Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate "Peace and security in Africa: strengthening peacekeeping operations in Africa"

(As delivered)
Mr. President,
I thank China for convening today’s meeting, which is a very important one. I would also like to join others in paying tribute to those peacekeepers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to serve their purpose.
Mr. President,
A great number of countries on the African continent have made marked progress in achieving peace and strong economic development. And yet, many regions still face the threat of conflict and terrorism. The five largest UN peacekeeping missions are currently operating in Africa.
As these missions demonstrate through implementing their mandates, UN peacekeeping missions have a pivotal role in contributing to efforts for peace and security. Successful and sustainable settlements need to be built on a political and social foundation that provides peace and stability in the country. 
In order to enable UN peacekeeping operations to effectively assist political settlements and achieve sustaining peace in Africa, the UN must work to improve the quality of peacekeeping especially in cooperation with African partners.
Mr. President,
African countries are playing an important role in the peace and security of their continent. This is illustrated by the fact that 13 out of the top 20 troop and police contributors for UN peacekeeping are now from African countries. Given their large role, therefore, we are convinced of the importance of capacity building for African nations.
Based on this conviction, Japan has supported African efforts in peacekeeping for many years both multilaterally and bilaterally.
For instance, Japan has provided engineering training to more than 200 personnel from eight African countries through the UN Triangular Partnership Project in Kenya since 2015. These trainees have been deployed to many field missions, namely AMISOM, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, and UNMISS.
We also support the UN Signals Academy in Uganda, which has trained more than 1,500 personnel, many of whom have been subsequently deployed to African peacekeeping missions.
Beginning next year, we plan to launch medical training to TCCs including African TCCs through the UN Triangular Partnership Project.
In addition to support for multilateral efforts, Japan has partnered with African peacekeeping institutes in 13 African countries, dispatching Japanese uniformed and civilian experts to provide lectures and assist development of curriculum at the institutes in Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and South Africa.
“Promotion of social stability for shared prosperity” was identified as one of the priorities in TICAD VI in 2016. Japan truly believes empowering African institutions and their people is among the most effective methods to create a more peaceful and secure environment. Japan will continue to work with the UN towards improving the quality of UN peacekeeping for peaceful and stable Africa.
In closing, let me reiterate the importance of building the African capacity to realize a peaceful and stable Africa. Challenges that Africa faces are multi-faceted and require integrated solutions.
Given the wide range of complex security challenges in Africa, we believe empowering African institutions and its people would be the real driving force of peace and security in Africa. Japan believes the UN peacekeeping continues to be a major contributor to this end.          
I thank you.