(Check Against Delivery)
Statement by H.E. Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Debate of the Security Council
On the Situation in Afghanistan
25 June 2014
I would like to express my gratitude to you for convening today’s meeting.
Japan wishes to pay tribute to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for the important role it has been playing in the political and developmental process of Afghanistan, including through election support, despite the difficult and challenging situation on the ground.
Japan welcomes the adoption today of a Presidential Statement on the Afghan presidential elections proposed by Australia. We echo Security Council members in welcoming the holding of the second round of voting in the presidential elections which took place on 14 June as scheduled. The voting was conducted in relative calm, though security threats were witnessed in some areas. We express our admiration for the Afghan people, the security forces, and all those involved in carrying out the election.
In order to support the presidential and provincial council elections, Japan provided 16 million US dollars through UNDP.
We hope that the process leading up to the announcement of the final results, which is scheduled for 22 July, will proceed in a fair, prompt and peaceful manner.
In this regard, it is essential that both candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani, respect the mandate of the election bodies and cooperate to avoid worsening the situation. As the Secretary-General notes in his recent report to the Security Council, once electoral complaints have been adjudicated according to the law, both candidates and their supporters need to accept the outcome. The electoral bodies, for their part, must demonstrate transparency and integrity as they count ballots and deal with complaints submitted by the candidates.
Japan looks forward to the conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the relevant law and mandates of the electoral bodies. We hope to see the orderly transition to an inclusive and reform-minded new government led by the new President.
The new government will have to address important challenges such as security, reconciliation with the Taliban and sustainable economic development. Allow me to elaborate on the third challenge, namely, sustainable economic development, especially in relation to the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF).
The TMAF was established by the Tokyo Conference in July 2012 to strengthen international partnership for Afghanistan’s self-reliance for the Transformation Decade starting in 2015. This framework establishes a mechanism to monitor and review commitments on a regular basis to help Afghanistan achieve its development and governance goals.
Last month, Japan hosted an International Contact Group (ICG) meeting in Tokyo. As many as 61 countries and organizations participated in the meeting. Contact Group members affirmed that the TMAF will continue to serve as a reference for relations between donors and a new Afghan Government.
As both presidential candidates have acknowledged, the future government will have the responsibility to implement Afghanistan’s commitments under the TMAF. These commitments include a variety of legislative and institutional reforms necessary for increasing revenue and developing industries.
We look forward to seeing the tangible results of Afghanistan’s efforts on the occasion of the follow-up ministerial meeting to be held in London in November this year. We also hope that the London conference will serve as an important venue for the TMAF to be shared between the new Afghan government and the international community.
On a related note, we welcome the adoption today of a Security Council Presidential Statement on the issue of illicit drugs proposed by the Russian Federation. When I served as Japanese Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, I had the pleasure of initiating a joint cooperation project between Japan and Russia on this issue. Under our joint efforts, already 60 Afghan security agents received training on anti-narcotic law enforcement in Moscow. We believe that such efforts are useful with a view to promoting international cooperation that today’s Presidential Statement calls for.
Let me conclude by referring to Japan’s contribution to Afghanistan.
Since 2001, we have contributed a total of 5.4 billion dollars to Afghanistan for its development efforts. Japan is the second largest donor after the United States.
At the Tokyo Conference in July 2012, the international community made a commitment to provide more than 16 billion dollars through 2015. Japan, for its part, has been steadily implementing its promise to provide up to 3 billion dollars over 5 years starting in 2012.
I would like to reaffirm Japan’s commitment to stand by the government and people of Afghanistan in their endeavors for long-term stability.
Thank you, Mr. President.