Statement by Mr. Takeshi Akahori, Minister for Political Affairs, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the Fourth Committee, at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

(As delivered)
Mr. Chairman,
          I would like to begin by thanking Under-Secretary-General Khare and Assistant-Secretary-General Alexander Zuev for their briefings.
          Last year, Japan’s statement focused on the quality and capabilities of peacekeeping operations. Several discussions over the past year, including in the C34 and the Security Council, illustrate the continuing relevance of this topic. In recent years, various innovative approaches, including the PCRS, have been taken to address capability gaps, but more work needs to be done. Japan remains dedicated to addressing this issue in its capacity as a Member State, a donor country, a TCC, and a member of the Security Council.
          The upcoming Defense Ministerial in Vancouver will provide an important opportunity for further discussions in this area. We are pleased to be supporting Canada as a co-host. Japan held a preparatory meeting in Tokyo in August on the theme of “Innovation in Training and Capacity Building” with Bangladesh as a co-host. In cooperation with Canada, Bangladesh and the UN Secretariat, we have compiled a meeting summary which illustrates several findings. They include challenges in developing and maintaining coordination mechanisms for training and capacity-building, importance of post-training evaluation and assessment, and ongoing needs for medical capabilities and more female peacekeepers. We strongly believe that the discussions in Tokyo and the report of the meeting will contribute to the discussions at and outcome of the Vancouver ministerial meeting.
          Today, I would like to speak briefly on two points: why do training and capacity building matter, and why do they need to be innovative?
          Today’s security challenges require that peacekeepers be deployed with the right capabilities, at the right time. This is critical in order for peacekeeping missions to implement the mandates authorized by the Security Council. The Secretariat has made progress on this issue, including through the PCRS and the Strategic Force Generation Cell, but efforts are needed by all stakeholders: TCCs, potential donor countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat. In this regard, discussions in this committee, especially in C34, are imperative.
          Innovation, in turn, is required to make the best use of limited resources, and to effectively and efficiently fill capability gaps. Japan welcomes the Secretariat’s recent efforts, including deployments via PCRS, and the Force Generation Conference for MINUSMA. Japan also welcomes this year’s C34 report, which encourages the Secretariat to take concrete measures to expand triangular partnership arrangements. Japan welcomes Security Council resolution 2378, which requests the Secretary-General to provide recommendations on a mechanism to fill the capability gaps.
          Japan looks forward to discussing these issues further in Vancouver, including in connection with our possible new pledges, also during our Security Council presidency this December, and naturally in the C34 next year.
          We would like to conclude by expressing our appreciation for the contributions of all peacekeepers. We express our deepest condolences to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.