2016 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, Statement by Ambassador Mitsuko SHINO (16 November 2016)

69th Session of the UNHCR Executive Committee
Statement by Ambassador Ken OKANIWA
The Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva
Palais des Nations, Geneva (1 to 5 October 2018)

Thank you, Madam Chair.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

 At the outset, let me express our deepest condolences and sympathy to the Government and the people of Indonesia regarding the recent earthquake and Tsunami in Sulawesi, which resulted in huge casualties and damages.

 Taking this opportunity, I would like to pay tribute to High Commissioner Grandi and his staff of UNHCR for their commitment to assisting the refugees and displaced persons living in severe conditions around the world.

 Japan appreciates the efforts of UNHCR in applying the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) to its activities. We would also like to express our respect to the many host countries that have similarly been applying the CRRF and providing us with examples of good practices.
 Japan’s commitment to CRRF activities goes beyond providing financial assistance for UNHCR’s work. As an example, in Uganda, UNHCR’s activities funded by Japan is complemented by JICA activities such as survey of basic infrastructure for host communities, capacity building assistance to local governments, and vocational training on rice cultivation targeting both refugees and host communities.

Madam Chair,

 Since last year, Japan has actively participated in consultations and discussions on the Global Compact on Refugees. The outcome document reflects the different inputs and ideas from the wide range of participants. Japan considers that the UNGA at its current session should welcome and strongly endorse the Global Compact, as High Commissioner mentioned in his opening statement, so as to promote implementation to make a difference on the ground.

Madam Chair,

 Japan is deeply concerned about the grave humanitarian situation in Syria. It is important that the return of Syrian refugees and IDPs be realized in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner. Japan commends UNHCR’s commitment to these principles. Also, we pay tribute to the neighboring states that have hosted millions of refugees and stress the need for the international community to continue supporting them. Japan will continue to provide support to meet the humanitarian needs in the region.

 Japan highly appreciates Bangladesh’s generosity in hosting a large number of displaced persons from Rakhine State. Japan also welcomes the conclusion of the tripartite MOU on repatriation between UNHCR, UNDP and the Government of Myanmar in June this year. We further appreciate the commencement of initial assessments by UNHCR and UNDP and hope to see progress made in creating an environment that is conducive to repatriation. Japan will continue to make its maximum effort, including at the highest level, to achieve repatriation.

 We note that Sub-Saharan Africa is hosting the largest number of people of concern. Japan will host the TICAD Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo this weekend, and the Seventh TICAD Summit in August next year. Japan intends to work together with the international community to provide strong support to Africa’s development.

Madam Chair,

 Japan welcomes UNHCR’s efforts to institutionalize risk prevention and proactively prevent misconduct and corruption. Japan is conscious that the areas in which UNHCR operates are high risk environments. In case any misconduct does occur, we request UNHCR to conduct thorough investigations and provide us with reports.

Madam Chair,

 Bearing in mind the current situation regarding refugees and the discussion on the GCR, and in order to contribute further to addressing humanitarian situation in the international community, Japan will review the scope of the targeted refugees for its Refugee Resettlement Programme.
 Let me conclude by emphasizing the importance of taking an approach based on Humanitarian Development Nexus. This approach requires that UNHCR further collaborate with other players such as UNDP, the World Bank and bilateral development agencies. Japan pledges to continue working together with UNHCR and others to this end.

Thank you.