At the outset, allow me to express my sincerest congratulations to you on your assumption of the presidency of the Conference. My delegation would also like to thank you for your tireless efforts in preparing this important event. I assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation throughout the coming two weeks.
It is an undeniable reality that countless killings and human rights violations, including sexual violence and forced recruitment of children, happen as a result of the misuse and illicit transfer of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). These weapons also prolong and intensify conflicts and hinder humanitarian aid, reconstruction, and development, even in post-conflict areas. We shouldn’t avert our eyes from this situation, the resolution of which will require our ceaseless efforts.
Japan places a high priority on addressing threats involving the misuse and illicit transfer of Small Arms and Light Weapons and has submitted resolutions annually to the General Assembly since 1995. I believe this Review Conference will provide us with a great opportunity to renew our determination in tackling the issue of Small Arms and Light Weapons. I hope we can deliver a strong and unanimous message through the outcome document we will discuss in the coming days.
I would like to share with you 4 major points on which Japan places high priority.
First, Japan believes proper international trade and stockpile management are indispensable. In numerous countries, many people are killed or injured due to explosions at mismanaged ammunition storage facilities. Moreover, small arms and light weapons can be diverted to illicit markets. Japan believes we should discuss this issue in the coming two weeks.
Second, Japan believes cooperation with regional organizations will help complement and strengthen efforts by individual countries and thus make such efforts more effective. Considering the nature of illicit trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons as a cross-border issue, regional organizations have a thorough knowledge of the specific situation and needs of affected countries within their region. This expertise should be leveraged to promote intra-regional cooperation through information exchange, awareness raising, and enhancement of partnerships among law enforcement agencies.
In this connection, Japan decided this February to contribute approximately 1.2 million US Dollars for projects on Small Arms and Light Weapons and which supports the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC). UNREC will implement technical assistance for Stockpile Management, Marking and Destruction of Small Arms, Light Weapons and related Ammunition in Madagascar and Togo. Japan will continue to support such efforts.
Third, Japan believes that it is important to pursue synergy with other relevant endeavors, to the extent possible. As the President of the 4th Conference of States Parties of the Arms Trade Treaty (CSP4), Japan will host the Conference in Tokyo in August this year. One of the significant objectives of the ATT is to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms, including SALW, and prevent their diversion. Therefore, Japan believes the PoA and the ATT are mutually reinforcing and complementary, and expects that discussions in the CSP4 will make a great contribution towards the full and effective implementation of the PoA.
Finally, Japan believes it is essential to identify in this Conference prioritized work for the next 6-year cycle to follow up on this Review Conference. We should efficiently allocate our limited resources and avoid possible duplication with other relevant instruments. In this regard, Japan believes that the corresponding section in the draft outcome document circulated by the President could be a very good basis for our further discussion during the Conference.
In order to implement the PoA, we need concrete and appropriate measures and a road map. Japan is ready to contribute with all Member States, relevant international and regional organizations, and civil society in order to ensure the successful conclusion of the Conference.
I thank you Mr. President.