H.E. MR. YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Meeting of the Security Council on "Conflict, Peacekeeping, and Gender"
25 July 2002
At the outset, I would like to thank you for your initiative in convening this open meeting as a follow-up to Security Council resolution 1325 entitled "Women, Peace, and Security".
With the adoption of the Council’s resolution 1325 in October 2000, and the subsequent statement by the President of the Security Council in October last year, the linkage between international peace and security and gender issues is increasingly recognized throughout the international community. Indeed, there is a growing awareness of the negative impact that armed conflicts have on women and children in particular, and of the importance of women’s participation in post-conflict peace processes. On the other hand, what is needed now is more detailed information and analysis of concrete examples as well as recommendations of practical measures. My delegation therefore looks forward to the results of the study conducted by Ms. Angela King, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, and of the assessment by the two independent experts appointed by United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) on the impact of armed conflict on women and the role of women in peace building, as well as the report of the Secretary-General to be submitted later this year. They will be crucial in terms of giving direction and providing concrete methodologies for the steady implementation of resolution 1325.
Allow me to briefly describe the basic views and concrete actions taken by the Government of Japan, as regards gender-mainstreaming in the area of conflicts and peacekeeping.
First, I would like to draw special attention to the active roles Afghan women are playing in the post-conflict reconstruction of their country. As Prime Minister Koizumi stated at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan held in Tokyo earlier this year, one of the highest priorities of Japan’s assistance for Afghan’s reconstruction is the "empowerment of women." The Government of Japan has thus sent an expert to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and has extended financial support for the establishment of women’s centers. Moreover, in February Japan set up the Advisory Council on Assistance to Women in Afghanistan under the Chief Cabinet Secretary and, taking into account the proposals of the Council, is determined to continuously support the tremendous efforts the Afghan women themselves are making to restore peace in their country.
Second, with the mandates of peacekeeping operations becoming more multi-dimensional, it is increasingly important that women’s views are integrated into their respective activities. I am pleased to note that earlier this year the Government of Japan, for the first time, dispatched seven women peacekeepers to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in East Timor, where they are now engaged in coordination activities in such areas as communications and translations. In addition, an increasing number of Japanese women UN staff members are working in the civil components of peacekeeping missions. The Government of Japan will continuously strive to increase the participation of women in peace operations in various areas.
Third, given the particular importance of gender-mainstreaming in the field, the Government of Japan supported the recommendation of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations which was endorsed by the General Assembly that "the work of gender focal points . . . should have the proper back-up in the Secretariat." In this context, my delegation hopes that, as stated in General Assembly resolution (A/RES/56/293) in June this year, the Secretariat will develop and clearly explain "a coherent policy" on gender-mainstreaming in all of the United Nations peacekeeping activities.
In October we will celebrate the second anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325. My delegation hopes that the interactive discussion at today’s meeting will prove useful in the ongoing efforts to follow up the resolution and will be fully reflected in the report of the Secretary-General. In closing, Mr. President, let me assure you of Japan’s readiness to contribute to the goals of this important resolution in cooperation with all other interested Member States.
Thank you very much.