2002 Statement


H.E. Mr. Yukio Satoh

Permanent Representative of Japan

At the Open Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in East Timor

20 May 2002

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to express my appreciation for your thoughtfulness to come over to New York to chair this important meeting. I consider it very appropriate for an ASEAN country's Foreign Minister to chair this meeting, for it would be very important for the independent East Timor to have close relationships with ASEAN countries.

Mr. President and Madame Deputy Secretary-General,

At the outset, I would like to offer, on behalf of the Government of Japan, our heart-felt congratulations to the people of East Timor who have achieved independence today.

On this independence day, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent a congratulatory message to the people of East Timor, in which he stated: "Being a national of an Asian country, I am deeply touched by the fact that East Timor, having struggled through a long painful journey, enters upon a new era this day. . . . We would like to express our profound respect to the people of East Timor for their efforts and courage to date".

Prime Minister Koizumi, on his visit to East Timor on 29 April, also agreed with Mr. Xanana Gusmao and Mr. Mari Alkatiri, who have respectively become the first President and the first Prime Minister today, that Japan and the independent East Timor would build a forward-looking and close relationship. Prime Minister Koizumi further declared that the Government of Japan would continue to extend its active support for East Timor's nation-building efforts toward self-reliance and national reconciliation.

Mr. President,

The Government of Japan has been making efforts to play a leading role within the international community in supporting East Timor, and it is already the largest donor in terms of actual disbursements.

The Japanese Government has extended $120 million for reconstruction and development as well as for humanitarian assistance on the basis of the pledge to provide $130 million over three years, which it made at the first donor conference it hosted in Tokyo in December 1999.

In addition, at the donor conference held in Dili on the 14th and 15th of this month, the Japanese Government expressed its intention to extend approximately $60 million over the next three years for reconstruction and development as well as for humanitarian assistance.

An engineering group of 680 troops, including female members, of Japan's Self-Defense Forces is participating in the United Nations peacekeeping operation and engaging in the construction and repair of roads and bridges, which are also expected to contribute to the reconstruction and development of East Timor.

Mr. President,

What UNTAET has achieved in East Timor is a success story which the United Nations should be proud of. I would like to express the Japanese Government's admiration and appreciation to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Sergio de Mello, and the other members of UNTAET for their leadership and dedicated efforts.

The Government of Japan supports resolution 1410 which the Security Council adopted on 17 May establishing the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET). Japan will continue to provide assistance to ensure that UNMISET will be able to conduct effective activities for the stability and development of independent East Timor.

In this respect, I would like to congratulate our trusted friend, Ambassador Kamalesh Sharma, on his assumption of the office of Special Representative of the Secretary-General for UNMISET, and expect that he will demonstrate outstanding leadership for the success of this mission.

Although it was indeed appropriate in the case of East Timor that the UN peacekeeping operation ran the interim administration, I would like to take this opportunity to state anew the position of the Government of Japan that the modalities of future peacekeeping operations should be considered in light of each individual situation. Ways of funding multi-faceted missions that include a civilian component should also be considered on a case by case basis.

Mr. President,

It is clear to everyone's eyes that after independence East Timor will face a number of difficult challenges. With this recognition, I would like to point out again that it is important for the leadership of East Timor to lead their country in solidarity; that it is important for the people of East Timor to participate in the efforts for nation-building, taking their country's development as a matter of their own responsibility; and that it is important for the international community to continue its support for East Timor.

I would like to emphasize, in particular, that the support of the international community and the development of good cooperative relations between East Timor and neighboring countries are indispensable for the stability and prosperity of East Timor.

The Government of Japan, for its part, is determined to spare no effort to continue to play an important role in the international efforts to support East Timor.

Thank you very much.