Opening Remarks by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Seminar Titled, “Inclusivity in Rebuilding States: Focusing on Inclusivity of Political Negotiations and its Impact on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding”
Organized by the Permanent Mission of Japan
And the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the U.N.
6 June 2013
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to host this event with Ambassador Ramadhan Muombwa Mwinyi of Tanzania.
We organized this event with our shared deep conviction that inclusive processes in political, economic and social dimensions are crucial to rebuilding post-conflict states and creating sustainable peace. The Secretary-General’s report on “Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict,” issued last October, stated that, “While inclusive political settlements may take longer to negotiate, they are more sustainable. An inclusive process builds confidence among participating parties that their core objectives can be achieved through negotiation rather than violence.”
While there is, I believe, a broad agreement about the virtue of inclusivity, particularly in post-conflict peacebuilding processes, how this concept should be translated into activities on the ground is a difficult question for those faced with everyday post-conflict challenges. Questions abound, such as: how can an inclusive political and national reconciliation process be created, encompassing the former warring parties, women and ethnic and religious minorities? How can the question of impunity be addressed in the inclusive process? How can peace dividends be shared in an equitable and inclusive manner among the local population, including the most vulnerable? What role can international organizations such as the U.N., regional organizations such as the AU, and other donors and stakeholders play in advancing an inclusive process to help create sustainable peace?
In today’s world, those questions are being felt more acutely, as the boundaries among U.N. peace and security activities such as conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding processes are becoming more blurred than ever and mutually interlinked.
The purpose of this seminar is to provide an opportunity for U.N. Member States, U.N. officials, academic experts and NGOs to share past experiences on the challenges regarding inclusivity in post-conflict peacebuilding, with special attention paid to its relationship with peace negotiations and to discuss those lessons for current and future international efforts.
It is a great honor to have such distinguished guest speakers with us here today. Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, has extensive experience in the fields of U.N. peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding. Following a presentation by Mr. Guéhenno, we will have an active discussion between Mr. Guéhenno and the audience.
After a coffee break, we will hold our second session where we will hear from Mr. Scott Smith, Deputy Director of the Afghanistan Project at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Mr. Christopher Coleman, head of the Mali and Sahel Unit of the U.N. Department of Political Affairs and Mr. Guéhenno. It is only through active engagement between the panelists and participants that we will gain broader insight and new perspectives on designing better policies in the future.
Japan has been playing active roles in contributing to U.N. peacebuilding activities in both shaping discourses at U.N. Headquarters and implementing assistance on the ground. For example, Japan has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since it started in 2006. From 2007 to 2008, Japan served as the Chair of the Commission. Since 2011, Japan has been the Chair of the Commission’s Working Group on Lessons Learned.
On the ground, Japan has been assisting post-conflict peacebuilding in many parts of the world by enhancing inclusive approaches and respecting local ownership. For instance, Japan has been supporting the government of Nepal, which has been struggling to create a new constitution for the democratic transition for years, through promotion of a project called, “Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusion.” The project aims to include more women and people from different layers of society into local governmental structures and enable them to participate in the implementation of development projects. In Mindanao in the Philippines, Japan is a member of the International Contact Group, which has been supporting reconciliation between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Japan has helped to enhance confidence-building among stakeholders from both sides of conflicts, by constructing schools, health centers, water supply systems and agricultural facilities. These projects, beneficial to a wide spectrum of parties and people in Mindanao, are designed to create confidence and mutual trust among partners of the peace and reconciliation process.
The success of today’s seminar will be based on constructive engagement between the panelists and the participants. We are looking forward to your active and candid participation in the discussion. Today’s seminar is open to media, so hopefully the media will be cooperative in sharing today’s success with the broader public.
Thank you for your attention.