Statement by Ms. Asako Okai
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Debate of the 79th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly
On the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission (A/65/701) and
the Report of the Secretary-General on the
Peacebuilding Fund (A/65/353)
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to address the General Assembly under the Presidency of H.E. Dr. Joseph Deiss, at the debate on the report of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and the report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). I would like to express Japan’s gratitude to the former Chair of the PBC, H.E. Dr. Peter Wittig, for his in-depth report and his able leadership of the work of the PBC during the year 2010.
At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to touch upon the massive earthquake and tsunami that occurred recently in Japan. The Government of Japan and our people are making all possible efforts to recover from the aftermath of these catastrophic events. I express my sincere gratitude for the heartfelt condolences and the assistance extended to Japan by many countries, international organizations and other members of the international community in an effort to help us overcome the tragedy. We are convinced that, with the support of our partners, we will be able to surmount the daunting challenges currently confronting us.
Japan believes that the activities of the PBC during its fourth session were of particular significance, including the five-year review and the referral of Liberia as the subject of a PBC country configuration. Looking ahead, I would like to offer a few points that Japan considers important in advancing the activities of the Commission.
First, one of the priority issues of the PBC, under the leadership of the new Chair, H.E. Mr. Eugène-Richard Gasana, is to consider how we can best take forward the recommendations of the review in order to yield a tangible impact on the ground, including in the six agenda countries. Japan, in its capacity as the new Chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned, intends to actively engage the Working Group to contribute to the implementation of the recommendations of the review and strengthening of the added value of the PBC. As we have already shared with the members of the PBC, the Working Group is aiming at making concrete proposals on issues relevant to the advancement of the recommendations of the PBC review, including resource mobilization on priorities, economic revitalization, youth employment, the modality of the PBC’s engagement in forthcoming agenda countries, and strengthening of the relationship between the PBC and the Security Council.
Second, in the upcoming meeting of the Working Group on Lessons Learned, Japan, as Chair, intends to highlight the issue of coordination in effective resource mobilization for peacebuilding priorities. For better resource mobilization and coordination, it is essential that peacebuilding priorities be shared and promoted through an integrated approach, especially among host governments, the United Nations Country Teams, the PBF, and international partners, including the World Bank. Most importantly, we believe this integrated approach must be facilitated by strong leadership on the ground. The Working Group will examine whether the respective country configurations have succeeded in this endeavor and identify the obstacles in cases in which countries are having difficulties. Through this exercise, we intend to make proposals as to what steps the PBC and relevant stakeholders may wish to take in moving forward.
Third, with regard to the financial situation of the PBF, it is encouraging to see the steady expansion of the donor base. The expectations vis-à-vis the PBF have also expanded in response to the increase in the number of eligible countries as well as the additional allocations to existing recipients. As one of the Fund’s major contributors, the Government of Japan will make an additional contribution of 12.5 million dollars to the PBF in 2011.
The unique role of the PBF is characterized as a “catalytic” effect to address critical gaps in the peacebuilding process, in particular in areas for which no other funding mechanism is available. Since its establishment, the PBF has addressed, as a catalytic instrument, the immediate needs of countries emerging from or at risk of relapsing into conflict under different circumstances.
It is Japan’s view that, given the flexibility and rapid response capability of the PBF, its allocation should be focused more closely on needs that may not be covered by other resources. We believe that the PBF will achieve higher value through more effective utilization of its limited resources if partners can attain a stronger shared recognition of appropriate allocation of resources in proper sequence. As the Chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned, we also intend to take up this issue in the upcoming meeting.
I conclude my remarks today by reiterating Japan's continuing commitment to work closely with members and partners of the Peacebuilding Commission, including the General Assembly, for the improvement of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture.
I thank you, Mr. President.