STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. TAKAHIRO SHINYO
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE DEBATE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ON THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN
5 November, 2007
Japan appreciates this opportunity today to discuss the situation in Afghanistan at the General Assembly. We thank Germany for preparing the draft resolution before us. Japan fully supports the draft resolution as a sponsor. I believe that the adoption of this resolution will demonstrate the renewed will of Member States to support Afghanistan.
Since the international community agreed on the Afghanistan Compact two years ago, the nation-building of Afghanistan has been making progress, with the institutions of the Afghan Government being organized and strengthened. We welcome these developments and commend the Afghan Government for its tireless efforts in that regard.
At the same time, however, we must acknowledge the worrisome reality of current conditions in the country. As the draft resolution illustrates, the challenges facing Afghanistan are intertwined and yet to be resolved. The international community must coordinate its efforts for effective and efficient assistance. Japan will host a meeting of the Joint Coordination Monitoring Board next year. To date, the JCMB has been the most useful framework to coordinate and prioritize international assistance and reconstruction programs. We look forward to discussing at the next meeting how we can better deliver our assistance to the nation.
I would also stress, taking this opportunity, the pivotal role that the United Nations has played in leading the international efforts. Japan appreciates the work of UNAMA, which has expanded its presence in the provinces under difficult conditions, and pays tribute to its staff for their dedication. Japan also extends its appreciation to Mr. Tom Koenigs, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, for his dedicated efforts, and expresses its wish for further success on the part of his successor, building on the achievements of Mr. Koenigs.
Among the various tasks to be addressed, the most pressing is improvement of the security situation. While we note the strengthening of the Afghan National Army and the efforts to reform the Afghan National Police, the growing frequency of terrorist acts is a matter of great concern for us. We must not allow terrorism to prevail in Afghanistan. We must not let Afghanistan revert to being a safe haven for terrorists. It is essential that the international community continue to present a united front in the fight against terrorism. We also wish to underscore the continuing importance of the tenacious activities of ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, including its maritime interdiction component.
In order to play a responsible role in the joint efforts by the international community, Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force had been refueling vessels of the maritime interdiction component of the OEF coalition based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law. Although Japan had to terminate the refueling activities due to the expiration of the Law on November 2nd, the Government of Japan will continue its effort to achieve the early enactment of the new law, which is now under consideration at the Diet, to provide a legal basis for the resumption of such refueling activities as soon as possible.
As stressed in the draft resolution, the disbandment of illegal armed groups (DIAG) is one of the keys to stabilizing the country. Much needs to be done in this area, building upon the results of the Tokyo Conference held in June, in particular improvement of the coordination between DIAG and police reform and other security sector reform activities.
Other issues such as narcotics and corruption are also impeding the nation-building of Afghanistan. Japan places importance on a comprehensive approach, with capacity-building at its core, in addressing those issues. In addition to the assistance of 1.24 billion dollars already implemented, we will continue to explore possibilities for extending further assistance in response to the requests of the Afghan people.
Japan assumes the Chairmanship of the G8 next year. Notwithstanding the challenges ahead of us, we look forward to working with our partners in the international community for the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
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