Address by H.E. Mr. Joe NAKANO,
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan
on the Occasion of the Thirteenth Session of
the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Doha, Qatar on April 22, 2012
Mr. Chair, Distinguished representatives of Member States and international organizations, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank the Government and the people of Qatar for their hospitality in hosting this great event, UNCTAD XIII. May I also take this opportunity to reiterate the profound gratitude of all the Japanese people for the support extended by so many countries and international organizations in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March last year. Thanks to the strong solidarity and the bonds of friendship with the international community, we are steadily recovering from the disaster and accelerating our steps towards the renewal of Japan. In response to the support we have received, we will continue to proactively promote international cooperation.
Now we are living in the world of uncertainty and lingering fears brought on by the financial crisis. The recent outbreak of financial crisis has increased pressures to impose protectionist measures and has severely affected developing countries. The responsibilities and duties of Japan and the international community to make further efforts keeping trade and investment flow to help developing countries integrate themselves into the multilateral trading system and seize the opportunities offered by globalization are growing now not ever.
In this sense, Japan will continue to lead the fight against protectionism through such fora as the G20 and the WTO. We also greatly appreciate that the role of UNCTAD in monitoring protectionist measures is growing, and this role should be intensified.
When the WTO Doha Round (DDA) negotiations launched here in 2001, who could have imagined that we would face such a severe impasse after a decade? Yet even with the enormous challenges we are confronting ahead, we must persistently pursue a successful conclusion to the DDA negotiations. Japan is determined to further contribute to the path-finding work.
One of the crucial elements in these efforts is the further integration of developing countries into the WTO system. In this context, Japan has steadily implemented its Aid for Trade pledge, namely the "Development Initiative for Trade 2009", providing 12 billion US dollars for trade-related assistance projects. Japan is also leading regional efforts to review Aid for Trade, trying to share its expertise and the lessons learned in Asia with other regions, particularly Africa.
Regarding assistance to African countries, I would like to mention that Japan will host TICAD V, the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, in June 2013. TICAD has evolved into a major and unique global framework for promoting African development and has attracted high levels of participation both from African countries and developing partners. I am confident that the discussions here will provide fruitful insights for the upcoming TICAD meeting.
During this challenging time of financial crisis, we believe that every actor in the international community has to recognize its role and responsibility to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth and development, as is the main theme of UNCTAD XIII. In recent years, development actors in the international community have rapidly increased and diversified. Developing countries enjoy increased resources and options brought by this phenomenon, which should be welcomed.
In this connection, we call for the more advanced developing countries, or emerging countries, to play a greater role in supporting other developing countries in sharing best practices on trade and development based on their recent experiences. Japan calls for more South-South cooperation as a new mainstream means of partnership and is ready for more collaboration with new donors to promote triangular cooperation. We believe UNCTAD, recognizing the increasing role and responsibility of emerging countries, should address more actively the challenges and opportunities presented by South-South cooperation.
For recipient developing countries, we call for more efforts at practicing good governance and ensuring human security essential to achieving inclusive and sustainable growth and development. We are of the view that every country is responsible for its own development, and good governance through ensuring transparency and efficiency in national development strategy is a prerequisite for attracting foreign direct investment, FDI and benefitting from globalization.
Taking into consideration what has been said, we strongly urge UNCTAD, being the focal point of trade and development in the UN system, strengthen its work in areas where it has comparative advantages. We believe UNCTAD can address the emerging and persistent challenges by using its expertise and experience in trade and investment, while avoiding duplication of the work with other bodies and reinforcing inter-organizational partnerships. Here I would like to note the Joint Inspection Unit recently submitted its report on the management and administration of UNCTAD. As this report pointed out, there is still room to improve the transparency and efficiency of the organization. Japan firmly expects UNCTAD to continue its close consultations with Member States and to seek the further improvement of its work with our whole commitment to promoting and enhancing this process.
Mr. Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In closing, I would like to express my confidence that this meeting in Doha will be very productive for all of us, and it will lead to the further growth and development of all Member States. Thank you for your kind attention.
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