Opening Remarks by H.E. Mutsuyoshi Nishimura
Ambassador in charge of Afghan Coordination,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan
At the Tokyo Conference on Consolidation of Peace (DDR)

In Afghanistan
February 22, 2003

Let me start by welcoming you all to the Tokyo Conference on Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan.

There are numerous international conferences held on Afghanistan. This is a welcome trend for all of us because it manifests a deep interest and commitment by the international community toward Afghanistan.

The Tokyo conference is among these, but it stands with distinction in that it addresses one of the most pressing issues for the people of Afghanistan, the security.

Security is vital for peace and reconstruction. Security is essential for the constitutional process to move forward. Security is vital for all human activities. And security is one of the greatest and deepest aspirations of all Afghans that suffered for so much and for so long.

A bold process is already begun.
Mr. President, the entire international community is united in applauding your outstanding courage and leadership in moving forward key concrete actions to set the foundations of this crucial process.

Formation of the Afghan National Army is already begun. Reconstruction of the national police is currently under way. Concentrated efforts to eradicate poppy farming are gaining ground. Judicial reform is being energised like never before.

The DDR is also acting on the crucial decree of the President Karzai issued last month. DDR must also be energised and energised quickly for its own merit and to support these initiatives. It is vital ingredient for the entire security reform process.

Success of the security reform depends upon and is equal to the success of DDR. National reconciliation and national unity will ultimately depend upon the success of DDR.

This is what drives our determination as the leading nation. This is what underlies the importance of this conference.

I sincerely look forward to a frank debate on all issues of importance and coming up with more concrete ideas as to how we are going to proceed from here.

In so doing, may I sincerely call upon all participating countries and agencies to join hands and embrace the Afghan people in their historic endeavour to rebuild a nation on the foundation of genuine reconciliation and peace.

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