Japan and the United Nations
Prime Minister Abe’s Participation in the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
October 5, 2015
- Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, visited New York from September 26 (Sat.) to 30 (Wed.) (local time) to attend the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. This year marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. During his visit, the Prime Minister delivered an address at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly for the third consecutive year, and also delivered a statement at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- In his address, Prime Minister Abe introduced the history of Japan as a peace-loving nation and its contribution to the United Nations and to the international community after World War II, and stressed that Japan will make further international contributions under the banner of ''proactive contribution to peace based on international cooperation'' and ''human security.'' Moreover, he expressed his determination to realize Security Council reform in order to reform the United Nations into a body appropriate for the 21st century, and make greater contributions towards world peace and prosperity as a permanent member state of the Security Council.
- At the United Nations summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would make utmost efforts to implement the Agenda,,and outlined specific measures of contribution, such as realizing ''quality growth'' and ''the protection and empowerment of people in vulnerable situations.''
- During his stay, Prime Minister Abe attended the meeting of G4 (Japan, India, Germany, and Brazil) leaders, and also held summit meetings with leaders of Kenya, Ethiopia, Qatar, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Jordan. In addition, he held meetings with H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Joe Biden, U.S. Vice President, and Mr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- Prime Minister Abe hosted the Japan-African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) Summit Roundtable and the Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, and also attended the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality And Women's Empowerment (Beijing+20), a High-Level Working Lunch on Climate Change, a side event on health titled ''The Path towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC),'' and the 2nd Leader's Summit on Peacekeeping.
- Moreover, Prime Minister Abe delivered a speech and attended a roundtable discussion in the dialogue with North America's Finance/Business Community, and addressed a greeting at the Invest Japan Seminar and the Visit Japan Tourism Seminar, as well as attending the Washoku Reception. He also hosted a dinner party to discuss measures to realise ''a society where women shine,'' and held informal talks with Japanese staff working at the United Nations.
Outline of outcomes of key events, etc.
In his address, in this year marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Prime Minister Abe introduced the history of Japan as a peace-loving nation and its contribution to the United Nations and to the international community after World War II, and stressed that Japan will make further international contributions under the banner of ''proactive contribution to peace based on the principles of international cooperation.'' Moreover, he expressed his determination to realize Security Council reform in order to reform the United Nations into a body appropriate for the 21st century, and to make greater contributions towards world peace and prosperity as a permanent member of the Security Council.
(i) Response to refugee issues in the Middle EastPrime Minister Abe expressed that the Government of Japan has been implementing assistance of approximately 810 million US dollars this year for refugees and internally displaced persons from Syria and Iraq (almost tripled compared to 2014).
Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to newly provide assistance to Lebanon and promote cooperation with both humanitarian and development organizations (2 million US dollars).
Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to newly provide humanitarian aid to neighboring countries of the EU (Serbia, Macedonia, etc.) (approximately 2.5 million US dollars).
(ii) Assistance for peace building in the Middle East and African regionsPrime Minister Abe expressed his intention to newly prepare assistance of approximately 750 million US dollars for peace building in the Middle East and African regions.
(iii) Japan will support people in vulnerable situations, under the banner of ''human security''Prime Minister Abe stated that based on the idea of ''human security,'' Japan will promote specific initiatives for enhancing the quality of education and improving the health of mothers and their children. Japan welcomes the incorporation of these ideas into the new development goals.
(iv) Rule of law and training of police officersPrime Minister Abe stated that Japan regards the training of police officers as important in ensuring the stability of society through the proper enforcement of the law.
(v) Realizing ''a society where women shine''Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan had formulated the National Action Plan for the protection of women in areas of conflict, and for promoting the participation of women in society. Following on from last year, Japan hosted the international symposium ''World Assembly for Women (WAW! 2015)'' in Tokyo.
(vi) Disarmament and non proliferationPrime Minister Abe stated that Japan will work together with relevant nations and take action towards a comprehensive resolution of various outstanding issues with North Korea including the abductee issue, nuclear weapons, and missiles.
Prime Minister Abe indicated that Japan will submit a new resolution on the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Japan is calling for support for this resolution.
(vii) Reforms of the United Nations Security Council, and Japan's aim to be appointed as a non-permanent member nation of the Council in 2016Prime Minister Abe stated that in the 70 years since World War II, Japan has contributed to global peace and prosperity as a peace-loving nation. He indicated that Japan will make further international contributions to society under the banner of ''proactive contribution to peace based on the principles of international cooperation.''
Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan will suppport African countries in building their capabilities for peacekeeping operations (PKOs), and moreover, the recent ''Legislation for Peace and Security'' will enable Japan to make greater contributions to United Nations PKOs. Japan's contributions emphasize ''ownership'' and ''partnership,'' and respect the voice of the interested parties. Japan will also work with Africa (by hosting the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD Africa) in 2016) and Pacific Island nations. Prime Minister Abe also proposed the establishment of a ''World Tsunami Day.''
(2) Statement at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (September 27 (Sun.))Prime Minister Abe delivered a statement (PDF) on September 27 (Sun.) at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and welcomed the adoption of the Agenda that includes as core components those which Japan has been placing emphasis on. He stated that implementing this agenda requires a new global partnership where all stakeholders play their respective roles, and that Japan, as part of this partnership, will put forth its best possible efforts to implement this Agenda. Prime Minister Abe outlined the specific measures of Japan to contribute to this: 1. pursuing inclusive, sustainable and resilient ''high quality growth''; 2. protection and empowerment of people in vulnerable situations (including the recent announcement of new policies for health and education, and disaster risk reduction initiatives including the establishment of a ''World Tsunami Day,'' 3. further strengthening of its efforts to achieve a sustainable environment and society. He also announced that Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
(3) Multilateral Meetings, etc.
