STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. YUKIO TAKASU
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN
18 March 2010
I would like to thank also Mr. Alain LeRoy for a useful briefing, and I am also grateful to Ambassador Tanin for his statement, affirming the very strong determination in his government to build a stable and democratic Afghanistan.
I would also like to begin by welcoming the appointment of the new Special Representative, Mr. de Mistura. I also wish to acknowledge the valuable contributions of his predecessor, Mr. Eide.
The Security Council had a brief meeting with Mr. de Mistura prior to his departure to the new assignment. We support his approach to focus on a few areas in the coming months, as the political calendar is very heavy and filled with significant events.
We believe those areas of focus should be: (1) stronger aid coordination, (2) advancing the political dialogue, and (3) the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The London Conference reaffirmed that there is no other international actor that can fulfill the role of the United Nations in leading the coordination of international support. This is especially true at this time when Afghanistan is in a critical period of transition to “Afghanization” and we need to seek optimum use of international assistance.
On aid coordination, we must be mindful of maintaining a long-term perspective, and ensuring that our efforts serve to promote the leadership and capacity of the Afghan government.
Success of aid coordination hinges upon the willingness of donors to be coordinated. Through the efforts of Mr. Eide, the assistance priorities have been identified. The expertise of the proposed senior advisors’ group needs to be fully utilized.
International donors should make certain that their efforts are consistent with the goals and priorities set by Afghan people and, as often repeated, words should be translated into deeds.
(Reconciliation and reintegration)
Regarding reconciliation and reintegration efforts, we have to recognize that there is no substitute for military operations in combating those who would resort to violence and obstruct a democratic process. No political dialogue can succeed from a position of weakness. So we understand that and we pay tribute to efforts made by members and soldiers of the Afghan security forces and the international forces.
At the same time, in order to achieve long-term stability, a political solution must be sought while military operations are ongoing. We welcome President Karzai’s leadership to seek a dialogue with those who are prepared to renounce violence and respect the values enshrined in the Constitution and to organize a National Peace Jirga.
Japan provides assistance to the efforts of the Afghan government in its reintegration program. Japan is especially grateful to those countries, such as Australia, Germany, Greece, and Spain, that made pledges at the London Conference to a trust fund to finance this Afghan-led program. The Afghan authorities are now working on the details of the program. We look very much forward to the presentation of the full program.
We also welcome the United Nations to play a role in this reintegration program. We hope that the Security Council will assign UNAMA a proper mandate in this Afghan-led effort.
The third issue is elections. The ownership of the Afghan authorities must be respected in the conduct of the upcoming parliamentary elections. We recognize, at the same time, that necessary electoral reforms and improvements have to be carried out based on the lessons learned from last year’s elections.
We therefore welcome President Karzai’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of this process. Japan also appreciates the President’s readiness to work in close cooperation with the United Nations. The Special Representative is expected to play the role of an indispensable interlocutor with the Afghan leadership in conveying the voice and message of the international community. We hope that Afghan leaders will consult with him closely, and Afghanistan will continue to enjoy full partnership with the international community following the elections.
We agree that UNAMA has to be strengthened in order to meet the high expectations placed upon it. I reiterate that the highest priority must be placed on the security of UNAMA and UN staff on the ground. We understand that an in-depth analysis of UN security requirements is under way and are eagerly waiting its outcome.
We also acknowledge the measures recently taken to accelerate the recruitment process to fill vacancy. A mission of such high importance needs to be operating at the fullest possible capacity.
I would like to conclude by expressing Japan’s appreciation for the work of men and women of the United Nations in Afghanistan. We support the extension of UNAMA’s mandate for another twelve months with the modifications in the priority areas as recommended by the Secretary-General.