Statement by Ambassador Takahiro Shinyo
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Fourth Meeting of the UNDEF Advisory Board
10 April 2007
At the outset, on behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my appreciation for the invitation to participate in today's meeting. Also, it is my honor to announce that last month Japan made a contribution to the UN Democracy Fund of 10 million U.S. dollars. As this is the first opportunity I have had to appear before this body, I would like to say a few words.
First of all, the Government of Japan has always supported the objectives of the UN Democracy Fund. Japan places the greatest possible emphasis on universal values such as human rights, the rule of law, and democracy.
Japan has achieved a prosperous, peaceful, and free society not simply by ushering in a modern civilization based on science and technology. It has also done so, however, by embracing values such as human rights and democracy, allowing them to become assimilated, and making them the building blocks of our society. Truly, as my country discovered early on in this process, democracy is not the exclusive prerogative of any particular nation or culture. In Japan, it is a system of governance that Japanese society has made very much its own.
Drawing on our own successful experience, we have given priority to assisting developing countries that make active efforts to pursue peace, democratization, and the protection of human rights, in accordance with guidance provided by what we call "Japan's ODA Charter."
Be that as it may, the strength of democracy rests on the participation of citizens in the political and developmental processes and on the promotion of human rights. Therefore we believe that the development of human resources is critical if developing countries are to gain true ownership of their growth.
In addition, as our Foreign Minister, Mr. Taro Aso, declared last November, Japan wishes to do its part to support the development of a prosperous and stable region along the outer rim of the Eurasian Continent, where such fundamental values are sure to take root.
To conclude, Madam Chairperson, Japan will contribute actively through the Fund to the efforts of the international community, working with all board members to consolidate democracy throughout the world.
Thank you very much.
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