H.E. MR. YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
On the Situation of Africa at the Public Meeting of the Security Council
29 January 2002
I would like to express, on behalf of the Government of Japan, our appreciation for your leadership in convening this debate.
I would also like to thank Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette and OAU Secretary-General Amara Essy for their statements. In particular, we appreciate Mr. Essy's briefings on the OAU strategy for addressing the current situation of Africa as well as on the transitional process of the OAU into the African Union.
Despite the tremendous efforts they have made so far, African countries are still confronted with numerous obstacles which can pose a threat to peace and stability in their own lands. Japan recognizes that internal peace, security and stability are prerequisites for achieving sustainable development in any society and economy, and that good governance plays a critical role in that regard.
With this perception, Japan welcomes the decision on transition from the OAU to the African Union which was adopted at the OAU Summit held in Zambia last July. As the decision emphasizes, the major role of the African Union is the promotion of peace, security and stability as well as good governance throughout the African continent, based on democratic principles and institutions, and popular participation. Thus, the success of the African Union will depend largely upon its ability to maintain peace and security throughout the continent. Japan is confident that under the able leadership of Mr. Essy the important task of transforming the OAU into the African Union will be successfully achieved. We will spare no effort to support him in that task.
While the African Union decision and its charter provide a new framework agreement for the governance of its member countries, the document entitled "New Partnership for Africa’s Development" (NEPAD), also adopted at the July OAU Summit, provides a policy orientation for the activities of the African Union. Japan recognizes that the adoption of NEPAD has significance for the sustainable development of Africa.
First, the fact that various African development plans which had been submitted by several African leaders were coordinated and amalgamated into NEPAD is a demonstration by Africans of their "ownership" of the peace-building and development process.
Second, NEPAD's major thrusts, namely, to strengthen the ability of African countries to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts, and to anchor democratic governance on solid economic foundations, are an essential approach if African countries are to fully participate in the global economy.
For these reasons, Japan believes that NEPAD, with its important policy framework for the peace and sustainable development of African countries, and the African Union as its implementing organ, deserve the strong support of the international community.
Japan has hosted two Tokyo International Conferences on African development (TICAD) since 1993, with a view to mainstreaming African issues in the agenda of the international community, as well as to supporting the initiatives of African countries themselves to solve those issues so that they can participate fully in the global economy. Last December, Japan hosted a ministerial-level meeting in Tokyo, in preparation for TICAD III to be held in 2003. The meeting focused on how TICAD might strengthen its coordination with NEPAD, and adopted the Chair's Statement which cites the following important areas for cooperation:
- strengthening the foundation for development through the promotion of peace and good governance;
- investing in people, with a focus on human resources development, education and the health sector; and
- reducing poverty through economic growth.
In addition, South-South cooperation (particularly between Asia and Africa as well as among African countries), regional cooperation, and cooperation in the area of information and communication technology (ICT) were also recognized as important approaches to be taken in promoting African development.
Looking ahead to TICAD III, Japan will continue to strengthen its cooperation with African countries, and will support the African Union and NEPAD, in close cooperation with Secretary-General Essy.