Statement by H.E. Ms. Makiko Kikuta
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security
26 October 2010


Mr. President,
Distinguished participants,

I am very pleased that today's open debate has been organized under the leadership of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda, Mr. Eriya Kategaya, with high-level participants from Member States. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the USG for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Alain Le Roy, the President of ECOSOC, Mr. Hamidon Ali and Ms. Thelma Awori on behalf of the Civil Society Advisory Group for their insightful presentations.

First of all, on this tenth anniversary of the adoption of the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), I would like once again to affirm, together with all present here, the essence of the resolution, namely, that lasting peace can never be achieved without the participation of women. In the last ten years, Member States, the United Nations system and civil society have engaged jointly in an effort to realize peace by enhancing the protection and participation of women. However, when we remind ourselves that innocent women and children remain the principal victims of every conflict, we know that there are many challenges yet to be overcome. And in order to overcome them, the international community needs to address in a comprehensive manner the issues of prevention, participation, protection and recovery.

One key to the implementation of resolution 1325 is monitoring. Japan therefore attaches great importance to using the set of indicators that has been developed to aid us in identifying comprehensively how much needs to be done to make the objectives of the resolution a reality. I believe these indicators must be applied globally, with a view to both preventing conflicts and providing an early warning when a conflict is about to erupt. Japan therefore supports an endorsement of the set of indicators by the Security Council and encourages its early use by the UN entities and Member States.

It also welcomes the commitments contained in the Action Plan for Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding, presented by the Secretary-General,and hopes they will be translated into action on the ground with all due speed.

In the implementation of peacebuilding strategies, the ways in which the international community, including the United Nations, provides support, are of considerable consequence, as the ownership of the countries concerned need to be respected. In particular, since we have a different support structure in each country, we need to formulate a country-specific strategy with a gender perspective by enhancing the integration of peacekeeping operations, political missions, the work of UN Country Teams and other efforts. The Government of Japan hopes that UN Women, directed by Ms. Bachelet, when it becomes operational in January next year, will provide leadership in the implementation of resolution 1325. For its part, Japan is a candidate to join the first Executive Board of UN Women, and it is determined to provide all possible support for the activities of this new entity.

Mr. President,

In April this year, Japan hosted the Security Council Ministerial Open Debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, with then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Okada serving as President. The Presidential Statement adopted there pointed out the need for "an integrated approach, which strengthens coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities." We believe that the same approach would prove effective in the implementation of resolution 1325.

When conflicts break out, civilians are always at risk of violence, and the protection of women and girls is therefore an important responsibility the international community must shoulder. To that end, peacekeeping operations need to strengthen cooperation with humanitarian organizations, so that the voices of the people in the area where a conflict is raging may be heard and their problems properly addressed. We also must strengthen governance in such countries, including the rule of law and protection of human rights, promote security sector reform, including in the military and police sector, and ensure that a gender perspective is incorporated into all of these activities in order to protect women and girls.

And another point to be borne in mind is that efforts for peace and security must be accompanied by social and economic development. In particular, for achieving stability in post-conflict societies, not only must there be reconstruction at the country level, it is also essential to rebuild communities and empower people affected by conflicts, employing a bottom-up approach. Women must participate fully and effectively in the reconstruction of society, development, and formulation of post-conflict strategies. And cooperation with civil society is vital. These elements constitute the human security approach, to which Japan attaches great importance.

Mr. President,

In its "Initiative on Gender and Development (GAD)," which it announced in 2005, Japan stipulated that in the implementation of ODA in countries under conflict and immediately afterwards, the needs of women and the vulnerable would have to be properly considered, from the perspective of gender, in all phases of the continuum from emergency humanitarian assistance to post-conflict peacebuilding. Through this initiative, Japan has been contributing to the implementation of resolution 1325.

In Afghanistan, where many women still face poverty and violence, Japan has been providing a range of support for women, including efforts to promote their economic empowerment and reduce poverty. Now, at this critical moment for the country, Japan is committed to enhancing its assistance for the empowerment of women, with a view to helping Afghan women transform themselves from the victims of conflict to agents of peace.

By applying a gender perspective in the fields of peacekeeping and peacebuilding, the Government of Japan has been attempting to create an environment in which more women can play active roles.

To cite a few examples of its efforts in this area, Japan has sent female Self Defense Force personnel to train peacekeepers in Africa, and it is also accepting at its National Defense Academy women from Timor-Leste who are expected to join that country's national forces. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of its assistance to democratize the police sector, it is providing training to a number of women police officers, with a view to protecting and promoting the human rights of women and children. Through its Program for Human Resource Development in Asia for Peacebuilding, which targets both Japanese and Asian participants, Japan also has trained 55 women as professional civilian peace-builders over the last three years, and many are now working in the field.

Mr. President,

In preparation for this tenth anniversary of the adoption of the resolution, the partnership among all stakeholders was strengthened through the establishment of the High-Level Steering Committee and the Civil Society Advisory Group. Today, however, we need to reaffirm our commitment to implementing that resolution, and to maintaining the momentum generated at this meeting over the next ten years. For its part, Japan also would like to reaffirm its commitment to implementing resolution 1325, both on its own and working with the rest of the international community.

Thank you.

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