" "WE WILLSTEADILY SUPPORT DEVELOPINGCOUNTRIES THATARE VULNERABLETO THE NEGATIVEIMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ixty-five years ago, at the time of theUnited Nation's creation, Japan, in itspost-World War II state, faced challengessimilar to those confronting thedeveloping countries today. To overcome them, Japan received a considerable assistance from theinternational community. Therefore, Japan has specialinterest in the achievement of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs), which is the main themeof the General Assembly this year. Today, the international community is facing a series ofchallenges that include poverty, hunger, infectiousdiseases, proliferation of weapons of mass destructionand missiles, regional conflicts, and globalenvironmental issues. I am deeply honoured to begiven this opportunity to speak to you about mythoughts on the role today's Japan should play in theinternational community, based on its experience. Ishould like to begin by sharing with you an idea that Ihold dear. I firmly believe that the primary role of theleader of a country should be to create a society inwhich human suffering is reduced to a minimum. Ibelieve that it is the duty of all political leaders tominimise the sources of human suffering such aspoverty, disease and conflict. I shall now discussJapan's concrete contributions, guided by this idea. After the Second World War, Japan achieved economicreconstruction owing in part to the assistance from theinternational community. Later, through rapideconomic growth, Japan became one of the majoreconomic powers. With such history behind, Japancannot overlook the realities of the world today, wherea billion people suffer from hunger, nearly one millionpeople die each year of malaria, and poverty keepssome 72 million children out of school. Japan attachesa great importance to achieving the MDGs. When I attended the MDG High-level Plenary MeetingI announced the new contributions in the health andeducation areas as the "Kan Commitment". Behindthis initiative is my earnest desire to save all infantlives and to let every child go to school. We will provideUS$5 billion in health assistance and US$3.5 billionin education assistance over the course of five years.Our commitment in the area of health includes acontribution of up to US$800 million to the GlobalFund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.Assistance in the area of education will provide high-quality environment for education to more than sevenmillion children. Japan will continue to work comprehensively ondevelopment assistance in accordance with theconcept of human security and lead the efforts of theinternational community towards meeting the MDGs.As a part of these efforts, Japan proposes to convenean international conference in Japan next year in orderto strengthen the coordination among a broad range ofstakeholders, including governments, internationalorganisations and NGOs, and follow up on the High-level Plenary Meeting. Reinforcing assistance to Africa, in particular, where the progress toward the achievement of theMDGs is slow, is one of the priorities of theinternational community. Attaining the MDGs in Africa is an important pillar of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development(TICAD) process. Japan is enhancing its efforts infields such as health, water and sanitation, educationand food. In order to steadily implement ourcommitments made at TICAD IV, including thedoubling of our ODA and providing support in order todouble private investment to Africa by 2012, Japanwill continue and strengthen its assistance. ACHIEVING THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS106G-20 MEMBERSNAOTO KAN, PRIME MINISTER, JAPANSPhoto: UN Photo/Ky Chung
G-20 MEMBERS107Below: Naoto KanAt the UN Summit on Climate Change last year, Japanannounced the target of reducing its emissions by 25 percent by 2020, compared to the 1990 level, premised onthe establishment of a fair and effective internationalframework in which all major economies participate aswell as their agreement on ambitious targets. Small island developing States are in peril ofsubmerging under water in the future because of theglobal warming. Saving these countries from theirpredicament is among the reasons why we shouldaddress the issue of climate change with greater senseof urgency. Aiming at adopting a new and comprehensive legallybinding document, Japan will continue to co-ordinatewith other States and the United Nations to leadinternational negotiations for the success of COP 16 atthe end of this year. We will also steadily supportdeveloping countries that are vulnerable to thenegative impacts of climate change and those that aretaking mitigation measures such as reducingemissions, through partnership between the publicand private sectors. In October, the COP10 of the Convention on BiologicalDiversity, with the theme, "Living in Harmony withNature", will be convened in Nagoya, Japan. At thismeeting, we must come to agreement on commencingnew actions in order to halt the rapidly progressing lossof biodiversity. The biggest challenges in this field aresetting a common global action target and establishinga new international regime in the area of Access andBenefit Sharing (ABS) as related to genetic resources.As chair of the meeting, Japan is determined to play animportant role in these efforts. nThis article is excerpted from an address by H.E.Naoto Kan, the Prime Minister of Japan, at the 65thSession of the United Nations General Assembly inNew York on 24 September 2010. The full text of thisspeech may be found at www.kantei.go.jp.