japan were able to learn more about the valuable role the UNODC is playing. The Government of Japan attaches great importance to the UNODC as the only UN organ that addresses the issue of drugs and crime in a comprehensive manner. The following are some examples of policy cooperation between the UNODC and the Government of Japan.
The first issue that I would like to touch upon is trafficking in persons, a grave violation of human rights and an international crime that countries of origin, transit and destination must tackle together. The Government of Japan has implemented a number of measures against trafficking that have proved effective, based on the Action Plan it adopted in December 2004, and has sent several official missions to other countries to share information and discuss cooperation measures with governments, international organizations, NGOs and religious groups. We believe, however, further multilateral action is necessary to combat trafficking in persons on a global level and that UNODC, as the leading agency on this issue, must ensure that there is cooperation and coordination with the relevant international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other civil society actors, in accordance with the ECOSOC resolution submitted by Japan and adopted by consensus this year. In this regard, we would like to applaud the convening of the interagency coordination meeting hosted by UNODC in Tokyo last week as a major step towards a global strategy to combat trafficking in persons, and we will continue to support efforts of this kind by the UNODC.
Next, I would like to turn to the need to strengthen the work being done to combat the drug problem in the Asia-Pacific region. Recently the demand for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), a problem which Japan has long been concerned with, is expanding around the world. East and Southeast Asia are the main areas where ATS are manufactured, and moreover ATS precursors travel well beyond the borders of this region to other countries. As an Asian country, Japan considers this issue very seriously and reiterates its intention to do everything in addressing it. Japan has supported the projects of UNODC in East and Southeast Asia, so as to lead the assisted countries to strengthen their ownership and ability to counter the problem. Japan also requests the UNODC to put more emphasis on its activities in this area. In this regard, we welcome the opening of the field office in China and hope that it will begin to have an impact as soon as possible, playing a key role in the prevention of illegal drug manufacture and trafficking in East Asia.
Finally, we would like to say a word about reform of the UNODC. We support the recent positive efforts that have been made by the UNODC toward its management reform, such as introduction of "result-based management" and adoption of an "overarching strategy." In addition, we would just like to reiterate the importance of coordination with related organizations, especially those in the field of development. We are looking forward to seeing this reform produce results and enhance the general accountability of the Office.
Both drugs and crime pose serious threats to the individual. Under the concept of human security, which is one of the key perspectives in Japan's foreign policy, we will make every effort to combat the international problems of drugs and crime together with other members of the international community including the UNODC. As a Member State of both the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Japan will continue to cooperate closely with the UNODC, making intellectual and material contributions as well as offering political support, as we work towards our common goal of realizing a safer world.
Thank you very much.
Back to Index