Japan meeting keeps momentum going on MDGs


Quotes of note

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Mr Kan told those attending the meeting that he has been deeply moved by the international outpouring of concern and solidarity for his country after its “Great East Japan Earthquake”: “This has made Japan all the more determined to act with the rest of the world and contribute to the achievement of the MDGs. Thus, I … reconfirm my unwavering determination to continue to faithfully implement the international commitments we have made.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

In a video message presented to the meeting’s participants, Mr Ban thanked Japan for hosting this important follow-up to the UN MDGs Summit and praised Mr Kan for his strong support for international development, particularly welcoming his clear signal that Japan’s commitment to the MDGs remains undiminished even at this difficult time for the country. Mr Ban also said the world should take heart from progress on the health MDGs: “Last year, countries pledged over $40 billion for the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. This year, we are going to make sure those funds benefit the people who need them most.”

UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UNDG, Helen Clark

Ms Clark joined the Secretary General in thanking Japan for holding this follow-up meeting to the MDG Summit and also thanked Prime Minister Kan Naoto for his extensive efforts to advance global development, including the MDGs: “It is indeed a testament to Japan’s commitment to development that we gather here so soon after the unprecedented and devastating disasters which hit Japan. Perhaps it is in these times of crisis that we can clearly see our shared humanity and the many connections which make our fates intertwined. I hope that the extraordinary leadership of Japan on global solidarity at this time will serve as a model for us all as we step up the international effort to achieve the MDGs over the next four years.”

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake

In his comments, Mr Lake commended the host country’s longstanding assistance for others: “The Japanese Government’s consistent support, and the Japanese people’s unfailing generosity, already have helped to improve the lives of millions of people,” he said. “We must focus investment in areas that provide the greatest return and the most sustainable results. And that is what an equity approach, and a greater focus on human security, will achieve.”

World Bank Managing Director Mahmoud Mohieldin

Mr Mohieldin said the Bank was already making significant progress in delivering on new financial pledges, announced by Bank President Robert Zoellick at last September’s summit. He said the Bank is increasing its results–based financing in health by more than $600 million over the next five years to support 35 countries affected by high fertility and child and maternal mortality rates, poor child and maternal nutrition indicators, as well as preventable childhood diseases. These new resources, he said, are helping mothers and children receive the essential health and nutrition services they need to survive and thrive: “I’m pleased to announce that this scale-up is moving even faster than we had anticipated … To date, the World Bank has already committed about half of the pledged amount, or $300 million, to seven countries – Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan. We are in the process of working with many other countries to help them scale up their efforts over the coming year.”