I would like to extend my appreciation for your leadership in convening this general debate. My delegation stands ready to cooperate with you in our role as Vice-Chair of this Special Committee.
Contemporary UN peacekeeping operations face many challenges, including with regards to the safety and security of personnel and the performance of the field missions.
These challenges cannot be addressed by a single actor. They demand collective efforts by the Member States and the UN. In this regard, the role of this Special Committee (C34) is crucial.
The Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative led by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Declaration of Shared Commitments are cornerstones of peacekeeping reform to address the wide range of challenges faced by the field missions. Japan believes that this year’s discussions in the C34 should facilitate the implementation of A4P, and especially should focus on transforming political commitments into concrete actions on the ground.
Today, I wish to speak on two thematic issues: first, the importance of medical and engineering capabilities; and second, methods to address these needs—capacity building and the sharing of best practices.
Peacekeeping missions must be able to provide safety and security for their personnel in order to fulfill their mandates. In particular, as the Cruz Report highlighted, medical capacity is a key enabler to ensure the security of personnel in the field.
In this regard, we commend efforts by the UN Secretariat to strengthen the capabilities of troop- and police-contributing countries in buddy first aid, field medics and advanced trauma life support; to build up the capabilities of field missions in medical evacuation; and to develop the standards of UN hospitals based on a 10-1-2 clinical time frame for patient survivability.
Japan also welcomes the development of a curriculum and the conducting of training for buddy first aid, and encourages the ongoing efforts by the UN Secretariat to develop curricula and training courses for field medics and advanced trauma life support skills through the Triangular Partnership Project.
The conditions of infrastructure in the mission area also affect the safety of personnel and performance of peacekeeping missions. Some of the C34 delegates including from Japan visited UNIFIL and UNMISS last December. In South Sudan, the delegates affirmed that the deteriorated conditions of main supply routes hinder the mobility of troops and can affect the mission’s implementation of its mandate, including protection of civilians. This case clearly shows the important role of engineers for tackling challenges stemming from host country infrastructure.
Engineers also play a role in countering improvised explosive devices (IED), which pose a serious threat to peacekeepers, in places such as Mali.
The joint efforts of the UN and Member States are necessary to improve enabling capabilities of peacekeeping missions including medical and engineering capacities.
Japan greatly values the innovative framework of triangular partnerships to fill the gaps in these areas by building capacity among the TCCs in cooperation with those Member States which support capacity building and with the UN, as called for in the A4P Declaration and highlighted in Security Council Resolution 2436 adopted in September 2018.
We welcome the geographical expansion last year of the engineering training from Africa to Asia and the surrounding regions, and the launch of medical training through the UN Triangular Partnership Project.
Japan is prepared to further act jointly with the UN and other Member States to improve the medical and engineering capabilities of TCCs not only through financial contribution but also by dispatching trainers and sharing knowledge.
Sharing best practices through the development of manuals and training curricula also serves as an important vehicle to set standards for the performance of peacekeepers. We welcome the ongoing efforts by the UN Secretariat to revise several Peacekeeping Missions Military Unit Manuals and to develop new training materials.
Japan will contribute by chairing the revision of UN Peacekeeping Missions Military Engineer Unit Manual, which among other things will be updated to reflect IED-related documents, in collaboration with the vice chairs — Canada, China and Ireland — as well as other Member States.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.