Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Debate of the United Nations Security Council, on Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Building Regional Partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a Model for the Security-Development Nexus

Mr. President,
          I thank you for convening this important debate immediately following the Security Council mission to Afghanistan, which was realized under Kazakhstan’s strong initiative. I also thank (the Secretary-General) for his briefing.
          The Secretary-General’s visit to Kabul in June 2017 and the Strategic Review were both important milestones in developing the relationship between Afghanistan and the United Nations. We appreciate the excellent efforts of UNAMA in fulfilling its existing mandate. However, the emphasis on peace and conflict that the Review encourages will require some changes in UNAMA’s configuration. The discussion about the Mandate renewal will be held mainly by the Council members, but Japan hopes that the voices of various stakeholders with great interest in today’s discussion will also be considered.
Mr. President,
          Japan has been engaged in efforts to resolve various problems which Afghanistan and Central Asia are facing. We are striving to achieve sustainable peace and development in this region. It is regrettable that the security situation in Afghanistan is still volatile, despite enormous efforts by the Afghan Government and assistance from the international community, and that it poses a threat to Central Asia. Japan’s position that only genuine progress on an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process will be able to provide significant security improvements is unchanged. Japan calls on Afghanistan and other regional stakeholders to be united in seeking tangible outcomes in the second round of the “Kabul Process” in February.
          In our efforts to address the security-development nexus in Afghanistan and Central Asia, Japan has been paying particular attention to the development of human resources. We have repeatedly emphasized our belief that Afghanistan’s potential and its human resources can lay the foundation for economic development and self-reliance, and enhance the capability of future government operations. In September 2017, Afghanistan celebrated the launch of the practical work of the new Kabul City, where we expect more than 250,000 residential units to be built over the next 30 years. It was our pleasure to have supported the capacity building of many experts who conducted the research and planning of this important project.
          The main objective of long-lasting Japan-UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) coordination is to establish border liaison offices on drugs and crime through training for drug enforcement agents. We believe that trainees from Central Asia and Afghanistan will play key roles in preventing and countering violent extremism in this region. Japan will continue these initiatives.
Mr. President,
          I believe that the stakeholders participating in today’s debate are united in supporting Afghanistan because a stable and prosperous Afghanistan is not only of interest to the region, but also to the entire international community. Our willingness to extend assistance toward a self-reliant Afghanistan is underpinned by international agreements including relevant Security Council resolutions and the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF). As we fulfil our commitments, we look forward to seeing tangible outcomes from Afghanistan. The year 2018 must see progress in the peace process as well as the parliamentary and district council elections. Japan will continue to play its role for a better future for Afghanistan and its people.
I thank you.