H.E. Mr. Koichi Haraguchi
Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in Kosovo
13 April 2004
Let me say at the outset that Japan would like to express its deepest concern over the violence that erupted last month in Kosovo. To aid us in understanding why this occurred once again despite all the international efforts that have been made to create stability and bring life there back to normal, we do hope that in his next report, the Secretary-General will provide us with a comprehensive evaluation of the incidents and assessment of measures taken by UNMIK during the violence, perhaps building upon today's substantial briefing by Mr. Guéhenno.
Japan wishes to make two points about the violence in Kosovo which it believes should be seriously considered by all members of the international community.
First, the most important lesson we learned from the violence is the need for redoubled efforts towards the establishment of multi-ethnic society. And there is no alternative to implementation of Kosovo standards in reaching this goal. We express our support for UNMIK and PISG in the implementation of its standards and appeal to the international community to express its support for recently publicized "Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan."
Second, the violence demonstrated the increased need for security in Kosovo. My Government expresses support for SRSG Harri Holkeri and for UNMIK and KFOR in their strengthened efforts to stabilize the situation immediately after the violence. At the same time on the basis of the assessment of the measures taken by UNMIK before the violence, we need to give serious thoughts about how we can increase the security situation in a sustainable manner. One of the most immediate tasks should be upgrading of Kosovo security organizations including the training of police officers. Japan has been cooperating with the UNDP through the Illicit Small Arms Control Programme through the Trust Fund for Human Security and calls upon all Member States to join us in similar efforts.
On the fifth of April, Japan hosted the Ministerial Conference on Peace Consolidation and Economic Development of the Western Balkans in Tokyo. Kosovo was one of the most important issues discussed. Many of the participants condemned the recent violence, urged that steps be taken to prevent ethnically-motivated violence, and expressed support for the restoration of security situation by UNMIK and KFOR and for the "Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan," and these remarks were reflected in the Joint Conclusions.
For its part, my Government intends to adhere to its commitment to achieving stability and prosperity in South Eastern Europe, in cooperation with the rest of the international community. It is our firm belief that stabilizing the situation in Kosovo is essential for stability of the entire region.
Thank you, Mr. President.