Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan
I thank Special Representative de Mistura for his very comprehensive and informative briefing. I also would like to express my gratitude to all the men and women of UNAMA who have demonstrated a deep commitment to this difficult mission. I also thank Ambassador Tanin for his statement.
At the outset, I would like to express my deep regret for the attack on UNAMA on April 1 in Mazar-e-Sharif. I offer my deepest condolences for those UN personnel who died and to their families.
As Special Representative de Mistura stated at the last Council Debate in March, this is a crucial year. It is a year of transition, leading up to 2014. Japan is determined to continue to cooperate with UNAMA during this important year and beyond.
As stated in the recent SG report, the security situation in Afghanistan continues to be challenging. We are concerned about the security risks as highlighted by the recent attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul. I express my deep condolences for the deceased. Security remains a priority that we have to tackle.
Japan supports President Obama’s announcement regarding US policy on Afghanistan. Transition is scheduled to start in 7 areas during this month. It is indispensable for peace and security in Afghanistan to conduct a smooth transition during the drawdown of US and other international forces.
The transition and sustainable security are interlinked with the political process and development. In this context, Japan continues to play its role in strengthening the Afghan Security Force through assistance to Afghan Police, such as our continued funding of Police salaries, and efforts to enhance administrative capacity both in central and provincial governments. Japan recently decided to support the Programme for Literacy for Empowering Afghan Police, and this month will start to train Afghan National Police in cooperation with Turkey.
There remain other concerns. The situation regarding the Kabul Bank is a serious issue, which affects international donors providing funds and the framework of international assistance as a whole.
The disqualification by the Special Election Court of Parliamentarians elected last year, and previously confirmed by the Independent Election Commission, has resulted in tensions between Parliament and the Court which may seriously affect the stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan. This comes at a critical time for maintaining solidarity in the country.
We sincerely hope that the Afghan Government, Parliament and Courts act within their competence and address these issues properly and expeditiously.
We welcome the successful review conference of the reintegration process held in Kabul on May 10 and 11. Further progress in the reintegration process constitutes an important pillar of the political process. We highly appreciate the significant roles played by UNAMA and countries concerned in this process.
Japan is determined to continue our contribution, such as our provision of 50 million dollars to the Reintegration Fund, for achieving irreversible progress in the Afghan-led reintegration program.
In this context, the recent adoption of Council resolutions to split the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions list was a positive step to promote reconciliation in the country. Further progress in the political process requires Afghan ownership with continued support of the international community.
For long-term stability in Afghanistan, we have to accelerate regional cooperation among surrounding neighbors. Japan is ready to play an active role in the economic development of the broader area that can enable surrounding neighbors to pave the way for integrating Afghanistan into the regional and global economy.
Japan, despite being affected by the March earthquake, is determined to implement our assistance to Afghanistan which we committed in November 2009, considering the importance of the country. While the drawdown of the military presence will soon begin, long-term engagement with Afghanistan is still very important.
I would like to stress, once again, that coordination between responsible Afghan ownership and support from the international community are now more necessary than ever in order to realize a sustainable economy. This should be based on a mid-to-long term perspective, so that after the full transition to Afghan leadership, namely beyond 2014, Afghanistan can become self-reliant for its economic development.
I believe that there is a solid commitment by the international community for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. We expect further progress during the Bonn conference this December. On the Afghan side, the country needs to strengthen its capacity for achieving real Afghan ownership and leadership. A comprehensive review of UNAMA’s mandate and the UN support in Afghanistan, which is requested in Security Council Resolution 1974, will be a very important task of the UN for steering the future course of Afghanistan. UNAMA continues to play an important role and Japan continues its utmost to contribute to its activities.
In conclusion, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the dedication of the SRSG de Mistura, and reiterate our commitment to support UNAMA’s efforts.