2005 Statement



Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan

Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations 59th Session of the General Assembly

31 JANUARY 2005

Mr. Chairman,

Needless to say, peacekeeping operations provide an effective option for the promotion of conflict resolution, as is shown by the fact that the comprehensive peace agreement for the north-south conflict in the Sudan, which was signed recently, requested the assistance of a UN PKO. 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 peacebuilding activities.

Establishment of the PKO for the north-south conflict in the Sudan, if it is decided, means further expansion of the number and scale of peacekeeping operations. This pace of expansion cannot be sustained without further cooperation from the Member States. Securing the necessary human and financial support will present a challenge for all of us. Japan is willing to give earnest consideration to the responsibilities of developed countries, as mentioned by the High-level Panel.

At the same time, in responding to the concerns raised about the recent budgetary expansion of PKOs now reaching the level of 4.5 US billion dollars per year, the Security Council needs to be more accountable, and Japan, as a member of the Council, is ready to play an active role in that endeavor. In this context, my government would like to emphasize the necessity of ensuring the effective and efficient management of peacekeeping operations. From that point of view, it is important that the tasks, size and structure of a mission be reviewed periodically, with appropriate setting of completion strategies, and the size of the mission reduced step by step in line with the gradual fulfillment of its mandate. We also believe the UN should explore further the possibility of implementing more flexible allocation of resources among missions deployed in the same region.

Mr. Chairman,

Given the increased role of PKOs in the global community through their contribution to the consolidation of peace, it is necessary for the United Nations to recognize that it has a major responsibility to ensure the quality and discipline of its missions. From this viewpoint, my government is compelled to express its deepest concern regarding the sexual misconduct by UN peacekeepers in MONUC.

Unfortunately these allegations are not new, and the international community must face up to the possibility that there may be a major discrepancy between the current policy of the United Nations and the behavior of its peacekeepers, as revealed by the expanding number of allegations.

My government strongly supports the United Nations’ zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse and would like to commend Mr. Guéhenno, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, for his position on this issue. We fully expect that the investigation by the United Nations on the allegations concerning MONUC will be carried through to its conclusion, and, based on the results of this investigation, the appropriate measures will be taken by the relevant authorities. We are also in agreement about the necessity of having training for all peacekeeping personnel, with the aim of reinforcing the United Nations’ zero-tolerance policy for such abuses.

One of the most important objectives of the meeting of this Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations is to adopt effective preventive measures, so that sexual abuse and other illegal acts will not be committed, as well as procedures to ensure that violators of the policy are brought to justice. The report of this session of the Special Committee should address this issue appropriately, and we are prepared to work on the matter in cooperation with other concerned countries.

Mr. Chairman,

Here, I would like to take up a few points which have also been raised by the High-level Panel of the Secretary-General. Those issues are: rapid deployment, peacebuilding and regional organizations.

The High-level Panel pointed out the necessity of enhancing the rapid deployment capability of the United Nations, and called for improvement of the Standby Arrangement and the cooperation of Member States in that regard. We understand that the proposed creation of a “Strategic Reserve Force” is intended as a concrete means to improve the Standby Arrangement. Japan will seriously consider this idea and is ready to contribute to the discussion on the many matters for discussion concerning the concept, including its feasibility and the extent to which its effectiveness and efficiency can be guaranteed.

Mr. Chairman,

The High-level Panel correctly observed that there is an institutional gap in the UN system that hinders us from effectively and coherently addressing many issues involved in peacebuilding, and proposed establishing a Peacebuilding Commission as the gap-filling measure. My government appreciates the proposal as a positive step forward. However, with regard to the specific suggestion of locating such a commission in the Security Council as its subsidiary organ, we see some potential problems and therefore wish to give the proposal further careful study. We have come up with our own idea on this issue, and will contribute to the discussion proactively.

Mr. Chairman,

The High-level Panel also touched upon the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. In this connection, we note in particular the increasingly active role played by regional organizations, in Africa and elsewhere, which we welcome as a very positive development. Closer collaboration between the UN and regional organizations should be encouraged, and the role of regional organizations should be strengthened, including, where appropriate, through capacity building and other support.

Mr. Chairman,

Finally, 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 underscore 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.

Mr. Chairman,

For the next two years, Japan will serve as a member and as chair of the PKO Working Group in the Security Council, and hopes to work in cooperation not only with members of the Security Council, but also with all interested Member States, TCCs and financial contributors, in particular, to address some of the key issues that confront UN peacekeeping operations today.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.