Human Rights, Humanitarian Assistance,Refugees

December 13, 2023
Minister Kamikawa who attends the opening ceremony after having a seat at a table in front of the venue
Minister Kamikawa who makes a speech standing behind the lectern (Close-up)
Minister Kamikawa who makes a speech standing behind the lectern (Long shot)

On December 13, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, participated in the opening ceremony of the Second Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in Geneva, Switzerland, and made a statement as one of the coconveners of the GRF. The overview of the statement is as follows:

  1. At the outset, Minister Kamikawa stated that the number of refugees and displaced persons in the world has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and exceeded 100 million for the first time last year. She noted that children spend their childhoods in refugee camps, that a lot of potential has been lost, and that "human dignity" has been threatened. For "human security," Minister Kamikawa stated that we must unite and listen to the voices of each and every refugee and displaced person. She called for a halt to this worsening humanitarian situation.
  2. Minister Kamikawa pointed out the need for short-term humanitarian assistance as well as a mid- to long-term approach looking further towards the future. She stated that the future vision is for all refugees and displaced persons to be able to talk about their dreams and work hard to make their dreams come true. She pointed out that women and children are particularly vulnerable among refugees and displaced persons, and stated that the concept of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) is essential when considering solutions for refugees and displaced persons.
  3. Minister Kamikawa gave specific examples of Japan's assistance for refugee and displaced person self-reliance, through education and other means, overseas and within Japan. She stated that Japan encourages them to develop their talents and contribute to the peace and reconstruction of their homeland. She emphasized that the dreams of refugees and displaced persons should never be realized at the expense of the host country, and introduced Japan's efforts to ease the pressures on host countries.
  4. Minister Kamikawa stated that in order to realize the dreams of refugees and displaced persons and assist the people of the host communities, Japan has launched the "Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus" as a multistakeholder pledge as a platform for collaboration among donor countries, host countries, international organizations, and others. She explained that the efforts of HDP Nexus are expanding in Africa.
  5. Minister Kamikawa quoted Madam OGATA Sadako, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), stating that the resolution of disputes, a major factor in the refugee and displaced persons issue, was the responsibility of politicians such as herself. She concluded by expressing her determination to ensure the peace and stability of the international community, stating that Japan holds a special responsibility in this area as this year’s G7 presidency and a member of the United Nations Security Council, and one of the co-conveners of the GRF.

(Note 1) Women, Peace and Security (WPS)
The concept that a more sustainable peace can be achieved by having women take leadership positions and participate in conflict prevention, reconstruction, and peace-building while working to protect women. In 2000, for the first time in the Security Council's history, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted "Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Resolution 1325," which clearly stated that international peace, conflict prevention and conflict resolution require the equal participation of women, protection from sexual violence in conflict, and gender equality.

(Note 2) Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus
In parallel with short-term “humanitarian assistance,” the concept is to provide "development cooperation" in a mid- to long-term perspective to enhance refugee self-reliance and reduce the burden on host countries, and also to address the root causes of refugee issues by promoting "peace efforts" to resolve and prevent conflicts.

[Reference] Minister Kamikawa's Statement (PDF)Open a New Window

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