Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Youth, Peace and Security”
April 23, 2018
Thank you, Mr. President,
Let me first extend my deepest appreciation to the briefers and all those who participated in compiling the Progress Report. Mr. Simpson, thank you very much for your hard work.
As the Study emphasizes, it is important to recognize youth as key stakeholders in peace and security, while ensuring their protection from all forms of violence.
The Study calls for the international community as a whole to overcome the stereotypes, which tend to view young men as violent perpetrators and potential threats to peace and young women as passive victims of violence. I cannot agree more. Japan has advocated for the active participation and positive contributions of young people to peace and security based on the Human Security approach, which has two main strategies; one on empowerment and the other, protection of those in need, including young people.
We need to make much more conscious efforts to empower young people. As the Study points out, the voices of youth are not fully nor frequently reflected in important decision-making processes. Cases are found in which young women and sexual minorities are even “disempowered” by being deprived of access to power and resources not to mention their opportunities for political participation.
In this regard, Japan is working to empower young people by providing training and educational opportunities and creating an enabling environment for them to demonstrate their leadership and innovative ideas.
In the field of peace building, Japan has been training civilian experts from Asia, the Middle East and Africa through the Global Peacebuilders Program. The program particularly welcomes youth participants with diverse backgrounds.
Here, I’d like to introduce a case of Ms. Anab Mohamud Osman, a young female officer from the Government of Somalia, who participated in the training course in 2017. Carrying the spirit of her colleagues who lost their lives in tragic terrorist attacks in Mogadishu, she fulfilled the course proactively and now she’s back in work of a Government’s Stabilization and Peacebuilding Assistant to engage in creating peace in her country.
Japan is pleased that the program has trained hundreds of highly motivated young participants both from Japan and from conflict-affected regions and countries, who are now empowered as professional peacebuilders with a strong sense of responsibility and initiative for peace and security. Japan continues to support their future success.
Protection of youth is of course important as they face armed conflicts, terrorism, and gender-based violence. Here, I would like to draw your attention to the mental health care for young people on top of their physical health, as it tends to be less prioritized. Japan believes that psychosocial support for young people is imperative in peacebuilding and reconstruction phases.
In this context, the Government of Japan is pleased to note that a project in support of youth in Central African Republic (CAR) is being implemented with the financial support of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, to which Japan is a principal donor.
This project, entitled "UN Pilot Project for Social Cohesion, Conflict Prevention, Violence Reduction and Human Security in Support to Youth of the Central African Republic (CAR)" aims to promote the consolidation of peace and social stability by delivering peace dividends that will contribute to medium and long-term development objectives, particularly for the most vulnerable communities.
Led by UNDP, multiple UN organs, namely FAO, UNICEF, UNFPA, IOM, UNWomen, UNESCO and MINUSCA, joined forces to implement the project, which supports the local efforts of the people of Central African Republic. The project is designed to integrate youth, improve delivery of and access to basic social services, enhance sustainable livelihoods, and promote social cohesion.
By introducing the human-centred and comprehensive approach of human security, it also focuses on cross-cutting objectives, such as gender equality and youth inclusion.
On top of these, it should be noted that the project includes providing medical and psychological care and protection for women and girls who have survived sexual violence. We are hopeful that the project can enhance the security of the people of Central African Republic, including young people, with the nexus of peace, development and human rights in practice.
The Study reflects the voices raised by thousands of young people. We should respond to those voices by taking into account the recommendations from the Study in planning and implementation of peace and security related policies.
Young people are key stakeholders of sustaining peace and development of a country and the starting points of their journey must include their protection and empowerment. Here, ending violence and achieving “negative peace” is not enough. Eliminating social inequality and injustice must be incorporated in order to realize “positive peace”. Based on the concept of the Human Security, Japan continues our commitments for the realization of a world where the future of youth are much better protected and fully empowered.
Thank you very much.