Statement by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the UN General Assembly Side Event "What People Want: A Report from the Global Conversation On the Post-2015 Agenda"
New York, 23 September 2013
September 23, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my appreciation to Miss Helen Clark for organising today’s side event.
As a result of the close cooperation of the international community toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we have witnessed significant progress to date. Nevertheless, some of these goals remain unmet. We must therefore accelerate our efforts to achieve all of the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.
Furthermore, the process for establishing development agenda beyond 2015 needs to be inclusive, involving various stakeholders. From this perspective, I greatly appreciate the global consultations conducted by the UN Development Group on the post-2015 development agenda. This new development agenda needs to be set with new conceptualisation and strong determination based on the successes and lessons learned from the current MDGs. In this regard, Japan attaches particular importance to the following three points.
First of all, economic growth and job creation are essential to achieve various development goals. We can aim at the eradication of extreme poverty, taking further steps beyond poverty reduction, through the development of infrastructure and human resources, and the re-investment of wealth brought by growth back into further economic and social development.
Second, we need to address social distortions that were not necessarily fully addressed by the current MDGs. Sustainable development cannot take place without tackling widening domestic disparities or considering the boundaries of the global environment. We also need to set goals with the determination to ‘leave no one behind,’ which means considering all vulnerable people in a society such as women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, and people suffering in conflict-affected areas.
A human-centred approach, including the consideration of such vulnerable people in society as I have just mentioned, is important. The fruits of development have to be brought to each individual. Sustainable development cannot take place without building societies and nations through the protection and empowerment of individuals. With this in mind, let me stress that human security should be a guiding principle of the post-2015 development agenda.
One of the themes directly linked to human security is universal health coverage (UHC). We should aim at satisfying broader health and medical needs based on a people-centred approach of promoting UHC and supplementing a disease-centred approach. The key to realising the UHC is implementing measures that bring health coverage to vulnerable people such as persons with disabilities and women. In this regard, Japan, together with several other states and organisations, is going to host a side event specifically on health and development on 25 September.
Finally, a human-centred approach needs to be taken in effort to build a society resilient to disasters, as well. It is integral to the concept of human security to support and protect people affected by disasters, in order for them to recover from the disaster and become self-reliant once again. We will host the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 in the city of Sendai, an area that suffered greatly from the unprecedented experiences of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami two years ago. I would like to ask all of you here for your cooperation for this conference.
The world faces mounting challenges such as energy, food, water, environmental degradation and climate change. Developed and developing countries alike need to work together to achieve the current MDGs and to set more inclusive and ambitious goals for development beyond 2015. Japan is determined to continue its cooperation with the international community toward such new international development goals, guided by human security.
Thank you for your kind attention.