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
December 19 2011
I thank Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Ludin, for his presence today and his statement. I also thank Special Representative de Mistura for his very comprehensive and informative briefing and express my sincere gratitude for his dedicated service during his term as SRSG. Japan has greatly appreciated all your efforts and work for almost two years. And I congratulate Mr. Jan Kubis for his appointment as new Special Representative. We’re confident in your ability to lead the mission, and wish you the best.
Japan highly appreciates the efforts exerted by the Governments of Afghanistan and Germany for the International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn, and welcomes the renewed mutual commitments between Afghanistan and the international community to achieve a stable, democratic and prosperous future of Afghanistan.
This year marks the 10th anniversary since the new Afghanistan made the first step of its nation building in 2001. Throughout this decade, Afghan-led nation building, supported by the international community, has achieved considerable progress. At the same time, there still remain numerous challenges to be tackled, which require close cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community.
First, it is vital to ensure stabilization and irreversible progress in the security transition through a political process. We welcome the start of the transition process in July and the approval of the transition’s second phase in November. Afghan-led national reconciliation with support from the international community is indispensable for further advancing the transition process. It is also important to accelerate reintegration so that reconciliation progresses and its achievements can be consolidated. Japan welcomes that nearly 3,000 reintegrees joined the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme, and will continue to assist proactively the Afghan-led efforts on the APRP.
The second is achieving the sustainable growth of Afghanistan. This goal can only be attained by a strong partnership between Afghanistan and the international community through the Transformation Decade. The international community should cooperate with the Afghan Government to strengthen the sustainability and self-reliance of its economic and fiscal management in order to alleviate the expected macro-economic impact of the transition.
The third is regional cooperation. A stable and cooperative relationship between Afghanistan and other countries in the region is indispensable to achieve enduring stability of Afghanistan. We therefore welcome the outcome of the Istanbul Conference and stress the importance of promoting regional economic cooperation for the development of the whole region by strengthening Afghanistan’s connectivity to the regional and global economies.
We need to further consolidate the transition process and make our utmost efforts to draw a clear picture for the Transformation Decade. The areas of governance, security, the peace process, economic and social development, and regional cooperation are mutually inter-linked and should be addressed in a well-coordinated manner. As described in the recent SG report, there is a need for a balanced approach to security and non-security considerations, which will lead to the long-term stability of Afghanistan toward and beyond 2014.
In this context, as announced at the Bonn Conference, Japan intends to host a ministerial conference in Tokyo next July, as a step following Bonn. The conference will address, in addition to the coordination of international economic assistance through the transition period, Afghanistan’s strategy for sustainable development including regional economic cooperation. We expect to have discussions which serve to identify most imminent priorities for the Government of Afghanistan, in pursuit of attaining both fiscal sustainability and development needs. We would like to closely cooperate with Afghanistan, the international community and UNAMA in the course of preparing for the conference.
Japan looks forward to a comprehensive review of UNAMA’s mandate and of UN support in Afghanistan. This will be a very important task of the UN in steering the future course of Afghanistan. UNAMA continues to play an important role and Japan continues its utmost to contribute to its activities.
In conclusion, we would like to once again express our sincere appreciation for the dedication of the SRSG de Mistura, and reiterate our commitment to support UNAMA’s efforts together with Mr. Kubis and all the men and women of UNAMA who have demonstrated deep commitment to this difficult mission.
Thank you, Mr. President.