Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama,
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations,
at the Debate of the Security Council on Haiti
October 3, 2012
I would like to express my appreciation to H.E. Mr. Harold Osberto Caballeros López, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, for chairing this debate. I also pay tribute to the men and women of MINUSTAH for the commitment and fortitude they have demonstrated under difficult circumstances.
I welcome the Secretary-General’s Report on MINUSTAH, issued on August 31. As the report mentions, MINUSTAH personnel have shown continued dedication and commitment in support of the recovery and stability of Haiti, and for that we commend them and the concrete results they have achieved. Based on the situation, we welcome the fact that MINUSTAH is refocusing its efforts on longer-term stabilization and development.
The international community acknowledges and welcomes the progress that has been made in the recovery of Haiti. Since the earthquake in 2010, more than ten million cubic meters of debris have been removed and the number of IDPs has been reduced by more than 75 percent. As the Secretary General’s report points out, reconfiguration and consolidation of MINUSTAH warrants consideration. Now that more than two and a half years have passed since the deadly earthquake, the necessity and significance of the Mission remains high but the needs of the Haitian people have shifted. Haiti has made remarkable progress since Japan pledged 100 million U.S. dollars for emergency relief and reconstruction for Haiti in 2010. In fact, Japan has actually already disbursed an amount exceeding this original pledge.
In recognition of such progress on the ground, in July, the Government of Japan decided it would start a wind-up phase of the operations of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force’s engineering unit in Haiti, with its eventual departure from MINUSTAH. As Haiti is now entering the reconstruction process, we believe that Haiti has reached a stage where the role of our Self Defense Force unit is in decreased need. The number of personnel who have served in the Japanese contingent since its beginning now totals approximately 2,200. The contingent has made contributions to the recovery of Haiti through various efforts, such as the removal of rubble, dismantling of damaged buildings, repair of facilities in IDP camps, road repair, construction of orphanage facilities and water distribution in response to the outbreak of cholera.
In spite of the progress made on the road to recovery, it is certain that Haiti will still be forced with the need to improve its basic infrastructure services such as roads, electricity, and potable water and with social services including access to education and medicine. High levels of unemployment and delinquency problems also exist. Many challenges still remain for Haiti concerning its recovery, reconstruction and development. International support will still be needed.
However, we acknowledge the fact that Haiti has been making serious efforts towards its reconstruction and we are convinced that Haiti will do its utmost in achieving most of its recovery on its own. President Martelly has said he puts priority on five “E”s: Education, Employment, Environment, Establishment of the rule of law and Energy.
We welcome Haitian efforts in the area of strengthening the rule of law and improvement of the security situation and Japan expects Haiti to continue its efforts not only in these areas but also by reducing poverty and ensuring the welfare of all Haitian people.
We also welcome the publication of a corrected version of the constitutional amendments and the establishment of the Superior Council of the Judiciary. We also urge all relevant political actors in Haiti to continue their dialogue and cooperation towards the establishment of a Permanent Electoral Council. Japan expects the next election in Haiti will be carried out in a peaceful and democratic manner.
It is our hope that the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Haiti will thus be further accelerated under the leadership of President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe, along with Your Excellency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Caballeros López.
Even after the withdrawal of its engineering unit, Japan intends to continue our support for Haiti. The contributions made by the engineering units of Japanese Self Defense Force include human resource development for Haitian citizens through sharing expertise to make use of civil engineering equipment. In addition, we are now considering the possibility to grant such equipment to Haitian government. Now, the time has come for us to shift from fast-acting support to long-lasting contributions. Through these efforts, we will continue to support Haiti’s reconstruction and development, by providing training in basic social services such as health, hygiene and education.
As you are aware Mr. President, almost one and a half years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan on 11 March last year. We are most grateful that the people in Haiti expressed the sense of solidarity with Japanese people, as we embark on similar endeavors. I am confident that both Haiti and Japan, in close collaboration with the international community, will overcome these difficulties through mutual encouragement and steadfast efforts for a brighter future.
I thank you.