United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Japan

Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17)
Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
Statement be the Delegation of Japan
|Rural Development|
(Tuesday, 24 February 2009, 15:00-18:00 @ CR 4)
Thank you Mme. Chairperson,
Community development is at the heart of the human security concept that my government
has been promoting for a decade now since the economic crisis that struck South East Asia
in the late 90fs. Community based, bottom-up, comprehensive, multi-sectoral and
participatory approaches to protect and empower communities are becoming more relevant
than ever today, since the developing world is facing a major challenge of achieving the
MDGs in the midst of the world financial and economic crisis risking to hit the most
vulnerable members of the society.
Given the fact that over 1 billion extremely poor people live in rural areas, this community
based human security approach is a useful tool in tackling rural development. 70 percent of
the poor or 230 million people in Sub-Sahara Africa live in rural areas, and the increase of
food production and agricultural productivity are critical for food security, poverty reduction
and economic growth in Africa. Moreover, human resource development, decent
job-creation, in particular for the youth, through technical assistance, vocational training
and micro-finance, income generation through co-operatives, more access to primary
health-care and basic education should all be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
Gender perspective is indispensable as women play an important role in community
development.
These were just a few of the conclusions drawn at the Tokyo International Conference on
African Development (TICAD IV) that Japan co-organized with the UN secretariat, UNDP
and the World Bank last year in Yokohama. At the meeting, Japan pledged to contribute to
rural development by providing technical assistance, such as expanding One Village One
Product (OVOP) projects through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and
dispatching JICA experts to work together with people within the communities to promote
gface-to-faceh cooperation. Japan is also supporting the African Millennium Village initiative
in more than 10 African countries jointly with UNDP.
Thank you Mme. Chairperson.
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Deleted: Japan believes that it
was to address the issue of rural
development, among other
problems, that the Commission
on Sustainable Development as
well as the United Nations
Development System was
established. It is for the same
reason that Japan has pressed
for UN assistance to be delivered
effectively and efficiently on the
ground. ÷
÷
Needless to say, for rural
development to take place, a
number of issues must first be
addressed. These include
poverty, health and livelihoods,
agriculture, education, suitable
technologies, and good
governance. Proceeding from a
human security perspective,
Japan therefore remains
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Deleted: My delegation considers
economic growth as another
major challenge, and yet it is
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Japan believes that it was to address the issue of rural development, among
other problems, that the Commission on Sustainable Development as well as the
United Nations Development System was established. It is for the same reason
that Japan has pressed for UN assistance to be delivered effectively and
efficiently on the ground.
Needless to say, for rural development to take place, a number of issues must
first be addressed. These include poverty, health and livelihoods, agriculture,
education, suitable technologies, and good governance. Proceeding from a
human security perspective, Japan therefore remains committed to engaging in
these fields, providing both multilateral and bilateral assistance with a view to
realizing community development. For example, at the Tokyo International
Conference on African Development (TICAD IV),
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My delegation considers economic growth as another major challenge, and yet it
is cautious about using indicators of a purely economic nature when assessing
the growth of a country. That is because improvements in indicators do not
always mean that rural areas have developed, at the same time, and in most
instances, the fact is that internal disparities have been aggravated. In this
regard, Japan has long focused on infrastructure, for example, through road
construction and rehabilitation, as it not only provide access between one rural
area and another, but also prevents economic disparities between urban and
rural areas from being heightened.
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