Statement by Mr. Takeshi Akahori, Minister for Political Affairs, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34)

Thank you Mr. Chairman,
 
I would like to congratulate you on your election and to express the willingness of my delegation to cooperate with you in our role as Vice-Chair for the successful conduct of business of this Special Committee.
 
UN peacekeeping operations face many challenges including securing well trained and equipped peacekeepers, and maintaining the safety and security of personnel.
These challenges cannot be addressed by a single actor. They need collective efforts by the UN and member states. In this regard, the role of this special committee (C34) is crucial. C34 serves as a venue with a wide range of membership and provides policy guidance to the Secretariat on UN peacekeeping operations. 
 
Japan has consistently put emphasis on the necessity of prioritizing improvement of capabilities, especially through training and capacity building. Improving capabilities enables the UN to successfully address some of the major and imminent challenges to peacekeeping operations, particularly safety and security.
For example, engineering capabilities are essential in preparing basic facilities and infrastructure in the field upon mission deployment, which is one of the first and highest priorities for a mission. Without facilities and infrastructure, a mission cannot safeguard its personnel. Engineering capabilities enable a mission to promptly conduct its activities from the outset, while maintaining safety and security of peacekeepers.
Medical capabilities are also an essential element for safety and security. The Report on Improving Security of Peacekeepers, which was issued last month, reaffirmed the importance of medical capabilities. In severe environments, peacekeepers should be provided sufficient and responsive medical service on the ground.
 
Japan has supported the improvement of UN PKO engineering capabilities under Triangular Partnership Project among the UN, donor country, and TCCs. So far, 170 future peacekeepers have been trained in operation and maintenance of heavy engineering equipment and project management, and around 80 percent of the trainees were deployed or employed in support of peacekeeping. Japan also has provided assistance to UN medical capabilities in the area of first aid training. A Train-the-Trainer workshop will be held next week at the UN Regional Service Center Entebbe in Uganda. This year, Japan will make a further contribution of 40 million dollars for Triangular Partnership.  This new contribution is aimed at improving engineering capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region and medical capabilities in Africa.
 
Mr. Chairman,
 
Japan continues to be committed to the improvement of capabilities, and looks forward to the upcoming negotiations this year to discuss among other priorities, ways to further strengthen our collective efforts.
  
In closing, Japan would like to express its heartfelt appreciation to all peacekeepers for their contributions even in the face of severe challenges on the ground. Japan strongly condemns all attacks targeting peacekeepers and expresses its deepest condolences for those peacekeepers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  
 
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.