Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Debate of the Security Council on Peacekeeping

(As delivered)
Thank you, Mr. President.
 
          I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, Ambassador Momen of Bangladesh, and Ambassador Blanchard of Canada for their briefings.
 
          We are grateful to the presidency for convening this timely debate today.  The holding of this debate following a series of related discussions throughout the year demonstrates the Council’s seriousness in strengthening peacekeeping as one of the UN’s most important activities. I would like to express special appreciation to Ambassador Fodé Seck and Ambassador Nikkey Haley for convening a special meeting of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations at the Permanent Representative level two days ago. It provided us with an excellent and unique opportunity for the Security Council members and troop-contributing countries to get together for an in-depth discussion. I would like to focus today on two key points: first, the significance of force generation, and second, how effective and efficient training and capacity building can improve force generation.
 
          Force generation is closely linked with the Council’s responsibility for overseeing the success of mission mandates.  The gaps we see today between actual and desired capabilities of peacekeepers in some areas are detrimental in achieving success. The HIPPO report indicates that the capability issue is one of the various challenges in force generation, and resolution 2378, adopted last month, also stresses the need to address the issue of capability gaps.
 
          The role of the Secretariat, which oversees the force generation process to implement Council mandates, is key in minimizing gaps. Several efforts have been made, including the establishment of the Strategic Force Generation Cell and the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS). Japan welcomes these initiatives, and urges the Secretariat to continue to undertake realistic, cross-mission efforts that help missions adapt to realities on the ground.
 
          Successful force generation is about deploying peacekeepers with the right capabilities, at the right time.  Japan emphasizes that effective and efficient training and capacity building is essential.  Japan underlines the call in resolution 2378 for the Secretary-General to provide recommendations on a mechanism to address training and capacity building. 
 
          We note that while force generation efforts by the Secretariat are cross-cutting in nature, as demonstrated by the PCRS, capacity building has remained largely the focus of troop-contributing countries with occasional donor country support.  These efforts have so far been bilateral, and could benefit from a cross-cutting and coordinated approach as well.  The successful Force Generation Conference on MINUSMA earlier this year offers a positive model and could be expanded to all other missions as a best practice. 
 
          Further involvement of the Secretariat could also be helpful. The Secretariat could play more active role in “match-making” between potential troop contributing countries, and supporters who can help TCCs prepare for challenges on the ground.  We should also explore whether there is a potential to further utilize the Strategic Force Generation Cell and the PCRS in this regard.
 
          Effective and efficient training and capacity building measures can be achieved only when four actors cooperate: the Council, troop-contributing countries, the Secretariat and potential donor countries. Japan has already launched discussions in this area of cooperation, including with Canada and Bangladesh.  We co-hosted a preparatory meeting in August with Bangladesh in advance of the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver.
 
           Effective and efficient training and capacity building will enable better force generation efforts, and ultimately better performance by peacekeepers.  Given that the Secretary-General’s 90-day report, as mandated by resolution 2378, is due by the end of the year, Japan is prepared to follow up on this topic during our presidency in December.
 
I thank you, Mr. President.