Statement by H.E. Mr. Koichiro Gemba,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
at the United Nations Summit Meeting on Somalia

Friday, September 23, 2011


Mr. President,
Distinguished delegates,

Allow me to begin by expressing my respect for the initiative of His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in hosting this Summit Meeting on Somalia, as well as for the efforts through which the United Nations has been engaged in Somalia’s issues thus far.

Even as the Somali people suffer through a civil war spanning 20 years, they have also been struck by the worst drought in 60 years. For the people of Japan, who themselves experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, such natural disasters are certainly not “someone else’s problem.” Moreover, the stability of Somalia is absolutely critical for the fundamental resolution of terrorism and piracy, which threaten the security of international community.

As a result of the tenacious efforts of international community and neighboring countries, an Islamic extremist group recently withdrew from the capital, Mogadishu. The international community should, through cooperation with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), connect this trend to the further stabilization of Somalia. It is important that the international community continue to support the TFG so that the peace process is realized, consistent with the Roadmap of the TFG.

From this point of view, Japan has been implementing in Somalia, necessary assistance for responses to the humanitarian crisis and for stability over the medium- to long-term. Taking the strengthening of public security, humanitarian assistance, and infrastructure development as its main pillars, Japan has implemented assistance of approximately US$184 million since 2007.

Japan highly appreciates the fact that Africa is itself taking the initiative to engage in Somalia’s issues, with the African Union and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) at the core. In particular, the strengthening of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is important in order to foster stability in Somalia. To promote future measures undertaken by Africa towards improvements in security, Japan expects more effective utilization of the AMISOM Trust Fund, to which Japan is also contributing. We also expect discussions to be held at the United Nations Security Council and other fora, giving increased consideration to the views of the countries contributing troops to the AMISOM.

Finally, Japan pledges once more to continue its tireless efforts together with the international community including the United Nations in order to realize peace in Somalia. Thank you very much for listening.

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