H.E. Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka
Deputy Permanent Representative Of Japan
On Item 77: Comprehensive Review Of The Whole Question Of Peacekeeping Operations In All Their Aspects
26 OCTOBER 2004
Peacekeeping operations provide an effective option for the promotion of conflict resolution. In addition to the assessed PKO contributions, the Government of Japan has actively contributed to PKOs, both directly, by dispatching troops and personnel or providing financial and material support, and indirectly, by engaging in activities to promote the peace process and assist in peace-building.
Today, the number and scale of peacekeeping operations are expanding rapidly, particularly in Africa. This pace of expansion cannot be sustained without further cooperation from the Member States including not only troop contributing countries but also financial contributing countries, and Japan will certainly fulfill its role as a responsible member of the international community.
However, the resources each country is able to provide for peacekeeping are not unlimited, and securing the necessary human and financial support will present a challenge for all of us. My government has pointed out the necessity of ensuring the effective and efficient management of peacekeeping operations. From that point of view, we believe the UN should explore further the possibility of implementing more flexible allocation of resources among missions deployed in the same region. It is also important that the size of a mission be reviewed periodically and reduced step by step in line with the gradual fulfillment of its mandate.
Moreover, given the increased role of the PKO in the global community through its contribution to the consolidation of peace, it is necessary for the United Nations to recognize a major responsibility for the quality and discipline of its missions. From this viewpoint, PKO activities should be evaluated in a broader perspective and in an objective manner, which should include the considerations of effectiveness and of quality of the activities.
The international community should recognize that not all missions are accomplishing their given objectives. We must above all be cognizant of the difficulties entailed in complex missions, which include peace-building, among other activities. It should come as no surprise if difficulties are encountered in the process of assisting failed states or states in an unstable situation in the aftermath of conflict. The international community must undertake a comprehensive review of such complex missions and peace-building activities, and work out the strategy and policy needed to meet these hard challenges.
In this connection, Japan wishes to underscore the crucial importance of effective linkage between ownership and partnership. We believe that it is most desirable for the support of the international community to be based on the self-help efforts of the government and the people in the region where the conflict has occurred, and implemented in the form of assistance for those efforts. Through NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, African countries have been taking their own initiatives in the area of development, while keeping a strong partnership with international community. Japan is keenly supporting these activities through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD, process. It is essential that the government and the people of a region affected by conflict establish their ownership in the area of peace and security including human security, as well. Even in failed states, there are some local communities which maintain a certain level of governance. Outside assistance should be designed to raise the level of ownership enjoyed by such communities.
To follow through on this principle of respecting the ownership of the region in question, Japan believes that the most appropriate approach is to utilize regional and subregional organizations. We highly appreciate the initiatives of ECOWAS in the conflicts in western Africa and the contributions and commitment demonstrated by the AU in relation to the peace process in Burundi and problems in Darfur. There are some examples that equipment and training were provided in order to improve peacekeeping capabilities of these African states. Such initiatives by member states would also be really appropriate.
In addition, we should enhance our partnership with country teams on the ground and Bretton Woods institutions in peace-building activities. The Secretary-General’s report on the north-south problem in Sudan explained that the country team led the planning and that a joint assessment mission from the World Bank and UNDP was dispatched. Continued cooperation along these lines is essential. Japan is also of the view that it is extremely important to create businesses which will be linked to sustainable development, including industry promotion in post-conflict regions, and we should therefore consider how to make greater use of private sector knowledge and experience for that purpose.
Considering such significance of change of PKO function and importance of cooperation with relevant organizations, Japan will hold a seminar to discuss where peace cooperation needed and what kind of quality required for engaged personnel. There is no effective peacekeeping operation without good human resource development.
In closing today, I would like to raise the issue of the recruitment of DPKO staff members. While recognizing that some positive effort has been made on the part of DPKO, we wish to emphasize the continuing need to implement General Assembly resolution 56/293, which expresses concern over the as yet uncorrected imbalance in the geographical representation of Member States in DPKO. The resolution urges the Secretary-General to take immediate measures to improve the representation of under-represented and unrepresented Member States in future recruitment.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.