2002 Statement


H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura

Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d‘Affaires

At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea

6 March 2002

Mr. President,

At the outset, my delegation would like to welcome you, sir, H.E. Mr. Jan Petersen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, and to congratulate Norway on its assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council. Allow me as well to extend my congratulations to Ambassador Aguilar Zinser of Mexico and his team for their excellent work last month.

Following the Norwegian practice, I will keep my remarks brief.

Japan welcomes the comprehensive report of the Security Council mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea, headed by Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby of Norway. The report itself demonstrates the success of the mission on the eve of the final and binding decision by the Boundary Commission. Japan hopes that the views gained by the members of the Security Council during their visit to the field will be reflected in the upcoming consideration of the renewal of UNMEE’s mandate.

We commend Ethiopia and Eritrea for choosing to resolve their differences through an international conflict-resolution mechanism, and welcome recent statements by both sides reaffirming that the decision by the Boundary Commission is final and binding. With the expectation that all necessary steps for the implementation of the Boundary Commissionfs decision will commence immediately following the Commissionfs announcement, Japan welcomes this positive development and hopes that our contribution of approximately one million dollars to the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of the Delimitation and Demarcation of the Ethiopia/Eritrea Border will be utilized effectively. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to both parties to refrain from any action that could have a destabilizing effect, including the movement of peoples as well as troops.

Mr. President,

As stated in the Report of the Security Council mission, the successful implementation of the Boundary Commissionfs decision will depend in large part on the demining of the border area. This is also crucial for confidence-building in order to resolve localized disputes and rebuild community relations, particularly through the promotion of cross-border contacts at the local level. In view of the importance of mine clearance, the Government of Japan has decided to earmark approximately US $560,000 of its contribution to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action for the project in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ).

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by commenting on Security Council missions in general. Security Council missions to the field can be a useful tool, as demonstrated by this latest mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea. In order to ensure that future missions are fruitful, Japan believes it worthwhile to consider establishing criteria for sending missions and ensuring transparency with regard to budgetary basis.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.