アフガニスタン情勢に関する安保理VTC討論における石兼大使ステートメント

2021/3/23
Mr. President,
 
I thank you for convening this VTC debate on Afghanistan. I also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Deborah Lyons, for her briefing and her steadfast efforts to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
 
Just over a year ago, the international community witnessed the historic signing of the US-Taliban agreement, which paved the way for the long-awaited commencement of intra-Afghanistan negotiations in September. Six months after, we are watching the situation with both hope and anxiety. Although the parties remain engaged in the peace process, we continue to see the unbearable human toll among innocent Afghans on an almost daily basis. 
 
We are highly alarmed by the increasing number of targeted killings of civilians, including civil servants, journalists, human rights defenders, and religious leaders. Human security remains seriously threatened in this country. Japan strongly condemns these heinous attacks and urges all concerned parties to enact an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.
 
Japan believes that a sustainable peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace process, where the voices of all segments of society are heard and taken into account.  Political settlement must respond to the strong desire of Afghans, including women, youth and minorities, for a long-lasting peace. Japan continues to support the government of Afghanistan and its partners in their efforts to advance an inclusive peace process.
 
We also believe that a sustainable political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan requires the strong commitment and cooperation of neighboring and regional countries, which must be well-coordinated and harmonized with broader international efforts to support the Afghan stakeholders. In this context, Japan welcomes the appointment of Mr. Jean Arnault as the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional Issues. We strongly hope that Mr. Arnault and Ms. Lyons will work closely together to effectively coordinate international and regional support to the peace process.
 
Japan is a longstanding partner of Afghanistan. At the 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva, Foreign Minister MOTEGI announced that Japan would work to maintain its assistance from 2021 to 2024, at a level comparable to that of the past four years, or 180 million USD a year. As a first step, Japan announced its decision last month to provide 122.2 million USD for addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 and other humanitarian and development needs. This brings the total amount of Japan’s assistance since 2001 to 6.9 billion USD.
 
The late Dr. NAKAMURA Tetsu dedicated more than 35 years of his life until the tragic assassination in Jalalabad in December 2019 to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan. He called his ties with the country the “bonds of fate.” This sentiment has been inherited by many in Japan and will continue to be the foundation of Japan’s solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. We will remain fully committed to supporting Afghanistan’s efforts to achieve a sustainable peace.
 
I thank you.