H.E. Mr. Koichi Haraguchi
Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Open Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in Kosovo
18 March 2004
Thank you for convening this open meeting concerning the situation in Kosovo.
Let me say at the outset that Japan strongly condemns the new wave of violence in Kosovo that erupted yesterday and has already resulted in many injuries and deaths. My government calls for an immediate end to the violence and demands that those perpetrated be brought to justice. We also strongly deplore the attacks on KFOR soldiers and UNMIK personnel. It is particularly regrettable that these incidents occurred and so many were killed or injured at the time when concerned parties from the international community, especially Special Representative of the Secretary-General Dr. Harri Holkeri, have been making sincere efforts for constructive peace-building. We also wish to extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
The people of Kosovo have endured massive losses in precious lives and property in the past. Moreover, the international community has invested enormous resources in terms of personnel, diplomacy and financial resources in the hopes of resolving this tragic situation. Japan considers that all parties to the conflict must fully keep these facts in mind. We strongly urge all parties concerned to make a determined effort to resolve the issues, based on UNSC resolution 1244 and the Standards before Status policy, through strengthened dialogue and without further escalating the tense situation.
On the other hand, my government believes that the international community must continue its efforts in the areas of consolidation of peace and of economic development, which is a precondition for peace, in order to ensure that this kind of violence does not break out again. In that connection, we hope that there will be a useful exchange of opinions at the Ministerial Conference on Peace Consolidation and Economic Development of the Western Balkans, which we plan to hold in Tokyo in April. Japan also would like to underscore, as a concrete measure to prevent these incidents, the importance of enhancing security in Kosovo through initiatives such as the Illicit Small Arms Control projects of UNDP, which my government has been supporting.
Japan intends to maintain its commitment to achieving the stability and prosperity of the South Eastern Europe region in cooperation with the international community, with a firm belief that the recognition that the stabilization of the situation in Kosovo is essential for attaining that goal.
Thank you, Mr. President.