H.E. MR. YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA
Deputy Permanent Representative
At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on the Strengthening of Cooperation Between the United Nations System and Central Africa in the Maintenance of Peace and Security
22 October 2002
Thank you for convening this public meeting of the Security Council on this very important subject. The situation in Central Africa, where many States are suffering the consequences of long years of conflict, is an issue which continues to demand the Council’s urgent attention.
In addressing the root causes of conflict, my Government has consistently advocated the importance of Africa’s own initiatives and self-help efforts or ownership, as well as the partnership between Africa and the international community which supports such African efforts. But because these efforts cannot bear fruit unless there is peace and stability, it is imperative that all parties concerned turn away from conflict and devote their energies to nation-building and development. Toward that end, initiatives at the sub-regional level are indispensable.
From this point of view, Japan attaches great importance to such sub-regional organizations as the Council for Peace and Security in Central Africa (COPAX), which, in close cooperation with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, may play an essential role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. One very positive example of such efforts at the sub-regional level is the communique which was recently adopted at the summit of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) regarding the border issue between the Central African Republic and Chad.
It is incumbent upon the international community, including the entire UN system, to support the initiatives of these organizations. The recommendation put forward by the Ad-hoc Working Group of the Security Council on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa chaired by Ambassador Koonjul on strengthening the relationship between the Council and African regional and sub-regional organizations should be the starting point
At the same time, Japan encourages all countries in Central Africa to continue to fully cooperate with the United Nations offices and organs located in the sub-region, such as MONUC, UNMA, UNOB, and BONUCA, as well as the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region. Their cooperation is essential in consolidating the recent, still fragile, progress that has been made in the peace process in such countries as Angola and the DRC.
There will be no stability and prosperity in the world in the 21st Century, unless the problems of Africa are solved. In the recognition that these problems pose tremendous challenges not only to the region itself but also to the international community as a whole, Japan has designated the period leading up to the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III), to be held next October, as the "Year for Soaring Cooperation with Africa." It is our sincere hope that other Member States will join in making this aspiration a reality.
Thank you, Mr. President.