Africa Reception at the 66th U.N. General Assembly
Speech by H.E.Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
September 23, 2011
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Gemba, new Foreign Minister of Japan.
Thank you very much for attending our reception.
(Great East Japan Earthquake and Solidarity with Africa)
First of all, being from Fukushima prefecture, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the warm sympathy and support which we received from African countries in the wake of the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami disaster that struck Japan on March 11.
Japan will continue to attach importance to its solidarity with Africa as it endeavors to achieve post-disaster reconstruction. Japan's policy toward Africa is based on three pillars, namely (1) expanding development assistance, trade and investment, (2) contributing to peace and stability, and (3) addressing global issues.
((i) Expanding Development Assistance, Trade and Investment ― Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD))
Firstly, Japan will strive to expand development assistance, trade and investment through the TICAD process. Japan is steadily delivering the pledges made at the TICAD IV, such as doubling its ODA to Africa and assisting in the doubling of Japanese private sector investment in Africa. As our new Prime Minister Noda announced in his speech to the General Assembly today, Japan will host the TICAD V in 2013, inviting the heads of states of African countries to Japan. We will greatly appreciate the support of the co-organizers of the TICAD and African countries for the success of the conference.
((ii) Contributing to Peace and Stability)
Secondly, Japan will continue to make contributions to peace and stability in Africa.
To support nation-building in the Republic of South Sudan, which became independent in July this year, Japan will make contributions through ODA and promote cooperation with U.N. peacekeeping operations in Japan's areas of expertise. At the same time, Japan will assist in building peaceful relations between North and South Sudan. Moreover, Japan will provide drought relief in the Horn of Africa region and support efforts to establish peace in Somalia. Japan will also extend its support for the democratization movement in Middle East and North African countries that are undergoing the Arab Spring movements.
((iii) Addressing Global Issues)
Thirdly, Japan will cooperate with African countries in addressing global issues.
In particular, realization of early reform of the United Nations Security council is a common desire for Japan and African countries. Japan is determined to work together with African countries towards reform of the Council.
In the field of climate change, Japan will strengthen cooperation with African countries in the run up to COP 17, which will be an "African COP". As part of the cooperation, Japan will work together with African countries to formulate "Low-Carbon Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy in Africa" toward the realization of green growth in Africa.
An African proverb says, "A mountain cannot meet another mountain, but people can meet with each other." Japan and Africa are geographically far apart from each other, but we are linked through a bond of trust. I do hope that Japan and Africa will continue to move forward hand in hand through further deepening solidarity.
I would like to propose a toast now. Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, please have your glass.
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