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China Mitsuko Horiuchi 14 sept 1995

THE EARTH TIMES

SEPTEMBER 14, 1995

 ‘After Beijing Japan will review its own plan of action’

BY ASHALI VARMA

Beijing China: As one of the chief negotiators for the Japanese delegation at the Fourth World Conference on Women, Mitsuko Horiuchi feels that considerable progress has been made on the Platform for Action and now one of her concerns is how to reflect the Platform in the Beijing Declaration. “We believe that the Declaration should be, concise and understood by everyone, and most important of all it should reflect the commitments made in the Platform for Action,” said Horiuchi, in an interview yesterday with The Earth Times.

Horiuchi said that the health section of the Platform for Action has been unbracketed and this is a big achievement. Having been involved with women’s issues since the Rio Summit, Horiuchi was also one of the negotiators for the Japanese delegation at the Cairo Conference and at the Social Summit in Copenhagen: “I was happy that in the Copenhagen document we brought in the issue of women in development,” she said.

On the question of resources, Horiuchi said, “Our position is clear. In order to implement the Platform for Action, it is obvious that adequate resources are required. We will have to see the areas of priority and then consider how we can use resources effectively.”

On Japan’s commitment to the process of implementation, Horiuchi said, “We want to remind the international community that Japan is the only country that has increased its amount of ODA last year by 7 percent over previous years.” After Beijing, Japan will review its own new national plan of action taking into consideration the priorities of Beijing.  Horiuchi feels that UN conferences create a momentum and promote awareness of critical issues, not only at national levels but also at the global level. “A great deal has been achieved since the Nairobi Conference. Now at Beijing we are focusing on action and how NGOs are critical to the process,” said Horiuchi.

In addition Japan feels it is important to support UN organizations and in the case of

women’s issues, Unifem is particularly important Horiuchi said. “We are considering increasing our support to Unifem to strengthen it further since Unifem is already working on women’s issues at the grassroots level in developing countries.”