Statement by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Debate of the United Nations Security Council on the Question Concerning Haiti
October 12, 2017
Thank you, Madam President.
I would like to thank Special Representative Sandra Honoré, for her comprehensive and wrap-up briefing on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, whose mandate will successfully conclude next Sunday. Japan welcomes the outline of MINUSTAH’s achievements in the Secretary-General’s latest report, and pays tribute to Special Representative Honoré, her predecessors, their teams, the Secretariat, and particularly troop- and police-contributing countries for their tireless support for Haiti over the past thirteen years.
Japan’s participation in MINUSTAH was also an important step in its history of contribution to UN peacekeeping. We deployed approximately 2,200 Self-Defense Force personnel to the Mission from 2010 to support post-earthquake reconstruction. These efforts included training Haitians in the use of heavy machinery as well as technology transfer. I am particularly encouraged to receive a report back from the personnel who actually joined the Mission and gave training to the young Haitian trainees for heavy machinery. The report said, “it was the most memorable moment for me when those young Haitian trainees expressed their joy with every part of their bodies on the day of their passage of the qualifying examination for their operating licenses.” We have been encouraged to see Haitians demonstrating ownership in rebuilding their country based on such support. Japan is proud of the Self-Defense Force’s successes in helping create a foundation for stability, and we have built on these experiences during the subsequent deployments.
Japan welcomes the continued implementation of the joint MINUSTAH and United Nations country team transition plan as well as the progress in ensuring that MINUJUSTH is operational from day one. We join the Secretary-General in calling on the Government to sign a Status of Forces Agreement by 16 October. We look forward to working with MINUJUSTH and the Government to strengthen rule of law institutions and further advance the development and professionalization of Haiti’s police, in line with the 2017-2021 strategic development plan.
Haiti is on the path to further consolidating its democracy, national unity, and stability. We commend the efforts by the Government and the people of Haiti to this end, and these efforts must continue. However, as was evident during the Council’s visit in June, there remain enormous peacebuilding and development needs. As the Secretary-General’s report stressed, there are ongoing challenges in the areas of governance, human rights, gender, judicial reform, and institution building.
We must support Haiti now to ensure its self-reliance in the future. The role of the international community and the UN country team will be crucial, with the ownership of the Haitian authorities. Japan will continue to support development and the improvement of basic social services, as well as post-disaster reconstruction. We have focused a great deal on alleviating the suffering caused by the devastating cholera outbreak: Japan has contributed more than 9 million dollars through UNICEF and other international organizations since 2010, with a focus on the construction and improvement of water, sanitation, and hygiene-related facilities. We will continue our support, especially through preventative socio-economic and public health measures on poverty reduction as well as resilient and quality infrastructure.
Haiti has made commendable progress in challenging conditions, but continued UN efforts and Security Council attention are still needed. Japan looks forward to working with the international community to ensure that recent improvements lead to lasting progress in the lives of the Haitian people.
I thank you, Madam President.