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 the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

(As delivered)

Mr. President,
 
I wish to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mr. Yamamoto Tadamichi for his informative briefing and tireless efforts of UNAMA. Let me further express my appreciation to Ms. Sima Samar for her briefing, and Ambassador Adela Raz of Afghanistan for her valuable input.
 
Japan welcomes the finalization of the results from the parliamentary elections held last October, as well as the inauguration of the first Afghan Parliament since 2011.  With the newly-elected Independent Election Commission (IEC), and based on the lessons learned from the elections, it is very important for the upcoming Presidential Election to be credible so that the results can be widely accepted. 
 
Japan commends the efforts by the Afghan Government towards realizing peace with the Taliban, including the holding of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga from April to May this year as well as ongoing preparations for the Kabul Process meeting.  Dialogue among the Afghan people is fundamental to realizing sustainable peace in Afghanistan.  Japan hopes that the efforts made by relevant groups towards peace, including the dialogue between the US and the Taliban and the trilateral dialogue between the US, Russia and China will help lead to a successful intra-Afghan dialogue.
 
Meanwhile, Japan expresses its deep concern about the continuing terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.  Japan hopes that positive developments in the peace process will put an end to violence and bring a comprehensive ceasefire, and eventually a lasting peace. Japan will seek to cooperate with the international community to advance the peace process.
 
The participation of women in the peace process in Afghanistan is fundamental.  Japan has been organizing workshops for women in Afghanistan to enhance their response capability towards gender-based violence.  We shall continue these efforts.
 
Mr. President,
 
Japan remains committed to supporting a self-reliant and stable Afghanistan.  In March this year, Japan announced new assistance of approximately 96 million US dollars to Afghanistan.  This has since been disbursed to projects including efforts to provide assistance to refugees and respond to droughts, as well as demining and counter-narcotics initiatives.  In addition, in March Japan provided emergency relief goods in response to flood damage.  Japan will continue to cooperate hand-in-hand with the Afghan people, including through such short-term humanitarian assistance.
 
Enhancing regional cooperation between Afghanistan and neighboring countries is also important.  When the Foreign Ministers of Japan and the five Central Asian Countries gathered in Dushanbe in May for “Central Asia plus Japan” Ministerial Meeting, Afghanistan also participated as a Guest Country.  Japan will remain committed to the countries in the region, including through supporting the enhancement of border controls.
 
Mr. President,
 
I would like to conclude my statement by emphasizing the important role of UNAMA in achieving peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.  Japan commends and supports the efforts made by Mr. Yamamoto and his team.
 
I thank you, Mr. President.