Statement by Ambassador Jun Yamazaki
Chargé d’affaires a.i.
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Security Council Open Debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
12 July 2012
I would like to express my sincere congratulations to Colombia for its presidency of the Security Council and commend its decision to take up the important issue of post-conflict peacebuilding.
Japan is a strong believer in peacebuilding. We have long stressed the need for seamless support from peace and security to reconstruction and development and have placed peacebuilding as one of the central pillars of our international cooperation. Although there is no doubt that national ownership lies central to all processes of peacebuilding, we believe that regional cooperation and international support are crucial in ensuring an environment conducive for peace consolidation. It is with this in mind that Japan has attached great importance to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC); we have been a long-standing member of the Organizational Committee of PBC, a former Chair of the Commission, and the current Chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned of that Commission.
Since its creation over six years ago, the Peacebuilding Commission has been addressing the complex peacebuilding challenges in countries in post-conflict phase. The role of the PBC is to facilitate and provide complementary support through political accompaniment, coordination of actors, and marshaling of resources to the peace efforts of countries emerging from conflict. Despite the subtle and often low profile nature of its work, the concrete impact of the PBC’s support has been felt in the countries on its agenda, as has been highlighted by H.E. Ambassador Abdulkalam Abdul Momen, the Chair of the PBC. Japan, being the Chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned since 2011, has endeavored to extract lessons from the experiences of the countries under the country-specific configurations, as well as those of other countries and regions. The Working Group has covered various topics that are crucial to peacebuilding efforts, including security sector reform, resource mobilization, and youth employment, to name a few.
Despite these efforts, there remain differences in the understanding of the work of the PBC, which need to be overcome. Sharing a common understanding is particularly important in light of the fact that the PBC draws its strength from a diverse membership, an aspect which allows the PBC to leverage political, financial, and technical capacities as it endeavors to help bring together peace and security with economic development.
The Working Group on Lessons Learned tried to address the need to share a common understanding among the different actors in its meeting last December by focusing on the PBC’s relationship with one of its crucial partners—the Security Council. The discussions at the meeting generated a number of concrete ideas with which to further pursue the interaction between these two entities, such as, among others, more frequent recourse by the Security Council to informal interactive dialogue with the country-specific configuration chairs, and a possible adaptation of the Council’s TCC meeting model to the interaction between the Council and the PBC. Japan believes that the time has come to collectively consider some of the ways in which the country-specific configurations of the PBC could substantively contribute to the work of the Security Council. My delegation strongly hopes that today’s deliberations will provide a timely and useful input to the discussions on that topic, and for that, we are most grateful to the Colombian presidency.
We also recognize that, on the part of the PBC, there is room for improvement to fully live up to its mandated important role. The PBC needs to be a forum in which the resources and attention of the international community will be further enhanced for the countries on its agenda. The working methods of the PBC could be improved to make it easier for each of the Member States to actively take part in the work of the Commission. Greater synergies between the Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund, to which Japan is a major contributor, should be seriously pursued. Coordination among the UN system organizations would inevitably need to be addressed.
Having said that, we must not forget that the PBC is an evolving body. It should reflect, learn, and adapt itself in order to achieve the ultimate goal of bringing better and peaceful livelihood for the people on the ground. It is the wish of the Government of Japan that today’s open debate will be an important step in this evolving process. Japan remains strongly committed to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission, as it works in close cooperation with the Security Council.
I thank you, Madam President.