H.E. Mr. Koichi Haraguchi
Permanent Representative of Japan
On Item 85, "Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question
of Peacekeeping Operations in All their Aspects"
17 October 2003
First, I would like to express my appreciation for your superb leadership. I also would like to thank Mr. Jean-Marie Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operation, for his comprehensive briefing, which has provided us with a meaningful basis for our discussion.
UN Peacekeeping Operations have existed for over a half century and have varied from the traditional form, whose main task is observing cease-fires, to what is called the "multi functional" PKO. This evolution testifies to how flexibly PKOs have been deployed, based on the international and regional situation in each case. I believe it is essential to continue to emphasize the flexibility of PKOs and to be constantly studying the question of how the modalities of PKOs can be improved. From this point of view, I would like to present several ideas and efforts of Japan.
Japan has made its support for "consolidation and building of peace" one of the pillars of its diplomatic policy, and regards a comprehensive approach to that task as critical to conflict resolution. In line with these policies, we have been actively participating in PKOs and other joint international activities. We have also started to consider how we should develop our human resources for participation in international peace activities of all kinds, in order to make a greater contribution to those activities.
Japan hosted the Civil-Military Cooperation in Peace Operations Seminar in April of this year, with the cooperation of DPKO. Civil-military cooperation is one of the key issues in the multi functional PKO. This Seminar focused on coordination and cooperation among international institutions, NGOs and related partners in the Asia-Pacific region, and we believe that the results of this seminar, combined with the experience acquired and lessons learned from past PKOs, will serve future peacekeeping activities well.
Concerning the more robust PKOs mentioned by Mr. Guehenno, Japan welcomes his reiteration of the idea that consent remains the fundamental principle. We also believe that the consent of the host countries and their people are key to the success of PKOs and to the consolidation of peace.
Japan would like to point out that, with respect to PKOs, regional initiatives can be very effective, because those countries in the region concerned are more likely to be capable of rapid deployment and to have better logistic prerequisites. Japan would like not only to pay tribute to the activities of ECOWAS in the west Africa and of the AU in central Africa, but also to support NEPAD which stresses peace and security as a prerequisite for development, as well as the AU which has intensified its efforts in the area of security. We look forward to further progress in these initiatives.
While it is very important to deploy PKOs in a flexible manner according to the situations in each, specific region and the country concerned, it is also of crucial importance that the budgetary burden for PKOs be kept at a reasonable level for the Member States of the United Nations. In crafting a resolution to establish a PKO, which inevitably requires budgetary arrangements, special care must be taken to ensure transparency, particularly vis-a-vis major financial contributors. Japan also emphasizes the importance of enhancing the cost-effectiveness of PKOs, and we intend to pay close attention to discussions in the COE Working Group meeting to be held at the beginning of next year.
Ensuring the safety and security of personnel participating in PKOs and other UN activities remains a subject of fundamental importance. Japan will cooperate with DPKO and the Office of the UN Security Coordinator in order to construct a framework which will be beneficial to all member states.
Lastly, I wish to refer to the recruitment of DPKO staff members. While recognizing some positive effort on the part of DPKO, we must emphasize the continuing need to implement General Assembly resolution 57/318 para.10, which expresses concern over the still remaining imbalance in the geographical representation of Member States in DPKO and urges the Secretary-General to take immediate measures to improve the representation of under-represented and unrepresented Member States in future recruitment, and to provide a report concerning the criteria used for recruitment to all support account posts.
Thank you very much.