Statement by Mr. NAMAZU Hiroyuki, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Ambassadorial Level Meeting on Guinea-Bissau

I thank Ambassador Costa Filho for convening this meeting.  I also thank SRSG Sori-Coulibaly and all the briefers for setting out clearly the challenges and opportunities in Guinea-Bissau.
The spread of COVID-19 has exacerbated a multifaceted human security crisis across the African continent, and Guinea-Bissau is no exception.  Among all the challenges in the country, Japan is particularly concerned about the severe food shortages the people of Guinea-Bissau are facing.  With the aim of alleviating their food insecurity and supporting their resilience in the face of the pandemic, Japan has provided a grant assistance of around 4.5 million US dollars through the World Food Programme for this year.
What is truely needed is strong political will by the country’s political leaders to implement their commitments made in the Conakry Agreement and the ECOWAS roadmap.  Reforms to avoid another political impasse need to be prioritized.  Governance must be strengthened through implementing reforms on all fronts, particularly in the security and judicial sectors.  The political leaders need to join hands so that they create a functioning and accountable government which can provide security and justice as well as basic services.
At the same time, the international community must continue its substantial support to the Bissau-Guineans for their reform efforts.  International support needed is not just in financial and material aspects.  Continued encouragement from the international community should help the political leaders maintain high morale to keep up with their reform efforts.
As the planned drawdown of UNIOGBIS proceeds, the role of the PBC as a platform to gather and integrate international support will become even more important.  The PBC should continue to provide valuable advice to key UN bodies on the situation in Guinea-Bissau.
As Japanese Prime Minister SUGA expressed in his Address at the GA General Debate last month, Japan will continue to contribute to sustaining peace globally, including through our work at the PBC.  Under the banner of the New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa, or NAPSA, Japan seeks to implement further assistance to Guinea-Bissau with the aim of ensuring human security and supporting institution building in coordination with state and local authorities.  If time allows, I would appreciate further comments from the briefers or distinguished representative of Guinea Bissau of the importance or challenges of building various national and local institutions.
I thank you.