H.E. MR. YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Public Meeting of the Security Council on West Africa
(Sierra Leone/Mano River Union)
18 July 2002
Madame President, Honorable Ministers of Sierra Leone and Guinea,
Thank you for convening this public meeting of the Security Council. I would like to touch upon three points with respect to post-conflict situations which are especially salient to Sierra Leone and to the Mano River Union.
Firstly, in order to ensure the stability of West Africa, every effort should be made to encourage confidence-building among the countries concerned. My delegation notes and welcomes the efforts which ECOWAS, Morocco and other countries are making toward that end.
Secondly, the smooth transition from a post-conflict situation to development is also essential for regional stability, and will require support of the international community. Japan thus decided to extend through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security assistance in the amount of approximately US $3,000,000 to the project for the reintegration of ex-combatants in Sierra Leone which will be implemented by UNAMSIL and UNDP. This assistance will be used for capacity-building activities and the creation of employment opportunities in that country.
And thirdly, I would like to emphasize the importance of a system of justice in post-conflict situations, and thus express my Governmentfs strong support for the activities of the Special Court in Sierra Leone. To this end, Japan has contributed half a million US dollars. We welcome the recent progress toward the establishment of that Court.
I would like on this occasion to refer to Japan’s new strategy regarding Africa which was recently announced by Prime Minister Koizumi. Under this strategy, entitled "Solidarity between Japan and Africa—Concrete Actions", Japan will extend more than two billion US dollars over the next five years in assistance for education to low-income countries. In addition, Japan, in cooperation with the UNDP, is promoting the development and dissemination of NERICA rice, namely new rice for Africa which is the product of hybridization between African and Asian rice strains. This "miracle rice" is expected to help solve the problem of food shortages, especially in West Africa. These efforts are based on the concept of "human-centered development", which Japan emphasizes in extending assistance. And finally, under this strategy Japan will provide support to reinforce the conflict-prevention and peace-building efforts of the African countries themselves.
We are confident that our efforts under this new strategy will make a genuine contribution to the stability and development of the region.
Thank you, Madame President.