Statement by Ms. Azusa Shinohara
Alternate Representative of Japan
Item 69 (a): Implementation of human rights instruments
65th Session of the General Assembly
19 October 2010
Mr. / Mme. Chairperson,
The United Nations has been reforming its human rights organs with a view to making them more effective and efficient in their response to emerging issues. The establishment of the Human Rights Council is one of the most important developments in this regard and the establishment of UN Women in July this year is likewise a step forward consistent with the actions that the United Nations has been taking. The Human Rights Council review will take place towards next year, and Japan hopes that it will be carried out in a way that will enable the United Nations to take a comprehensive approach to human rights issues. Japan firmly believes that the United Nations must not cease its efforts to make changes in existing mechanisms, including the human rights treaty bodies, so as to further enhance their effectiveness and efficiency. The Human Rights Committee, for example, adopted a new reporting procedure in October 2009, as a result of which it will only request State Parties to submit written responses to the issues it has raised, and this will be considered to be the periodic report required under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This new reporting procedure, which will come into effect in the near future, will enable the Committee to conduct a more focused dialogue with States Parties, and it will also significantly reduce the reporting obligations of States Parties and the burden of documentation falling on the Secretariat.
Mr. / Mme. Chairperson,
Japan has been faithfully implementing all the international human rights treaties to which it is a party. In February of this year, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considered Japan's periodic report, and, in May, the Committee on the Rights of the Child considered Japan's periodic report on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and its two optional protocols. By responding to the recommendations made by human rights treaty bodies, Japan will continue to make efforts to protect and promote all human rights.
With regard to gender equality, Japan will establish the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality this year. This plan is expected to include measures to make widely known to the public the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the recommendations the CEDAW Committee made following its consideration of Japan's sixth periodic report, and an explanation of how Japan is responding to those recommendations. As for measures to eliminate violence against women, Japan has twice amended its Law for the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims, broadened the scope of what is regarded as spousal violence, reinforced the protection orders that are issued, and strengthened the role that municipalities play in this area.
Furthermore Japan has presented its candidature to the Executive Board of UN Women, and it will continue to make positive contributions so that the activities of the United Nations in the area of gender equality are well coordinated, efficient, and effective.
With respect to the rights of persons with disabilities, Japan recently carried out an intensive reform of its systems in this area so that its policies will be better implemented. Last December, the Cabinet established the Ministerial Board for Disability Policy Reform, and the Board in turn launched the Committee for Disability Policy Reform, where debate is both active and respectful of the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Japan reaffirms its intention to promote international cooperation in this area as well.
Mr. / Mme. Chairperson,
Japan attaches great importance to the role played by the United Nations in establishing universal normative standards. And it considers the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which Japan ratified last July and is about to enter into force, an extremely important legal framework. This Convention confirms enforced disappearances as a criminal activity that must not be tolerated and which helps to prevent such crimes from occurring in the future. Japan has actively approached other States to ratify this meaningful instrument and hopes that all will eventually do so.
In conclusion, Mr. / Mme Chairperson,
Japan fully supports all the efforts that have been put into the reformation of the international frameworks for the protection and promotion of human rights, and it is committed to actively engaging in the discussion of this subject. It also will cooperate with all relevant partners to ensure that these frameworks are effectively implemented.
I thank you, Mr. / Mme. Chairperson.
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