Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Security Council VTC debate on the situation in Afghanistan

Madam President,
Japan highly appreciates the convening of this high-level debate on Afghanistan at a time when the country is in need of solidarity of the international community more than ever. I also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Deborah Lyons, for her briefing and her dedicated efforts to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
Japan strongly believes that a sustainable peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved by a political settlement that reflects the voices of all segments of society, including women, youth, and minority groups. Japan continues to support the government of Afghanistan and other key stakeholders in their efforts to advance an inclusive peace process.
It is our understanding that the decision to withdraw all international forces was made to facilitate an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace process. Nevertheless, it is also understandable that the people of Afghanistan harbour anxiety over uncertainty during and after the departure of international forces. At this critical transition period, therefore, it is essential that the international community sends a clear message to the people of Afghanistan that it remains committed to supporting them in the years to come as we have done over the past two decades.
It is also critical for the international community to stand firm against unabated violence and terrorism, particularly those targeting and involving civilians. Japan condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent terrorist attacks targeting innocent civilians including schoolgirls, aid workers and journalists. We continue to urge all concerned parties to stop violence immediately and enact a comprehensive ceasefire.
Japan reiterates that a sustainable political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan requires the strong commitment and cooperation of neighboring and regional countries, which must be well-coordinated and harmonized with broader international efforts to support the Afghan stakeholders. To this end, we encourage Ms. Lyons and Mr. Arnault, Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional Issues, to strengthen their efforts to effectively coordinate international and regional support for the peace process.
As a longstanding partner of Afghanistan, Japan remains fully committed to supporting Afghanistan throughout and beyond the peace process. Japan has already provided 135 million USD this year to address the negative impact of COVID-19 and other humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people. We are ready to consider additional support, depending on the progress in the peace process and the adherence of the Afghan government to the Afghanistan Partnership Framework.
I thank you.