I would like to express my gratitude to USG DiCarlo, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole, and Ms. Tadesse of Amani Africa for their briefings.   
Let me start by paying tribute to all the personnel of PKOs and peace operations led by the AU and sub-regional arrangements for their courage in fighting for a stable and prosperous Africa. We appreciate regional peace initiatives with a strong sense of ownership to prevent, mediate and settle conflicts on the African continent.  
Sustainable peace requires context-specific peacebuilding. Each conflict has its own distinguishing features and any successful operation must give these careful considerations, whether they are geopolitical, economic, or cultural.  A strong understanding of the unique circumstances of each situation in Africa, and an approach that is crafted accordingly, should be a comparative advantage of the AU and its Peace Support Operations (AUPSOs). To address increasingly complicated challenges in Africa effectively, the UN and the AU must continue to strengthen their partnership to maximize their combined capacities, bearing in mind that African Union mission will eventually support its capacity on its own.
Madam President,
Back in 2016 and 2017, Japan, as member of the Security Council, joined the consensus on Resolutions 2320 and 2378. We have been fully engaged in an extensive discussion on various potential financing and assistance options for AUPSOs, aiming to enhance predictability, sustainability and flexibility.
Sharing the strong concern about this perennial challenge and the changing international context, Japan, in principle, supports the establishment of a mechanism through which AUPSOs authorized by the Security Council under the Council’s authority under Chapter VIII of the Charter could be partly financed through UN assessed contributions, on a case by case basis. Such a mechanism should also be inclusive to reflect voices of relevant stakeholders.
We remain committed to further consultations with all stakeholders on possible assistance to AUPSOs, and in this regard we believe the following points should be highlighted. 
First, we must continue to prioritize conflict prevention and peaceful settlement of disputes through peaceful means with maintaining the primacy of politics. This is primarily the responsibility of States, and any peace support operations should help and complement efforts by national governments. Good governance through institution and capacity building must be promoted in parallel for sustaining and consolidating peace. The PBC, with its unique role in the UN system, gives a valuable platform for such national efforts.
Second, a mutually-leveraging and complementary approach requires a close UN-AU coordination while the central role of the UN should remain unchanged in the maintenance of peace and security. Effective cooperation on joint planning, mandating, and mutual burden-sharing is the key in the full spectrum of peace support activities throughout their lifecycles. Ensuring proper oversight and accountability through appropriate process is the prerequisite for any support by the UN assessed contributions.   
Finally, it is our shared goal that all operations, whether UN-led or AU-led, ensure strict observance of the principle of the UN, including human rights as well as conduct and discipline compliance framework. In this regard, we welcome that the AU made significant progress as articulated in the Secretary-General’s report issued last month. It is important to build appropriate systems to review and track their implementation during and after operations for continuous improvement.    
Madam President,
Africa continues to suffer from human security crises caused by multiple factors. It is essential to further strengthen the close partnership between the UN and regional entities. Japan remains committed to playing its part to support international and regional efforts for peace and security in Africa.