H.E. Ambassador Shigeki Sumi,
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At The Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV)
12th May, 2011
At the outset of my statement, on behalf of the people of Japan, allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the bonds of the friendship expressed by countries around the world after the Great East Japan Earthquake. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank 156 countries and regions as well as 41 international organizations, private companies, NGOs, and individuals around the world for offering assistance toward Japan. For instance, the host of this conference, Turkey sent a rescue team and assistance. Nepal, the Chair of the LDCs and other LDCs also offered a lot of heartfelt assistance.
We are strongly convinced of the mutual dependence and importance of solidarity in the international community. In order to return the friendship and solidarity expressed by countries around the world, Japan will recover, become vibrant and more marvelous. We believe that taking such firm steps is our primary responsibility and the best way to pay back the many assistance offers. Japan will proactively undertake post-quake diplomacy and faithfully implement its international commitments.
The LDC-IV is also an occasion to reconfirm the solidarity of the international community. The representatives of many countries, international organizations, civil society, and private sector are joining the conference today. This is obviously tangible proof of a strong bond in international community. When the global financial and economic crisis happened in 2008, rigorous partnership between the developed and emerging countries staved off the second coming of the Great Depression. The expected graduation of many LDCs from the current status in the next decade will contribute to the stability of the world.
Based on our own experience of development and assistance to countries in East Asia, Japan has been promoting its assistance aiming at poverty reduction through economic growth. The success of East Asia confirmed that this development policy is right. Time has come that the success of East Asia should be extended to the development of the LDCs. Now, the LDCs try to establish the new paradigm to achieve poverty reduction through productive capacity enhancement. We welcome the new paradigm which coincides with Japan’s aid policy. The international community should support the LDCs’ challenge and encourage them to realize it. In that sense, I firmly believe that the United Nations Peace-Building Commission can be a powerful organization to support countries which have emerged from conflict. Japan will strongly support such activities of the Peace-Building Commission.
Based on the concept of human security, Japan will extend assistance to promote poverty reduction through sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth. The concept of human security focuses on individuals and aims at realizing the rich potential of each individual through protection and empowerment. In the United Nations, Japan played a leadership role in the establishment of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS), and we support development of LDCs through this fund.
Japan will steadily fulfill the commitment announced by the Prime Minister Kan at the UN Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) last year and will make a substantive contribution to the achievement of the MDGs in the areas of health and education. To strengthen food security in developing countries, we continue the provision of assistance of 3 billion US dollars for agriculture-related sectors including infrastructure as pledged at L’Aquila Summit in 2009. In addition, Japan will hold a meeting on June 2nd and 3rd to follow up on the UN Plenary Meeting on the MDGs last year, to strongly push for the efforts of the international community towards the achievement of the MDGs. It would be a great encouragement for Japan to receive high-level participants from countries and international organizations.
Cooperation in the areas of disaster management is also important to protect individuals and communities from natural disasters. Japan has been supporting reconstruction efforts in Haiti.
Japan will strongly support the development of Africa where 33 of 48 LDCs exist. At the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-IV) in 2008, we pledged to double our ODA to Africa to 1.8 billion USD by 2012. The total amount of Japan’s ODA disbursed to Africa last year reached a provisional value of 2.05 billion USD, which exceeded the targeted amount. As our Foreign Minister Matsumoto declared at the Third TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting held on the 1st and 2nd of this month in Senegal, we are resolved to faithfully implement the commitments made at TICAD-IV.
Our assistance is not limited to Africa. We promote the trade of landlocked countries through the improvement of connectivity. We are also extending assistance in the areas of environment and climate change, overcoming vulnerability and promoting human security and People-to-People exchange, in accordance with the Fifth Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM-V).
With regard to the climate change, Japan is determined to steadily implement its pledged fast-start financing of $15 billion up to 2012 and will proactively contribute to the establishment of a fair and effective international framework in which all major economies participate.
Since the LDC-III, development actors in the international community have rapidly increased and diversified. Increased actors means increased resources and options available for LDCs, hence it should be welcomed. We should further strengthen our partnership among various actors.
Techniques and know-how of the emerging countries which share climate, culture or language with LDCs are beneficial for the development of LDCs. Japan actively promotes triangular cooperation by assisting emerging countries with willingness and capacity to support LDCs. For instance, Brazil, in cooperation with Japan, has been extending assistance for agricultural development of Mozambique based on its experience of developing its own wild land, called Cerrado. We believe that such widely spreading South-South Cooperation should be encouraged based on both solidarity and effectiveness.
Private investment has an important role to create employment opportunities, improve productivity, and supply local goods needed in recipient countries. For instance, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., at which one of the LDC Eminent Persons Group members Masahiro Yonekura serves as Chairman, established a joint venture company in Tanzania and created job opportunities for seven thousand local people. The company in Tanzania can now produce twenty nine million mosquito nets annually and these nets help the malaria prevention of local people.
Japan will also take vigorous action to develop capacities of governments and individuals in LDCs, in order to empower them to cooperate with various development actors and to utilize diversified development funding opportunities.
The promotion of better trade and investment environments is important for the development of LDCs, too. In this regard, we should make continuous effort for a successful and early conclusion of the WTO Doha Round negotiations, which is known as a round for development. For the export-oriented economic growth of LDCs, Aid for Trade and DFQF treatment in line with the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration are important. The network of bilateral investment agreements has globally expanded, and Japan has also concluded and been negotiating such agreements with other countries including LDCs such as Laos, Cambodia, and Angola.
At the end of my statement, I would like to express our support for the successful adoption of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 at the LDC-IV. Japan will support its follow-up tasks after this conference. We are firmly convinced that the next ten years will be yet further successful years for the development of the LDCs.
Thank you for your attention.
Back to Index