Statement by H.E. Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa

Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

At the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council

On the “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region”

21 March 2016

Security Council Chamber



Your Excellency, Mr. Minister for External Relations of Angola, welcome to the Security Council,


          I would like to begin by expressing my sincere appreciation for Angola’s leadership as Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), to consolidate peace and security in the region.

          I also thank Secretary-General and the guest speakers for their briefings.


Mr. President,


          Today I wish to focus on one crucial issue: the importance of preventing lapses and relapses into conflict. According to the World Development Report 2011, 57 percent of all countries that experienced civil war between 1945 and 2009 returned to conflict. Unfortunately, this is the case in the Great Lakes region. People in the region have been suffering from instability for too long.


          In this regard, let me share with the Council the outcomes of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)’s Working Group on Lessons Learned. As Chair of the Group until last year, I led discussions on challenges faced by post-conflict countries during and after UN mission drawdown. From this exercise, we drew two lessons: First, there is a need for sustained attention by the international community to mitigate political and financial gaps resulting from UN missions’ drawdown; Second, there is a need for countries in transition to build national institutional capacities to achieve lasting peace.


          Now the question is how to translate these lessons learned into practice in post-conflict settings to prevent relapses. Indeed, the United Nations has various tools.


          For funding, in addition to the Funds and Programmes of the United Nations, we have the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security at our disposal. Let us make good use of them. These Funds carry out great work. Take some examples. The PBF recently supported, in Burundi, a group of 512 female community mediators to address the more than 5,000 local disputes. These female mediators are helping to reduce tension within communities and between communities and security forces. The UN Trust Fund for Human Security supported the empowerment of conflict-affected communities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This project supported restoring livelihoods and agriculture, benefitting returnees/IDPs and members of the host communities. It also provided access to improved social services and local infrastructure. Both Funds contribute to empowering people in fragile situations and to enhancing social resilience against relapse into conflict.  


Mr. President,  


          Countries in transition can also make use of the UN and bilateral donors’ partnerships to consolidate peace.


          Let me elaborate on Japan’s actions taken in partnership with the UN, focusing on one country, the DRC. The first example is a programme on institution-building. For 12 years, Japan has provided training for more than 20,000 of the total 100,000 DRC police officers in collaboration with police forces of MONUSCO. This means one out of every five DRC police officer has been trained by Japan. We have also undertaken training of trainers to strengthen the DRC’s own training capacities. Given that most DRC officers unfortunately start working without any training, we believe the programme has greatly contributed to enhancing the capacity of the DRC police force.


          The second example is a project for the reintegration of children formerly associated with armed groups, into an education system in the eastern DRC. Children are mixed discreetly with other children in schools so that they would not get prejudice. This project provides support not only to the children but also the entire community so children can attend school. For example, parents are given support to sustain their own livelihoods. It is important that children are not relied upon as labor force. Also, a professional training centre is built for youth employment. This is an on-going project carried out in collaboration with the Government of the DRC, UNWomen, WFP, UNDP and UNICEF. We look forward to its successful outcome.



Mr. President,


          In closing, Japan wishes to hold an open debate on the theme of “Peacebuilding in Africa” during our Council Presidency in the month of July. We would like to fully utilize today’s very timely discussions in preparation for our open debate in July.


I thank you very much.



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