Statement by H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Open Debate of the Security Council
On Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and
Subregional Organizations in Maintaining International Peace and Security
6 August 2013
At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the Argentine Presidency for its leadership in convening this open debate. I would also like to express appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, for his briefing as well as to the representatives of various regional and subregional organizations for their remarks.
Good cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, in line with the Charter of the United Nations, are important for the maintenance of international peace and security. It therefore is quite pertinent that the Council allocates its time to update and assess the ongoing collaboration between them. That is why we find today’s Open Debate timely. I would like to make a few observations on the matter.
First, regional and subregional organizations are well placed in playing crucial roles in conflict prevention, mediation and conflict resolution. They have a comparative advantage in playing such roles, because of their proximity to the conflicts and abundant knowledge of the region and influence on the stakeholders. Japan would like to commend the conflict-preventing, mediating or other peacemaking roles played by such organizations as the African Union in Somalia and Sudan-South Sudan, ECOWAS in Mali, OSCE in Central Asia, UNASUR in Latin America and the League of Arab States in addressing recent dramatic changes in the Middle East. At the same time, the United Nations has played a role in promoting political processes and achieving peace agreements. It would
be important for the United Nations to lend its support to supplement the peacemaking efforts of the regional and subregional organizations, when and where necessary.
Second, in line with Chapter VIII of the Charter, the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations can play their respective roles in the area of peacekeeping activities. Regional and subregional organizations can rapidly respond to conflicts in order to settle disputes before they escalate, while the United Nations remains primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security and could intervene if necessary with wide ranged international resources. A recent example is the situation in Mali. Japan commends the intervention by ECOWAS and the African Union into Mali and the subsequent smooth transformation of AFISMA to the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSMA.
Third, we believe there is further room for cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. A mechanism such as the annual joint meeting of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council certainly facilitates the harmonization of their respective policies on specific issues related to conflicts. A similar dialogue was held earlier this year between the Security Council and the Political and Security Committee of the European Union. The U.N. Secretariat also has held similar consultative meetings with other regional groups such as CARICOM and ASEAN. The continuation of these initiatives is encouraged.
The commitment by regional and subregional organizations to the maintenance of peace and security in their respective regions should be commended. In order to help these organizations fulfill their intentions, the international community should strive to support their activities.Japan remains committed to extending its assistance to these organizations. Since 2008, Japan has extended assistance for capacity-building to peacekeeping training centres in 10 African countries;
namely Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa, amounting to 30 million USD in total. Japan has also provided other assistance to strengthen the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
Japan also believes that it is important for the United Nations to reach out to regional and subregional organizations in the fields of conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy. In this regard, Japan welcomes the fact that the partnership between the U.N. and ASEAN has been deepened in these fields and is proud to have supported the initiative by the U.N. Secretariat in holding the “ASEAN-UN Workshop on Lessons Learned and Best Practices in Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy” in Jakarta, Indonesia on 5-6 April 2013.
Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that Japan has always paid attention to the enhancement of partnership between the United Nations and the regional and subregional organizations. In this regard, I would like to mention the fact that Japan welcomed the African Union Commission to become one of the co-organizers of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) that took place in Japan in June this year, together with the other co-organizers, namely Japan, the United Nations, UNDP and the World Bank. TICAD V was a huge success thanks to the participation
of 39 African Heads of State and Government and Heads of the five co-organizers including the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This multilateral high-level policy forum will certainly serve to realize “A More Dynamic Africa” by enhancing economic growth, establishing inclusive and resilient society, and ensuring peace and stability in the region.
I thank you, Madame President.