United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by Hiroshi Minami, Deputy Director General for Global Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the 11th session of SDGs-OWG on focus areas 1 and 2

We thank the Co-Chairs for the tremendous efforts to revise the working document, which is a good basis for our discussion. We have full confidence in the Co Chairs' ability to guide us to the consensual agreement on our work in July meeting.

There are a number of calls for informal informal consultation in this process. Our position is that we should maintain the current inclusive and transparent working format. In addition, inter sessional meetings will lose the opportunities for capital based people like me to participate in the discussions.

Differentiation should be duly and appropriately reflected in the SDGs. However, sometimes the discussion on differentiation is coupled with binary division of developed and developing countries. We believe that such binary division of developed and developing countries is not appropriate, and I would like to touch upon three points.
First, do we have clear definitions of developed and developing countries? Can we agree to the criteria for developed and developing countries.
Second, the structure of developed and developing countries should not be static, but dynamic. Japan used to be a recipient of World Bank 50 years ago.
Third, how can we address the diversification and differentiation among the developing countries?
In the discussion of differentiation, we should have in mind the above three points.

Focus area 1. Poverty eradication, building shared prosperity and promoting equality

We support subareas a), d), and e) under a stand-alone goal for poverty eradication.
As for d), death and economic losses should have separate numerical target such as “reduce by x% deaths and by y% economic losses”. Disaster risk reduction should be mainstreamed through targets under all relevant goals considering its cross-cutting nature. However, the DRR target under poverty eradication should be given utmost priority among them.
Subarea e) could be consolidated with 8b) and placed under poverty eradication goal from the view point of multi-dimensional nature of poverty and interlinkage of poverty eradication, growth and employment.

Focus area 2. Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition

We support subareas a), b), d), and g). Subarea b) should cover not only children under 5 but also their mothers since nutrition status of the first 1000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s 2nd birthday has crucial consequence on education outcome and productivity of children when they grow up. Thus d) should read as follows: “end malnutrition in all its forms, notably stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age and anemia among pregnant and lactating women”.
We have concern on subareas c) and e) considering the difficulty in setting the numerical target due to difference in definitions and criteria for evaluation in each country. Therefore we are less convinced of the necessity of these targets.
We believe in the importance of supporting research and development on sustainable agricultural technologies that appeared in the previous version of Co-Chairs' text. We therefore propose a new target “promote agricultural investment including research and development, to establish necessary infrastructures for production increase and quality improvement” under this goal.