Statement by Mr. Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council, Under the Agenda Item "Women, Peace, and Security"

Mr. President,
          I would like also to thank the distinguished briefers. I appreciate the decision of the Presidency to choose this very important topic for discussions today.
          Despite the fact that seventeen years have passed since the adoption of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325, the normative framework has not been fully put into practice.
          Exactly two years ago, in October 2015, some 100 countries announced their commitments to promote the women, peace and security agenda.
          At that time, Japan made several commitments, which included:
          1) to steadily implement our National Action Plan and ensure its effective monitoring,
          2) to increase our financial support to UN-Women as well as the office of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and
          3) to invest in human resource development and education of women in displacement.
          Japan has faithfully fulfilled these promises.
          This year, Japan completed the first evaluation report of its National Action Plan, and is steadily implementing its commitments.
          Our cooperation with UN-Women is growing, and Japan became the second largest contributor in 2016.
These contributions are largely extended to support human resource development and education for displaced women in the Middle East and Africa.
          We also remain one of the top donors to the Team of Experts of the office of SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict. We reiterate our ongoing support for their work.
Mr. President,
          According to the World Bank, 90% of conflicts since 2000 were relapses.
          Women’s meaningful participation and leadership are keys to preventing conflict, sustaining peace and avoiding relapse into conflict.
          Today, I will focus on the areas of peace negotiations and peacekeeping missions, where Japan has been actively involved and has some expertise.
          While the reported figures show a stark reality in both areas, we strongly believe in their potential to drive the Women, Peace and Security agenda significantly forward.
          Past experiences demonstrate that women’s effective participation and influence in the peace negotiation process are closely linked to sustainable peace.
          In this regard, I commend the efforts of the regional networks of women mediators in the African, Nordic and Mediterranean regions.  Japan is ready to work to extend this positive trend to other regions.
          Training is at the center of our efforts. For example, Japan supported UN-Women’s technical training on peacebuilding, mediation and conflict prevention for 230 women through the Peace Support Training Center in Kenya in 2016.
This training significantly changed the mindset of the whole community, including male leaders, and promoted women’s participation in local peacebuilding committees, which are traditionally male-dominated.  It indeed helped mitigate tensions between communities.
Mr. President,
          Making a peacekeeping mission as gender-responsive as possible is directly linked to the success of that mission. It is key to the consolidation of peace on the ground.
The UN system-wide strategy on gender parity is an excellent guide and, needless to say, its implementation must be fully ensured.
          Pooling and training peacekeeping missions’ staff are essential.
          We are pleased to join the collective efforts to support the “senior women talent pipeline project” of DFS.
          In this connection, we will hold the project’s outreach  seminar in Tokyo, Japan this weekend, inviting potential senior women candidates.
          Improving the gender-responsiveness of peacekeeping missions will contribute significantly to eliminating sexual exploitation and abuses by peacekeeping personnel.
          Finally, following the HeforShe champion movement promoted by UN-Women, we should note the importance of mobilizing men’s active engagement in the move to establish gender equality and empowerment of women. This, of course, includes in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
          Japan will continue to work with members of the Council and the United Nations to further promote this agenda.
Thank you, Mr. President.