(As delivered)Mr. President,
I thank you for convening this important open debate. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, and the President of ECOWAS Commission for their insightful briefings.
The global security landscape has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. Terrorism, transnational organized crime, natural disasters, public health emergencies and cybercrime demonstrate how threats to international security have become highly complex. To tackle today’s challenges, multi-layered cooperation has become ever more indispensable.
Twenty-five years ago, the difficulties that Africa faced in the new international political climate were profound. Japan saw that Africa wanted to change its own narrative and we wished to be a part of that endeavor. By looking at how Southeast Asian countries had grown steadily through ASEAN, Japan recognized the value of regional and sub-regional organizations. We wanted to work together with multilateral partners with expertise and relevant knowledge of local dynamics to join together to promote Africa’s peace and stability and development in an open and inclusive process. This is how TICAD (Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development) began in 1993, trusting in the power of multi-layered cooperation with states, regional and sub-regional organizations, and the United Nations. TICAD 7 will be held in Yokohama in August 2019.
As we approach the end of 2018, both the UN and the AU have made progress in their institutional reform. We especially commend the AU for its effort in revitalizing the AU Peace Fund in recent years. In 1993, Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) said at the occasion of the OAU’s 30th anniversary, “Africa must cultivate the virtues of self-reliance, for there is no alternative.” Japan respects this spirit of ownership. It is no coincidence that the AU Peace Fund and TICAD were born in the same year of 1993.
As means of both conflict resolution and prevention, UN PKOs and AU Peace Support Operations are complementary in responding to today’s evolving peace and security challenges. With this perspective in mind, Japan is encouraged that the Security Council is considering practical steps to establish a mechanism through which AU-led peace support operations could be partly financed through UN assessed contributions as expressed in resolution 2378 (2017). To maximize the effect of this mechanism, Japan believes the Council discussions should seek operational improvements and accountability for both UN PKOs and AU Peace Support Operations, including through streamlining their mandates to allow each to focus on the tasks it is best equipped to perform. Given the increased responsibilities and heightened security threats that many missions face, it is in our best interest to ensure peace operations are optimized for operational efficiency.
Of course, the best and most efficient way to resolve conflicts is to prevent conflicts, and Japan hopes to see conflict prevention become paramount in the work of the UN as well as regional and sub-regional organizations. Here, sub-regional organizations in particular such as ECOWAS have proven highly effective in prevention. By utilizing the capacities that different organizations bring to the table, we can maximize our effectiveness of our endeavors in both peace operations and development.
I thank you Mr. President.