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Statement by Ambassador Takahiro Shinyo
Charges d'affaires ad interim and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Security Council Open Debate
On the Role of the Regional and Sub-regional Organization
in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security
6 November 2007
Allow me first to join other speakers in thanking you for your initiative to convene this meeting with the representatives from many regional and sub-regional organizations. Through the strengthening of the capacities of regional and sub-regional organizations and the experience accumulated between the United Nations and those organizations beginning from the late 1990s, the UN relationship with regional and sub-regional organizations has produced significant developments on the ground. It is my hope that the discussion today will build on past open debates in the Security Council and lead to concrete steps toward the further enhancement of such cooperation.
I would like to begin with the issue on conflict prevention. Conflict prevention requires continuous efforts, and thus it is often difficult to discern clear signs of success. In such circumstances, the role of regional and sub-regional organizations is crucial in complementing the work of the Council and supporting the good offices of the Secretary-General. These organizations closely monitor a situation on an ongoing basis and practice active preventive diplomacy, based on a strong interest in and deep knowledge of the particular region. A well-known example of such cooperation is the OSCE field missions and groups such as the OSCE Minsk Group. Japan is counting on regional organizations and initiatives to increase their role in mediation and preventive diplomacy in Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well. It is essential in this field to institutionalize the cooperation between regional organizations and the UN Secretariat through frequent communications, information sharing, including in those areas where there is no UN presence, and the establishment of a closer working relationship among the field offices. In this context, we welcome the fact that some organizations recently have developed MOUs and declarations with the UN, and hope that such arrangements will also help to eliminate administrative obstacles to further cooperation.
The contribution of regional organizations such as the African Union, the European Union and NATO in the field of peacekeeping has been outstanding. There can be no doubt about the importance of the role of regional organizations in this area. Once a threat to the peace and security of the region has emerged, the ability of regional organizations to deploy capable troops swiftly and at the right timing, at the request of the Security Council and through consultation with the UN, is a great asset for the Council as well as for the international community at large, in order to respond effectively to a crisis. We welcome the variety brought to the modality of engagement by regional organizations, such as deployment of police forces and military or police advisors to support security sector reform.
I would like to mention one related issue. With regard to the currently pressing issue of the deployment of UNAMID, the Japanese delegation strongly hopes for the acceleration of the preparations and believes that further cooperation among the various actors including the Government of Sudan is important to this end.
The United Nations and the international community must make active use of these efforts by regional and sub-regional organizations and support them to the maximum extent. The true exercise of ownership consists in regional organizations' having the ability to sustain their own activities. The international community must render assistance by promoting the decision-making and operational capacity building of those organizations. In this context, the AU Secretariat's efforts to enhance its capacity with the support of the UN Secretariat are welcomed. Japan believes that sharing of knowledge and experiences among organizations is useful and should therefore be promoted among regional organizations. We encourage, in this regard, advancing the institutionalization of cooperation not only with the UN but also among regional and sub-regional organizations themselves.
As regards support for the peacekeeping operations conducted by regional organizations, in principle, every organization should be responsible for its own costs. When the United Nations examines the possibility of offering financial support, the Council should consider the advisability and modality of support on a case-by-case basis, taking into account whether such support would be consistent with the principles that govern UN peacekeeping operations, while making an effort to obtain the views of major States that are not members of the Council -- in particular, major financial contributors -- so as to ensure transparency. In addition, once a peacekeeping operation has been deployed, the same rules and standards for its management as those in place at the UN should be strictly applied.
Peacebuilding is another area in which Japan believes regional and sub-regional organizations can make a contribution. Peacebuilding requires a holistic and integrated approach and the participation of all the stakeholders in the process. The Peacebuilding Commission was established precisely to ensure such an approach. It should be noted that the Commission is a unique and open organization, insofar as it includes as members in its country-specific meetings regional and sub-regional organizations as well as Member States selected from among various groups. As the Chair for the second year of the Commission's work, Japan encourages regional organizations to contribute to a more effective response on the part of the international community by providing their knowledge and assessment to the Commission, where appropriate. In this context, I am pleased at the decision of the Commission to invite the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to the Country-Specific Meeting on Burundi, and welcome its active participation in the work of the Commission. We also welcome the language related to the PBC, which is incorporated in today's Presidential Statement.
Allow me also to touch briefly on the issue of counter-terrorism. This is an area where regional and sub-regional organizations can also play an important role, by implementing the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. In Asia, the framework of regional cooperation with ASEAN at its center is enhancing its efforts in this field, and Japan has been actively supporting those efforts.
The Government of Japan has always paid close attention to the root causes of conflicts and taken an approach that respects regional ownership, as well as making financial contributions through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, the United Nations Democracy Fund and the Peacebuilding Fund. We have been promoting peace consolidation in Africa through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process, which included the TICAD Conference on Consolidation of Peace at Addis Ababa in February 2006. We will hold the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May next year, followed by the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July. Japan intends to continuously present the challenges in Africa as a priority area and to further enhance its cooperation with Africa. In addition to those initiatives, we intend to continue to extend bilateral and multilateral assistance in such areas as the collection of small arms; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and the response to landmines, as well as to provide support to the African Union and sub-regional organizations in Africa for capacity building. We will also continue our consideration on the possibility of offering further assistance to strengthen the peacekeeping capacity of Africa. Through these endeavors, Japan will remain actively engaged in the issue of conflict prevention and resolution.
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