Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan
June 27 2012
I thank Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Ladsous for his comprehensive and informative briefing. I would further like to express my respect and gratitude to all the men and women of UNAMA who have demonstrated a deep commitment to this difficult mission. I also thank Ambassador Tanin for his statement.
We applaud the recent positive developments in the area of security, such as the launch of the third tranche of transition, and are pleased with the progress of the two initial rounds, which will bring 75% percent of the country’s population into the process. We are also pleased that the number of former anti-government personnel enrolled in APRP has increased to 4,641 as described in the SG’s report. Japan also welcomes the appointment of Mr. Rabbani as the new chairperson of the High Peace Council.
Unfortunately, we also witnessed several shocking incidents over the last quarter, such as the large-scale insurgent attack on April 15 that affected several governmental institutions and foreign missions including the Japanese embassy; and the assassination of senior High Peace Council member Arsala Rahmani on May 13. While these deplorable incidents demonstrated that grave security challenges remain, they simultaneously demonstrated the ability of the Afghan National Security Forces and also strengthened our resolve to stop the cycle of violence and ensure that such tragedies never occur again.
With this transition process and security situation in mind, our most predominant and demanding task is proving to the international community that Afghanistan will be stable and self-reliant in the future, particularly beyond 2015. In order to achieve this, it is incumbent on both Afghanistan and its international partners to tackle the related challenges of advancing both security and sustainable development in the country.
In this regard, we view this year’s series of key high-level meetings, in particular the Chicago NATO summit on security in May, the Kabul Ministerial Conference on regional cooperation in June, and the Tokyo Conference on sustainable economic development in July as momentous in the shaping of Afghanistan’s future.
The NATO Summit in Chicago, together with the new Strategic Partnership Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States, took important steps forward in terms of ensuring the constancy and predictability of the security situation in the country. Japan is also determined to continue its assistance to the Afghan Police for both its qualitative and quantitative improvement.
Along with improving its security situation, it is essential for Afghanistan to work with its neighboring countries to achieve lasting stability and prosperity. Japan therefore supports the Istanbul Process launched in November last year and acknowledges the outcome of the Kabul Ministerial Meeting held on June 14th.
Japan welcomes the attendance of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Tokyo conference as a sign of the UN’s consistent commitment for stability and sustainable development of Afghanistan.
Building upon the outcomes from the NATO summit on security and the Kabul Ministerial meeting on regional cooperation, the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan on July 8thwill focus on the “sustainable development strategy of Afghanistan” and discuss coordination of international economic assistance, commitments to improve governance by the Afghan government and a follow-up mechanism. We will aim to reaffirm the historic partnership between the international community and the Government of Afghanistan from Transition to the Transformation Decade of 2015-2024 under the concept of “mutual accountability.”
This notion of mutual accountability is at the very heart of our partnership. The government seeks long-term assistance from the international community in order to become self-reliant in the future. In order to achieve such self-reliance, it is necessary for the government to achieve a wide range of reforms in governance to assure the international community that its assistance will be utilized in an appropriate and transparent way.
Necessary reforms range over a variety of fields, such as holding free and fair elections, anti-corruption efforts, the establishment of rule of law and better public financial management. In this regard, we would like to express our gratitude to UNAMA’s leading role in this challenging field of governance as well as its coordinating between the Afghan government and international donors. Japan has also actively supported the government in these fields through its contributions to UNDP and other UN agencies’ country programmes. Furthermore, Japan recently made the decision to contribute an additional 8.6 million USD to the UNDP/ELECT2 project aimed at enhancing the function of the Independent Electoral Commission toward the Presidential Election of 2014, which will be of critical importance for the legitimacy of the government.
In the same spirit, Japan is ready to continue its assistance to Afghanistan in a responsible manner and encourages international partners to continue to deliver predictable financial support for the country.
I would like to reiterate once again that this concept of mutual accountability is the key to the future prosperity of Afghanistan as the result of a firm and lasting partnership with the international community.
With the drawdown of international troops bringing civilian agencies increasingly to the fore, UNAMA’s leadership and coordination roles in achieving both sustainable peace and reconciliation and economic and social development in Afghanistan will only grow in importance. We would like to once again express our commitment to supporting UNAMA’s efforts and pledge to work closely with the Mission, the government, and other international partners for the lasting stability and development of Afghanistan.
Thank you, Mr. President.