Statement of H.E. Mr. Yasuhide Nakayama
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
High-Level Segment, Substantive Session, Economic and Social Council
2 July, United Nations, New York
Distinguished Ministers, Ambassadors, Excellencies,
First, I would like to congratulate the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the distinguished Vice-Presidents and the Secretariat, for the successful convening of this session.
Japan supports the efforts towards strengthening the Council, including the introduction of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). In addition to our financial contribution, we have sent panelists to various meetings of the DCF.
Co-organized by the UN, UNDP, the World Bank and Japan, the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) was successfully held in Yokohama in May, with wide-ranging participation from African countries, developed countries, Asian countries, international institutions and civil society.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to those who attended and contributed to the conference, as well as our commitment to follow up its outcome with the help of all TICAD partners.
At the conference, under the theme "Toward a Vibrant Africa", the priority areas of (1) Boosting Economic Growth; (2) Ensuring "Human Security", including the achievement of the MDGs and the consolidation of peace and good governance; and (3) Addressing Environmental Issues and Climate Change were discussed, and all participants shared the common view of the importance of ownership and partnership as well as the notion of human security to protect and empower individuals and communities.
Since Africa faces many challenges in achieving "sustainable development" and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Japan believes that the issues we discussed at TICAD IV such as climate change and environment and conflicts and consolidation of peace are also priorities for the world as a whole.
Today, I would like to focus on climate change and the environment, the MDGs and the global food crisis, which are inter-related with each other and key issues in the efforts to achieve "sustainable development".
First, on climate change and the environment: There are a variety of opinions as to how to address climate change challenges, but one thing is certain: we share the responsibility to make progress for the sake of future generations. It is now time for the world to steer towards a "low carbon society". Technology is the key to bring about a low carbon society, and it is important for us to share the wisdom with others in an appropriate manner.
Japan will devote itself to achieving an outcome that will support the discussions at the UN.
Japan has announced the establishment of a financial mechanism, the "Cool Earth Partnership", on a scale of US$10 billion, to support developing countries' efforts to tackle climate change. We are already in consultation with 20 countries on utilizing this mechanism. Japan is also ready to provide up to US$1.2 billion for the multilateral fund to be established within the World Bank.
Furthermore, Japan is determined to actively engage in efforts in the fields of forest conservation, including the fight against illegal logging; biological diversity, for which we will host the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention; the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle); and Education for Sustainable Development.
Second, on the MDGs: As this year marks the mid-point to the MDGs target year of 2015, health, water and sanitation and education are the areas of focus Japan has been advocating through the G8 process, for their significance in contributing to the human security of people around the globe.
Third, on the global food crisis: Japan welcomes the work to establish a "Comprehensive Framework for Action" led by UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon in cooperation with the Bretton Woods Institutions.
At the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security held in Rome, Italy a month ago, our Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said, "Japan is ready to release over 300 thousand tons of imported rice as well as to provide roughly US$50 million to boost food production for poor farmers". I would like to stress the importance of improving agricultural productivity and production capacity along with the need for stronger discipline with regard to export restrictions.
Let me conclude my remarks by reiterating Japan's commitment to reflecting the discussions held at TICAD IV and the ECOSOC at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit next week, and to conveying the outcome of the G8 Summit as a valuable contribution to the UN through the high-level meetings in September.
I thank you, Mr. President.
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