Statement by Ms. Azusa Shinohara
Alternate Representative of Japan
Item 28 (a): Advancement of women
Item 28 (b): Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly
65th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
11 October 2010
The year 2010 is a milestone in the efforts of the international community to achieve gender equality and advance the empowerment of women, when we reaffirm the measures we have taken and renew our commitment to making further progress. There have been a series of memorable events. The Beijing Platform for Action commemorated its fifteenth anniversary of the adoption, and in July, the establishment of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) was decided, consolidating the four existing gender-related entities. Furthermore, at the end of this month, we will commemorate the tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on women and peace and security. For its part, Japan has continued its efforts to contribute actively to the advancement of gender equality and women's empowerment, based on internationally agreed principles and instruments including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. On behalf of the Government of Japan, I therefore would like to take this opportunity to briefly outline for the committee the views Japan holds on this issue, the measures it has taken to date, and the directions it plans to move in the future.
Japan welcomes the convening at the 54th Committee on the Status of Women of the commemorative meeting to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, which reaffirmed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Japan also welcomes the establishment of UN Women, as we believe the importance of mainstreaming gender perspectives in every area and phase of the work of the United Nations. We hope that with the entity's additional roles of leading, coordinating and promoting the accountability of the United Nations system in its work on gender equality and the empowerment of women, and under the distinguished leadership of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, all gender-related activities of the United Nations will organically coordinate with one another and will be implemented in an effective and efficient manner. For its part, the Government of Japan intends to contribute actively in the activities of UN Women.
At the UN high-level meeting plenary held last month on the Millennium Development Goals, the international community reaffirmed the need to accelerate action and progress for the achievement of all MDGs, including those related to gender. At that meeting, our Prime Minister announced the "Kan Commitment," which consists of new health and education policies. In the field of health, the new policy places maternal, newborn and child health as one of the main pillars, and the government is committed to provide five billion US dollars over five years beginning 2011. Through the new model called "EMBRACE," an acronym that stands for "Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care," Japan, together with partners in the international community, aims at saving the lives of 680,000 mothers, by ensuring a continuum of health services, including prenatal and antenatal care. Through these assistance, Japan will continue its efforts in contributing to achieve the MDG 5, where there has been delay in progress, as well as the MDG 3, which is related to the achievement of all the other MDGs.
As we approach the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, we hope that a comprehensive set of indicators to track implementation of the resolution will be adopted soon and put to use at both the global and local levels. Japan is deeply aware of the importance to strengthen women's participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building, which is one of our priority areas in the development assistance in post-conflict countries. I would like to mention as an example, a project supported by the Government of Japan through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, "Integrated Programme for Empowering Conflict Affected Communities to Rebuild their Lives in North and East Sri Lanka" which conducts activities such as vocational training for widows who have lost their husbands in conflict, in such a way that women affected by conflict can take an active role in post-conflict society.
Within the country, the Government of Japan has also been vigorously engaged in a comprehensive effort to create a gender-equal society and promote women's empowerment. To that end, in December of last year, it announced a new "Action Plan of Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons 2009." Japan is determined to further enhance the measures to prevent and eliminate trafficking in persons and protect and assist victims, such as enhancing victim assistance and informing victims of the availability of the assistance, , and combating sexual exploitation including of children. Also, this year the Government of Japan will formulate the "Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality". We will make efforts to promote the formation of a gender-equal society through ensuring the plan's effectiveness such as the expansion of women's participation in policy decision-making processes in each field and promoting measures to solve employment issues. Concerning the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Japan's sixth periodic report to the Committee, I wish to inform you that the Japanese government will address them appropriately.
Japan this year is serving as chair of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and it has hosted three very important meetings on the subject of gender equality: the APEC Women Leaders Network (WLN) and the Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN), held last month, and the Women's Entrepreneurship Summit (WES), held earlier this month. We believe that such gatherings provided a platform for deepening a network among women leaders, in promoting economic empowerment of women.
Finally, Mr. Chairman,
As we observe this year as an important anniversary in our efforts to enhance the status of women around the world, I would like to reaffirm Japan's determination to work together with the international community, international organizations and civil society, both domestically and internationally, to achieve further progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment.
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