Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuyoshi Umemoto
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security Council
17 April 2013



Thank you, Mr. President,


<SG report, SRSG, Team of Experts and UN Action>
        First of all, Japan welcomes the Secretary-General’s recent report. Japan reiterates its full support for the mandate of SRSG Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura and for her priority to foster political leadership and action, and to deepen national ownership, leadership and responsibility. We welcome the work of the Team of Experts and strongly support their efforts, especially on strengthening the capacity of national rule of law and justice actors. We would also like to underline the important role played by UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, a network of 13 UN entities including UN Women, chaired by SRSG Bangura. Greater coordination is vital to improving global efforts to meet this challenge.


<Japan’s Principle Policy>
        Sexual violence in conflict needs to be tackled by the entirety of the international community. Japan for its part places great emphasis on this issue. As was stated in the Foreign Policy Speech by our Foreign Minister, Japan will continue to address this issue, and “actively participate in international initiatives on human rights issues, including the protection of women’s rights.”


<Japan’s Engagement and Contribution>
         Last month, Japan announced a new contribution of 4.5 million USD for programs to prevent sexual violence and support victims in countries such as Libya, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali.


(Protection and Relief)
        Japan condemns attacks against women's human rights defenders, and emphasizes that Member States should take steps to ensure their protection. We also recognize the importance of multi-sectorial services for victims of sexual violence. In this regard, our recent contribution addresses various needs of victims and that includes, for example, establishment of relief and recovery systems for legal support and mental-health care in refugee and IDP camps.


 (Prevention and Accountability)
        Japan strongly supports the idea of transferring the stigma attached to crimes of sexual violence away from the victims and onto the perpetrators. We also support efforts to comprehensively address cultures of impunity. In this regard, Japan has, for instance, been supporting Afghanistan’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs to implement the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law.


        As pointed out in the SG report, addressing sexual violence in the context of Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes is of key importance. Over the past five years, Japan has been providing 0.9 billion USD to support the Afghanistan National Police, part of which has been used for the employment and training of female police officers. So far, more than 1,400 female police officers have been employed. Moreover, in Africa for example, Japan has been supporting capacity building and training for Somalia’s security officers on sexual and gender-based violence as well as the abuse and exploitation of children.


(Japan’s National Action Plan)
         I am very pleased to announce that Japan has started developing a National Action Plan (NAP) based on Security Council Resolution 1325. We are vigorously working on the plan, which includes our commitments to further strengthen our efforts for the protection of women’s rights in humanitarian settings. We hope to complete the plan, in close consultation with UN organizations such as UN Women as well as civil society, as soon as possible.


I thank you, Mr. President.



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