H.E. MR. SHINICHI KITAOKA
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 MARCH 2005
I thank you for convening this public meeting concerning the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I also wish to offer my thanks to the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lord Paddy Ashdown, for his comprehensive briefing.
Almost ten years have passed since the signing of the Dayton Accord, and the tasks called for in the peace process have been steadily fulfilled during this period in Bosnia and Herzegovina. My government commends the vigorous reform efforts made by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to consolidate itself as a stable multiethnic State integrated into Europe. Among the achievements, we particularly appreciate the economic reform policy measures, as exemplified by the completion of the VAT-related legislation, and the establishment of the Ministry of Defense and the Intelligence and Security Agency at the state level. We are particularly appreciative of the efforts made by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina and his staff.
Nevertheless, there is still much to be done in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is necessary to resolve the remaining problems, so that Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to stand on its own feet. For that purpose, we expect the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the cooperation of the international community, to take the initiative to make further progress on the most urgent tasks, such as consolidation of the rule of law, further reform of the economy, which must include improving the investment environment, and strengthening of the state institutions.
The Government of Japan is of the view that a resolution of the issue of war criminals is essential for the true implementation of the peace in former Yugoslavia. We are approaching the tenth anniversary of the atrocities that took place in Srebrenica. We continue to call upon the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to fully cooperate with the ICTY and to extradite every person indicted for war criminals to the Tribunal. At the same time, we wish to underscore the importance of the War Crimes Chamber, which has been established to prosecute war crimes inside Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is expected to be effective in fostering reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina through its rapid prosecution process. Japan has contributed to this important project by providing training to the staff and equipment for the Chamber through UNDP.
My government is pleased to hear that the handover from SFOR to EUFOR was accomplished smoothly. We would like to commend especially EUFOR’s proactive initiative in dealing with organized crime, and we look forward to a continuation of those efforts.
Japan has been actively contributing to the peace implementation process in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council. We have pledged 500 million dollars to support rehabilitation and reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and have been steadily implementing that assistance. Last April in Tokyo, Japan co-chaired with the EU Presidency the Ministerial Conference on Peace Consolidation and Economic Development of the Western Balkans. At the conference we expressed our view that, in order to ensure that the stabilization and development of this region will be irreversible, regional efforts should be made focusing on the three key elements, namely consolidation of peace, economic development and regional cooperation. We are providing support in line with this view by dispatching advisers to help stimulate investment and co-hosting workshop on the promotion of tourism in the Western Balkans, among other measures.
Japan, in cooperation with rest of the international community, intends to adhere to its commitment to achieving stability and prosperity in this region through activities that include follow-up to the Tokyo ministerial conference. In the meeting with Mr. Adnan Terzić, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, this month, our Prime Minister, Mr. Junichiro Koizumi confirmed Japan’s intention to continue its support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s effort. It is our firm belief that stabilization of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is essential for the stability of all of South Eastern Europe.
Thank you, Mr. President.