Statement by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Assembly Joint Debate on the PBC and PBF annual reports

(As delivered)

Mr. President,
 
It is my great pleasure to address today’s joint debate, which follows the successful high-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace in April. And on this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to Ambassador Cho Tae-yul for his splendid leadership as Chair of PBC for 2017, and also I would like to congratulate Ambassador Ion Jinga on his assumption of New Chair for 2018. The April meeting featured the highest numbers of high-level participants this year. It was particularly inclusive in that well-gender balanced speakers and 150 civil society organizations attended the interactive dialogues. The resolutions, adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council respectively, require continuous follow-up on peacebuilding and sustaining peace by both organs.
 
Mr. President,
 
To make sure these efforts yield concrete results, we must now prioritize recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report and implement them in an effective manner. In this connection, enhancing linkage among relevant funds seems to be one of those which can be immediately implemented.
 
Japan would like to share one good example which has enabled the provision of more effective support and a tailor-made approach on the ground by locally-led, community-driven and internationally-supported initiatives. We have embarked on a project in Somalia which aims to improve basic social services in communities affected by conflict and by the inflow of internally displaced persons (IDPs). This project is jointly funded by the Peacebuilding Fund and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, engaging with various actors (such as UNDP, UNOPS, UN-HABITAT and IOM).
 
By combining resources from both Funds, the implementing agencies can apply the dual protection and empowerment approach for durable solutions in a larger geographical area and can more efficiently use resources for direct program activities. The construction of a new livestock market in Kismayo is a practical example of synergy between funds and the inter-agency coordination required for sustaining peace and the human security approach.
 
While further steps by the UN system are needed to improve coherence and field-focus, the flexibility and the utility of resources from the donor community are also indispensable. Japan will continue to support these efforts.
 
Mr. President,
 
It is crucial to discuss among the Member States how to strengthen the Peacebuilding Fund’s budget and enhance transparency and accountability, consulting with various donors from an initial stage of developing Peacebuilding Fund projects. It is not enough to respect differing circumstances. We must also bring voices up to New York from the ground.
 
Furthermore, the resources of Member States are limited, so it is important to enhance partnerships with and mobilize the enormous untapped potential resources of non-governmental entities, the private sector and international financial institutions (IFIs). In some cases, these entities already directly contribute to specific Peacebuilding Fund projects. These blended finance approaches have the potential to promote a ‘quantum leap’ for Peacebuilding Fund and peacebuilding activities.
 
Mr. President,
 
Lastly, Japan has been actively engaged in the area of peacebuilding and sustaining peace. We believe that promoting human security is one key to enhance them. The human security approach is people-centered, comprehensive, context-specific, and focuses on prevention. It aims at protecting and empowering vulnerable individuals.
 
As a member of the Peacebuilding Commission, Japan continues to promote institution-building. Japan organized a meeting focused on the Liptako-Gourma Authority in the Sahel region in February this year. It also co-hosted an event last week in relation to social contracts and sustaining peace with IPI and other relevant organizations including civil society. In addition, Japan will actively engage, with other interested parties, in a discussion on financing which is also a key element to take further actions to translate the culture of prevention into the field.
 
I thank you.