(As delivered)Mr. President,
Facing the past and seeking a better future: this spirit is at the center of transitional justice. Successful transitional justice initiatives contribute to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and, in the long term, to achieving SDG16 by strengthening institutions and establishing the rule of law, which are crucial in making lasting peace possible. It is important point to make sure that transitional justice initiatives do not harm peace, but rather help to sustain it.
I believe that trust is what makes a peaceful society: trust between people, and trust by the people in their government. A society that has endured conflict often lacks the foundations for trust, or has seen that foundation destroyed during the course of conflict. In these moments, people are full of fear, uncertainty and grievance, and deprived of access to justice. This is exactly why the human security approach is so important in the implementation of transitional justice initiatives. What we should aim for is not to solely punish perpetrators through a top-down approach, but to support the transformation of a society to a state where people can live an empowered life free from fear. The building of strong, effective and trustworthy institutions is an integral part of peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and should remain a crucial part of transitional justice as well.
Here, I would like to emphasize that legitimacy, inclusivity and local ownership are key to the successful implementation of transitional justice, particularly with regards to institutional reforms. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach; rather, local context, history and culture in each case need to be taken into account. Transitional justice processes and mechanisms must be considered legitimate and inclusive and based on local ownership if they are to gain the trust of the population. International support must aim at helping those countries in the processes of transitional justice in their endeavoring to stand on their own feet.
Japan is committed to supporting the development and improvement of judicial and security systems and institutions. We have been continuously supporting conflict-affected countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Afghanistan and Iraq by providing capacity-building and supporting judicial and security sector reform.
Japan is also actively involved in the United Nations’ efforts for peacebuilding and sustaining peace and is a proud advocate of the importance of institution building, including in the context of transitional justice. Last month, Japan was appointed as one of two vice chairs at the Peacebuilding Commission for 2020. Japan looks forward to working closely with Canada as Chair and Colombia as Co-Vice Chair. Taking this opportunity, we would like to further strengthen cooperation between the PBC and the Security Council.
I thank you Mr. President.