(i) Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (September 27 (Sun.))Prime Minister Abe presented the outcomes of the World Assembly for Women (WAW! 2015) and other specific measures of Japan towards realizing ''a society where women shine.'' He also stated his intention to further strengthen cooperation with UN Women, which opened an office in Japan this year, and for Japan to lead the world in promoting the activity and empowerment of women, so as to resolve the various issues raised in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Moreover, Prime Minister Abe indicated that he will also promote an agenda for women at the G7 Summit next year, which Japan will host.
(ii) Informal Working Lunch on Climate Change (September 27 (Sun.))Prime Minister Abe attended the Informal Working Lunch on Climate Change that was co-hosted by the United Nations Secretary General, the President of France, and the President of Peru, at which he stated that the international community must unite to effectively tackle the issue of climate change, and declared that in the upcoming COP21, Japan will actively contribute towards adopting a fair and effective international framework applicable to all Parties. The other participants of the meeting stated that the consensus reached in Paris should be highly transparent and include the participation of all countries in working towards achieving the 2℃ target, and stressed the continued importance of providing finance and technology to developing countries.
(iii) Sideevent on health: The Path towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) (September 28 (Mon.))Prime Minister Abe attended a side event ''The Path towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) - Promotion of equitable global health and human security in the post-2015 development era'', and expressed Japan's willingness of drawing on its experience and other resources to contribute towards achieving UHC, which has also been raised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This side event was co-hosted by Japan, the Global Fund and other countries and institutions , and attended by H.E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Ms. Awa Marie Coll Seck, Minister of Health and Social Action of Senegal, and other representatives of international institutions and private organizations.
(iv) 2nd Leader's Summit on Peacekeeping (September 28 (Mon.))Upon the initiative of United States President Barack Obama, following on from last year, Japan once again co-hosted the 2nd Leader's Summit on Peacekeeping, which was held with the aim of drawing forth new contributions to United Nations PKOs. Prime Minister Abe outlined further contributions by Japan based on a ''proactive contribution to peace'': 1. Preparing a framework for further contributions through the enactment of a series of peace and security legislations; 2. Expanding cooperation with diverse partners (including support for the United Nations Project for African Rapid Deployment of Engineering Capabilities (ARDEC)); 3. Providing further support for wide-ranging initiatives for capacity enhancement of United Nations PKO personnel.
(i) Dinner party hosted by Prime Minister Abe for discussing ways to create ''a society in which women shine'' (September 26 (Sat.))Prime Minister Abe hosted a dinner party to which he invited leaders that are champions in the field of women as selected by UN Women, and active women leaders in the private sector. At the dinner party, he reported on the outcome of WAW! 2015 and engaged in an exchange of opinions on gender equality and the empowerment of women. He also confirmed stronger cooperation for facilitating the active involvement of women in society.
(ii) Courtesy call paid by Mr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (September 27 (Sun.))Prime Minister Abe and IOC President Bach confirmed their intention to work closely together to ensure the success of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. In regard to the new national stadium, Prime Minister Abe indicated his confidence to ensure it will be a stadium that the Japanese people can take pride in, and that will impress and move people around the world. In response, IOC President Bach stated that he felt reassured to hear the Prime Minister Abe's words.
(iii) Attendance at the Washoku Reception (September 27 (Sun.))Prime Minister Abe was the guest of honor at the Washoku Reception for showcasing the appeal of washoku (Japan's traditional dietary culture) and promoting understanding of Japanese culture. The reception was attended by over 250 guests including dignitaries from each country, such as the Presidents of Mongolia and Nauru, and relevant parties from international institutions and the U.S. Congress. In his greeting, Prime Minister Abe explained how sushi, the main dish at the reception, embodies the ''skills and soul of Japan,'' and described the appeal of the unique food culture of each region in Japan, expressing his wish for many people to visit Japan, including dignitaries from each country.
(iv) Remarks at the Invest Japan Seminar (September 28 (Mon.))In his remarks,, Prime Minister Abe stated that: 1. there is a growing markets of regenerative medicine and IoT; 2. the Government of Japan would carry out a bold business reform including lowering effective corporate tax rates, with the aim of making Japan ''the most business-friendly nation in the world'' ;3. the Government of Japan would set up offices in charge of government-affiliated financial institutions that have transaction with 70,000 small and medium enterprises, and would provide assistance for establishing tie-ups with foreign corporations; 4. the Government of Japan would promote the acceptance of highly skilled human resources, aiming at realizing ''the world's best country for working ''; and 5. the Government of Japan would enhance cooperation between Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Japanese embassies and consulates overseas to promote investment in Japan.
(v) Remarks at the Visit Japan Tourism Seminar (September 28 (Mon.))Prime Minister Abe stated that the number of foreign tourists to Japan has doubled over the past three years and Japan would prepare even more ways to improve omotenashi (Japanese style of hospitality) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. He also appealed each region in Japan and promoted visits from the U.S..
(vi) Dialogue with North America's Finance/Business Community (September 29 (Tues.))In the opening remarks in the first part of the event(open session), Prime Minister Abe himself directly explained the second stage of Abenomics to major players in the New York finance and business community who yield vast domestic and international influence, and called for the strengthening of Japan-US economic relations including foreign direct investment in Japan.
At the roundtable discussion with North American institutional investors in the second part of the event (closed session), Prime Minister Abe listened keenly to the views of institutional investors in North America. Specifically, opinions were exchanged on the following five themes relating to Abenomics: 1. second stage of Abenomics; 2. corporate governance; 3. empowerment of women and measures to address an aging society with a declining birth rate; 4. global economy; 5. finance and tax systems.