(As delivered)


20 JUNE 2006

Madame President,

While the future status talks on Kosovo draw much attention of the international community, the issue of the standards implementation also needs to be closely monitored by the Security Council. We thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Jessen-Petersen, for his comprehensive briefing. Japan appreciates the initiatives undertaken by Mr. Jessen-Petersen as well as by Prime Minister Ceku of the Provisional Institutions to promote standards implementation. We welcome the presence of the delegation of the PISG, led by Prime Minister Ceku, in this Chamber today. I also thank Dr. Raskovic-Ivic, the representative of the Republic of Serbia, for her detailed statement.

Madame President,

Japan sent an expert-level mission to Kosovo in March, followed by a dispatch in May of Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yamanaka to the region in order to be apprised of the political, social, and humanitarian situation on the ground, including the progress being made in the Standards Implementation Plan, and to renew the importance we attach to standards implementation with the authorities of the PISG. We are encouraged by some good progress being made in this regard, as the Secretary-General has noted in his latest report. We appreciate in particular the important initiatives taken by President Sejdiu and Prime Minister Ceku to visit and talk with municipalities and minority communities, as concrete attempts at confidence-building among communities. The Standards Implementation Plan itself has already been elaborated, with detailed assessments on the needs of minority communities. They need to be acted upon, and we ask the leadership of the PISG to continue these outreach activities to minority communities so that they can grasp the real needs of those minority communities. We also appreciate the initiative of the Contact Group to identify 13 key areas of the standards implementation. This will be not only useful to the PISG in policy planning and implementation, but can also lead to further desirable developments through closer interaction among the PISG, the Contact Group and the international community, as stated in the letter from Prime Minister Ceku to the Secretary-General dated June the 16th.

Madame President,

These signs of progress notwithstanding, we are concerned that there is a lack of progress in promoting participation of Kosovo Serbs in the political process in Kosovo. We wish to reiterate that non-participation and encouragement of non-participation by whomsoever is to be avoided since it will not be conducive to a positive outcome.

Likewise we are concerned that not much has been achieved in the area of freedom of movement and that there has not been any significant number of IDPs and refugees returned to Kosovo. It is our expectation that KFOR and the KPS (Kosovo Police Service) will continue to work to improve the security situation.

With respect to the issue of the future status, the Government of Japan extends its full support for the initiatives taken by the Secretary-General's Special Envoy Mr. Ahatisaari. We look forward to substantive discussion on this issue in the Council when Mr. Ahatisaari visits the United Nations next month.

Madame President,

Last but not least, we commend UNMIK and other international players deployed in Kosovo for their contributions. In particular, as he has indicated his intention to resign soon, the Japanese delegation expresses its high appreciation to Mr. Soren Jessen-Petersen for the outstanding contributions he has made over these years in leading UNMIK, and as a humanitarian. We would like to express our hope that the spirit of unity with the PISG that he has engendered in working towards the standards implementation, will be fully embraced by his successor, and we wish Mr. Jessen-Petersen every future success.

Thank you, Madame President.

Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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