H.E. MR. SHINICHI KITAOKA
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations 59th Session of the General Assembly
31 JANUARY 2005
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.