1. United Nations’ Efforts in Peace and Security
Article 1 of the UN Charter stipulates that one of the purposes of the United Nations is “to maintain international peace and security.” It is the United Nations Security Council which assumes the primary responsibilities in this field. The Security Council is engaged in various activities towards the maintenance of international peace and security, including conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The fifteen countries that are members of the Security Council meet on nearly a daily basis to discuss conflicts in the world and other related issues and to make decisions as the Council. In 2011, a total of 235 formal meetings were held and 66 resolutions were adopted.
One of the means in which Security Council decisions are implemented for the settlement of conflicts and stabilization of post conflict regions are the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs). PKOs remain one of the core activities of the UN towards the maintenance of peace and security and many of the operations are deployed in Africa and the Middle East. In recent years, along with the traditional activities such as ceasefire and monitoring of the withdrawal, the roles of PKOs have been expanded with new mandates such as disarmament, demobilization, reintegration (DDR), security sector reform, electoral assistance, human rights protection, assistance in the rule of law sector, encouragement of political process, and protection of civilians.
2. Japan ’s Efforts in Peace and Security
(1) Achievements and Previous Experience
Japan has served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for ten terms and has been actively taking part in discussions towards the maintenance of international peace and security. Furthermore, Japan has engaged in a spectrum of international peace cooperation activities, including participation and assistance to United Nations PKOs and coalition forces, different forms of diplomatic engagement such as preventive diplomacy and mediation, provision of emergency humanitarian assistance and assistance for rehabilitation, reconstruction and post-conflict nation-building and peacebuilding. To date, Japan has dispatched contingents and personnel to fifteen peace operations including Cambodia, Mozambique, and Nepal. Currently, the Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) is working on the ground in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights, the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). Furthermore, Japan has been making concrete efforts for peacebuilding in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Cambodia, Kosovo, Timor-Leste, Palestine and other areas.
(2) Way Forward
International peace and stability are indispensable foundations for achieving the stability and prosperity of Japan, and Japan is expected to contribute in accordance to its capacity as a member of the international community. More specifically, Japan will continue to actively engage in counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nation building activities through PKOs and humanitarian assistance in places such as Afghanistan, Haiti and South Sudan, and peacebuilding activities through the Peacebuilding Commission to assist in the reconstruction of post-conflict countries.
3. Background Information
Japan and the United Nations
About the United Nations Security Council
4. Related Links
Efforts in Peacebuilding
Participation in the Peacekeeping Operartions (PKO)
Disarmament / Non-proliferation