Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
to the United Nations
at the Security Council Meeting on MINUSTAH
24 March 2014
I would like to express my appreciation to you for chairing this debate. I would also like to commend the invaluable and significant contribution to the mission by Ms. Sandra Honoré, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for MINUSTAH. I thank her for the comprehensive briefing. I also pay tribute to the men and women of MINUSTAH for the commitment and fortitude they have demonstrated under difficult circumstances.
I welcome the Secretary-General’s report on MINUSTAH, issued on 7 March. As the report points out, the adoption of the Electoral Law and the launching of an inter-Haitian dialogue process are encouraging signs that can lead to overcoming the recurrent political crises and defuse tensions. Various challenges still persist but significant progress has been made in the stabilization and recovery process in Haiti. In this regard, the support provided by MINUSTAH, such as increasing the National Police capacity, building electoral capacity, strengthening the rule of law and supporting political dialogue, has been indispensable.
Japan, as a close friend of Haiti, has also been contributing to the recovery process in Haiti. A total number of approximately 2,200 Japanese Self Defense personnel served as part of the engineering unit that was dispatched until December 2012. Their activities contributed to clearing away rubble and debris, constructing facilities, and transporting supplies in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. Moreover, at the time of their withdrawal, Japan donated engineering equipment to the Government of Haiti and prefabricated houses to MINUSTAH.
Besides the contribution by Japan’s Self Defense Forces, Japan has disbursed more than 150 million USD since 2010 for the reconstruction of Haiti. Basic infrastructure in the country remains fragile. Therefore, Japan has focused its assistance to restoring and establishing basic social services in the fields of health, hygiene and education.
Recently, on 7 March, the Government of Japan has agreed to provide assistance of approximately 6.8 million USD for a water supply facilities reconstruction project in Leogane, as well as additional aid of approximately 7 million USD for a hospital reconstruction project in Jacmel. Also, on 11 March, the Government of Japan has signed a document with UNICEF to provide assistance of approximately 2.5 million USD for a cholera-prevention project in Haiti. Another aid of approximately 3 million USD for underprivileged farmers in Haiti has also been decided. Japan intends to continue to support the recovery in and to cooperate with Haiti.
The report by the Secretary-General raises an important issue about the future UN presence in Haiti. Japan welcomes the integrated planning process on the post-2016 UN configuration in Haiti that has been launched and the five broad possible options presented in the report on the future of MINUSTAH.
Mindful of the Presidential elections scheduled for November 2015, while also keeping in mind the developments so far in Haiti, Japan is encouraged to learn that reduction of MINUSTAH personnel is taking place with the withdrawal of 1,249 infantry and engineering personnel planned by the end of June 2014. Through support to the recovery efforts of Haiti, Japan wishes that, in a not distant future, conditions on the ground will enable a progressive draw down of the operation of MINUSTAH and handover of its functions to the Government of Haiti.
Two decades have passed since the first Japan – CARICOM consultation was held in 1993. The year 2014 has been designated as the Japan – CARICOM Friendship Year, to enhance that relationship in diverse fields. The friendship built between Japan and Haiti is also a strong and solid one. Japan will never forget the solidarity shown by Haiti in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Through this friendship, I am confident that we can overcome the difficult challenges ahead of us and advance towards a brighter future.
I thank you.