Statement by H.E.Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Open Debate of the Security Council
On the Situation in Somalia
10 March 2011
I would like to echo previous speakers in thanking the Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, and Mr. Boubacar Diarra, SR for Somalia of the AUC for their presence here today and for their statements.
Japan welcomes the timely convening of this open debate, which provides a precious opportunity to discuss the situation in Somalia at this important juncture, with fewer than six months remaining before the expiration of the mandate of the TFG.
Japan is deeply concerned about the slow progress of the political process, in particular the delays in the constitutional process and the recent declaration by the Puntland government that it was suspending its cooperation with the TFG. We would like to join others in urging the TFG to effectively address the remaining political tasks before the end of the transitional period, including formulation of a Somali constitution and inclusive consultation with all political groups in Puntland and Somaliland as well as with other clans.
The key problem in Somalia lies in the inter-relatedness of a number of critical issues, including the political process, security, the humanitarian crisis, terrorism and piracy, which hampers the resolution of any one of them. Japan supports the idea that the international community should join forces to implement a comprehensive strategy that takes into account all of these issues. Japan is firmly committed to contribute to these collective efforts, and various actions and assistance that we are undertaking in areas such as security, anti-piracy measures and humanitarian support testify to our determination in that regard. For instance, additional $77 million assistance in support of stability and to cope with humanitarian crisis is being processed for immediate disbursement.
We welcome the enlarged coverage by TFG forces and AMISOM of the area under TFG control, and highly commend the efforts and the sacrifice by Ugandan and Burundian troops in this endeavor. The international community should continue to support them, so that they can fully meet their mandates. We sincerely hope that the Council will continue consultations on how to provide predictable support to AMISOM.
It is also essential to maintain security in the controlled areas and in order to do so, a functioning police force is essential. To that end, Japan is vigorously contributing to the capacity-building and deployment of the Somali police force. The training of 500 police officers in Djibouti through our financial contribution of $10 million to the UN SSI Trust Fund has just been completed. In addition, Japan recently authorized an additional $10 million to cover the cost of the salaries of trained police officers and the construction of police facilities in Mogadishu. We expect the TFG to make full use of its enhanced security and to seize the current momentum for political dialogue.
With regard to anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia, Japan is engaged in various ways including escort and surveillance activities by Japanese vessels and patrol aircraft and capacity-building support extended in cooperation with the IMO to coastal countries for maritime security. Despite the efforts to date by like-minded countries, acts of piracy are still on the rise, and that is a matter of grave concern for all of us.
We appreciate the comprehensive report by Mr. Lang, which includes various proposals. Japan shares the view that capacity building, especially the correctional capacities, of the coastal nations as well as the region as a whole is an urgent task in the effort to effectively bring pirates to justice. Japan had previously disbursed $500,000 to the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and has recently authorized an additional $1 million for this purpose. We will continue to support the regional efforts to this end.
Lastly, Japan would like to note that, while we remain fully committed to supporting the TFG, we will maintain our assistance to Somaliland and Puntland as well, with a view to achieving progress on Somali issues as a whole.
I conclude my remarks today by reiterating Japan’s continuing commitment to peace and security in Africa and our intention to work closely with the Council on these issues.
I thank you.