Opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the panel discussion “Leadership from the Ground Up: Local women’s Perspectives on Sustaining Peace”

(As delivered)
Thank you. Thank you very much for your introduction and for the invitation to this organization.
My special thanks should also go to you, Ms. Cabrera Balleza the CEO of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, for taking the lead in organizing this important panel. Japan is honored to be part of the co-sponsors, along with Sierra Leone, Bangladesh and Mexico, the PBSO and UN Women.
 
This room (CR-6) reminds me of our previous discussion taking place exactly here with the partner countries and PBSO in the context of peacebuilding. So, CR-6 means peacebuilding discussion for me. So I am very glad to be back here today with the empowerment of women and peacebuilding role.
 
So, I remember that in a previous discussion in the context of peacebuilding that we frequently referred to the role of women in the peacebuilding and after conflict, the building the organizations for their country.
 
I remember that once specific example in Africa after the conflict a country was struggling for establishing the political dialogue between parties, the ruling and opposition parties. But there was no case of such a dialogue.
In this difficult moment, one women group came up and contacted each of the conflicting parties’ leaders.
 
Then finally, I heard that there is a discussion, debate about the future policies for the country to take among those leaders. So the women’s group had played a very important role in establishing the first stage for peacebuilding. So, that is what was the most impressive and persuasive example for me to believe this agenda is relevant in peacebuilding.
 
This is not one example but more than that, we discussed and witnessed even connecting the live chat with this meeting room.
 
So these experiences eloquently tell that women’s effective participation and influence in the peace process are crucial for sustainable peace. This is our conviction.
 
We attach importance to supporting women’s participation and protecting their rights in the area of peace and security as one of Japan’s important initiatives to create a so-called “Society Where Women Shine”.
 
Japan is proud of partnering with local organizations through UN Women’s projects in Africa, the Middle-East and South-east Asia in order to promote women’s social, political and economic empowerment.
 
Moreover, we had close consultations with civil society in the drafting process of the national action plan on the women, peace and security agenda.
 
We have been, and will continue, implementing our commitments to promote women’s social, political and economic empowerment, emphasizing the importance of dialogues with civil society. In this respect, today’s event is of particular importance to us.
 
We are looking forward to hearing from civil society organizations, including local women’s organizations, and Japan is eager to listen to them and harness their experiences and opinions for making our policies for women’s empowerment and sustaining peace more viable.
 
I thank you.