Statement by H.E. Ambassador YAMAZAKI Kazuyuki, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Briefing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


(As delivered)
Thank you, Mr. President.
I thank High Commissioner Mr. Filippo Grandi for his informative and sobering briefing.
I would like to start by commending UNHCR's dedication led by High Commissioner Grandi in addressing the increasingly dire situations faced by refugees and internally displaced people. Japan will continue to collaborate and engage with UNHCR to address the challenges of forced displacement.

Mr. President,
Japan is deeply concerned that forced displacements have doubled in the past decade, with more than 114 million people currently displaced due to prolonged conflicts and new crises. Intensified natural disasters caused by climate change have also further exacerbated the situation.     
Japan remains steadfast in its support for refugees and forcibly displaced persons from various parts of the world, from Europe to Asia, from Africa to Latin America, including Ukraine, Sudan, Syria, Gaza, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Venezuela, to name a few.  

At the same time, Japan also recognizes the growing burden particularly on neighboring countries who host large numbers of displaced people for decades. We will continue our efforts to alleviate such situations.
Mr. President,
I would like to highlight a couple of key points that Japan believes are crucial in addressing the refugee and displaced crises.
First, the rule of law, including compliance with international humanitarian law, must be respected to address the existential challenges as an overarching principle, as the High Commissioner pointed out.  
Second, as refugees and displaced people who are put in vulnerable situations subsequently face more complex and grave threats, the human security approach is increasingly relevant and crucial. Japan will continue to implement programs on the ground focused on human security, including through UNHCR.
Third, as the number of forcibly displaced people exceeds 114 million, relying solely on emergency humanitarian aid is insufficient. We must adopt a medium- to long-term comprehensive approach. In this spirit, Japan launched the Multi-Stakeholder Pledge on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus at the Global Refugee Forum last December. This pledge aims to support refugees’ self-reliance and ease the burden on host countries through "development cooperation," alongside short-term "humanitarian aid." Moreover, it promotes "peace initiatives" to resolve and prevent conflicts, which are the root causes of displacement.
In Africa, the situations have been more dire. We reiterate to make efforts to change the situation. In Zambia, Japan is implementing a project to promote livelihood improvement and local integration of former refugees. We also plan to expand similar assistance to Kenya and Ethiopia.
Lastly, among the displaced, women and children are particularly vulnerable. It is crucial that we advocate for their protection and promote initiatives for sustainable peace. This can be achieved through the participation of women as leaders in conflict prevention and humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, aligned with the concept of Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
Mr. President,
I do not think that the High Commissioner used too strong words. Sadly, the High Commissioner’s report does reflect the severe reality on the ground.

Japan remains deeply committed to alleviating the plight of refugees and displaced persons. We must all envision and work towards realizing a future where every refugee and displaced person can share their dreams and have the opportunity to work towards making them a reality.
I thank you.