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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Special Event of the President of the General Assembly to Follow Up on Efforts Made towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New York
[Provisional Translation]

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my appreciation to His Excellency Mr. John Ashe, the new President of the General Assembly, for organising today's special 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 post-2015 development agenda should seek to end extreme poverty and thereby set in place the building blocks of sustained prosperity for all, addressing widening domestic disparities and taking sustainable development into consideration, informed by the successes and lessons learned from the current MDGs.

In order to form such building blocks, it is essential that human security be made a guiding principle of the post-2015 development agenda. The fruits of development have to be delivered to each individual. Sustainable development cannot take place without building societies and nations through the protection and empowerment of individuals. I shared this recognition with the African leaders at the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), which was held in June this year.

Many of the challenges the world faces, such as gender, poverty, education and health and hygiene should be addressed under the principle of human security. Japan is determined to continue our efforts in these areas. I will in particular elaborate on one of these areas to which I give great importance, namely: the realisation of a society in which women shine, in my statement at the general debate tomorrow.

Now I would like to introduce the two agenda which I have focused on most in relation to the post-2015 development agenda. The first is the promotion of 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. Measures for vulnerable people, women in particular, are the key to realising UHC. I wrote an article in the international medical journal The Lancet to draw attention to the importance of UHC, and today Japan is hosting a side event specifically on health and development.

The other agendum which I have focused on is the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction. A disaster can wipe out the hard-won achievements of years of development efforts in an instant. It is important therefore to build societies that are resilient to disasters through disaster risk reduction. Japan throughout its history has experienced numerous massive disasters, including the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011; we would like to share with the world our experiences and lessons learned, as well as the various disaster reduction technologies and systems we have developed over the years. With this in mind, we will host the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in the city of Sendai in March 2015, so I would like to ask all of you here for your cooperation for this conference.

Lastly, it is necessary for the international community to aim at developing a new partnership in the effort to achieve our development goals wherein various stakeholders of the international community cooperate, including the utilisation of private capital and the vibrancy of emerging economies. Japan for its part, will make contributions with its technology, human resources and experience; exercising its private and public wisdom, in order to play an appropriate role.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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