H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on Bougainville
6 August 2003
At the outset, I would like to welcome the report submitted by the United Nations Political Office of Bougainville (UNPOB) to the Government of Papua New Guinea on the 29th of last month, which confirms the completion of stage II of the weapons disposal plan in Bougainville. The completion of stage II is indeed a demonstration of the commitment of the concerned parties to the attainment of peace, in particular on the part of the people of Bougainville and of the PNG government. This achievement is all the more important as it opens a new stage in the peace process and accelerates the progress toward the establishment of autonomy in Bougainville. We sincerely hope that this process will proceed smoothly, so that an election to establish an autonomous Bougainville government may take place as soon as possible, hopefully some time next year. We also expect that UNPOB will make the utmost effort to support this process as fully as possible, until the conclusion of its mandate at the end of this year.
The Peace Monitoring Group (PMG), which completed its activities in June, played a major role in realizing the completion of stage II of the weapons disposal plan. This group also made a significant contribution, after its establishment in 1998, by assisting in the conclusion of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, monitoring the peace, and advancing the peace process. Japan expresses its great appreciation for the activities of the PMG and pays tribute to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu, which participated in this operation. We hope that the Bougainville Transition Team (BTT), which has succeeded the PMG, will contribute actively to further promoting the peace process.
During the Third Japan-Pacific Islands Forum Summit Meeting (PALM2003) hosted by my Government in Okinawa in May, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Sir Michael Somare, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, and other leaders participating in the meeting set "Enhanced Security in the Pacific Region" as one of the priority policy targets in the document adopted by the leaders entitled "The Okinawa Initiative." Discussions aimed at taking substantive action followed based on this document, and the "Joint Action Plan" was also formulated, which includes concrete measures to be taken in order to enhance security in the region.
Based upon this plan, my Government intends to support promotion of the collection of small arms and light weapons in Bougainville. In addition, we are now considering extending specific assistance to Bougainville in the areas of education, health, medical services and infrastructure for the purposes of improving education and human resources development, stabilizing the life of Bougainvillians, and strengthening their economy.
The Japanese Government continues to pay close attention to developments related to peace in Bougainville and reiterates its readiness to extend assistance that it deems appropriate.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.