(As delivered)Mr. President,
I join others in expressing my deepest condolences to the people of the United States for the passing of the 41st President of the United States, President George H.W. Bush. I would like to express my appreciation to Cote d’Ivoire and President Alassane Ouattara for convening and presiding over this very important debate. It is an honor to be given a chance to speak here today. We believe that this discussion will help keep momentum for peacebuilding and sustaining peace which is one of the most important subjects for Japan. Let me also express my gratitude to Secretary-General Guterres and AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki for your insightful briefings. I also thank speakers before me for sharing the experience, their own experience, of their countries’, which I think enriched the debate today immensely.
Japan believes that peace is not a transitory thing like a ceasefire or peace agreement, but rather involves continuous maintenance of security and stability long after an agreement is signed. One year ago this month, Japan convened an open debate during its presidency of the Security Council focused on peace continuum. Speakers at that debate highlighted the importance of taking a comprehensive and integrated approach by embracing perspectives of the peace continuum as well as the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
To achieve peace, security and stability in post-conflict countries, it is essential to build the state’s capacity and institutions and to strengthen trust between the state and its people. Peacebuilding and sustaining peace has become an area of high focus across the UN system, in particular at this Council and at the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).
As Japan’s Foreign Minister, at the time, stated when he chaired the Security Council open debate on “peacebuilding in Africa” in 2016, Japan has three principles on peacebuilding in Africa:
First, the emphasis on people in the field. This belief goes hand-in-hand with the concept of human security, which aims at protecting and empowering vulnerable individuals in partnership with all relevant actors with a view towards prevention;
Second, improving living standards through inclusive economic development. It is crucial to ensure all people can benefit from the peace dividend;
Third, tolerance of diversity. While emphasizing universal values, Japan also respects the importance of ethnic diversity and local ownership.
These principles are in line with the basic philosophy of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD): ownership and partnership. Toward TICAD7 scheduled in Japan next August, we hosted an Eminent Persons Group by inviting five former Presidents from Africa and discussed the challenges and measures toward the realization of the peace and stability in Africa.
We believe that one good example of the peacebuilding and sustaining peace model is Cote d’Ivoire. It is with great pleasure that Japan is currently implementing a project promoting reconciliation and trust between the state and the people by developing infrastructure and deploying experts.
While we have taken many steps to advance peacebuilding and sustaining peace, there is still much to be done. How we can best utilize the Security Council, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), and bilateral and multilateral ties in order to implement peacebuilding and sustaining peace? How we can leverage our efforts in an effective manner to make difference on the ground? While there is no silver bullet that can solve all issues at once, today’s debate offers an opportunity to have a deeper discussion on how to move this work ahead, and I thank you Mr. President for convening this meeting. For our part, Japan will continue our support, including both financial and human resource contributions, to enhance peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the world.
I thank you, Mr. President.