H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Open Meeting of the Security Council on Bougainville
15 December, 2003
At the outset, I would like to say that the Japanese Government welcomes the continued and steady progress in the peace process in Bougainville since the previous open meeting on this matter held in August of this year. We are pleased that the implementation of the 2001 peace agreement is in its final stage. Stage III, in which the final disposition of the collected weapons is to be decided, is in progress. It is the wish of the international community that, once security has been restored through completion of the weapons disposal plan, the first elections for an autonomous government in Bougainville, as provided in the peace agreement, be held promptly, so that the people of Bougainville will be able to live in peace and start the restoration and development process through their own volition.
My Government appreciates the steady execution by the UN Political Office of Bougainville (UNPOB) of its mandate, including the collection of weapons, since its establishment in 1998. Now that the peace process is in its final stage, it is crucial that the peace that has been attained in Bougainville, after the end of the long-term conflict that lasted a decade, be definitively and irreversibly consolidated. In order for UNPOB to complete the work that is yet to be done, we support the extension of its mandate, to the extent necessary.
At the same time, however, I must add that Japan, as a member state which is obliged to share as much as 19.6 % of the UN budget, is gravely concerned about the continuing expansion of the UN budget. And therefore we request that, after its mandate is extended, UNPOB provide at an appropriate time evaluation reports, so that countries concerned, including Japan, will be able to verify the effectiveness of its activities. In addition, we believe that closer coordination and cooperation with UNDP and other relevant organs of the UN system that are conducting activities in the field would be conducive to an early completion of UNPOBfs mandate. In this context, my Delegation would like to welcome some suggestions made earlier on the downsizing of UNPOB structure and sharing of office space within UNPOB and UNDP.
Support for the consolidation of peace in the aftermath of conflicts is one of the pillars of Japan's foreign policy. In this context, I would like to mention that, at the Third Japan-Pacific Islands Forum Summit Meeting (PALM2003), hosted by my government in May of this year, Prime Minister Koizumi, Prime Minister Somare of Papua New Guinea and other PIF leaders identified "Enhanced Security in the Pacific Region" as one of the priority policy objectives that must be addressed jointly by Japan and the PIF members. As one concrete effort in pursuit of such objectives, My Government began this October to provide assistance for improvement in such areas as education, public health and transportation infrastructure, with a view to ensuring stability in the daily lives of the people of Bougainville and strengthening their economy.
It is the intention of my Government to continue to pay close attention to developments in the peace process in Bougainville.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.