Remarks by H.E. Ambassadro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Africa Dialogue Series 2018 (ADS2018) Session 1

(As delivered)
Thank you very much,
 
I would first of all like to as a non-African UN member welcome warmly this new dialogue system that has been introduced. The Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) 2018 is a fresh start, and we hope that we will be able to make the best use of it, and Japan would certainly like to take part in a very useful way [and] a constructive way for everyone.
 
Listening to what was discussed at this panel, several things struck me. I think everyone agreed that ownership and partnership is a very important idea, and there were also some concerns and very serious discussion put forward about the question of resources and about input. There seem to be quite a range of people thinking that we do already have some ideas and techniques to work on them. So, the question is implementation, and we need resources for that. And after implementation, we need to gather data to measure the impact.   
 
Let me just talk a little bit about what Japan is doing vis-à-vis Africa in its cooperation with Africa. Just like Italy has said, we too have a system of engaging Africa called TICAD. We started this in 1993. The difference is that we have tried to bring into this  both AUC and United Nations as our co-sponsors, UNDP as well of course, and World Bank. We are very grateful for Madam Bience Gawanas for attending a Ministerial Meeting that we had earlier this month, and actually co-chairing a session together with our Foreign Minister. So, what we are trying to do is to actually ask both the AU and UN to participate in a dialogue with non-African countries. I think that is something that we can try to build on further.
 
On the question of resources, I think our friend Ambassador Lazarus Kapambwe of Zambia had a very important message for us. And I would say that when you look at things in the positive sense, what we are trying to do now in the United Nations is to make sure that we don’t separate the question of peace and security, and development and humanitarian assistance, and deal with them individually. We feel that it is very important that we look at them as a whole so that development actually makes a contribution to peace. Peace makes contributions to development.  And obviously if everything goes well, we have less need for humanitarian assistance. But humanitarian assistance is urgently needed. The important thing is to make sure that development people come in right after the humanitarian people have had some success so we can have a sustained peace.
 
That is the kind of thing we are trying to achieve in TICAD. As I said, we had a Ministerial Meeting, and there one of the things that was brought up was that it’s not just the government, it’s the private sector that is very important for investment, it’s also the civil society that we need to engage. And we were very happy to have in this Ministerial Meeting more than 2,000 people from those areas participating, apart from governments. And we will have a full Summit Meeting of TICAD next year, and we hope that as many heads of government and states from Africa will be able to join us together with the leaders of the United Nations and AU as well.
 
Since my colleague sitting next to me, Italy spoke about UN reform and Security Council Reform, I just want to add a few words. We agree in many respects and the need to work with Africa in many areas is something that we have in common.
 
Japan too is very keen to have reform in the Security Council. We support the idea that has been put forward by the African countries in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. The United Nations General Assembly has been discussing Security Council for many years, but we have not been able to make a serious advancement. So, with you, not just Africa but with everyone in this room, we would like to see progress in reforming the Security Council of the United Nations, and that the Security Council will work much closer with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
 
Thank you very much.