Statement by Mr. Yohei KONO, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the appointment of Mr. Kenzo OSHIMA, as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General in charge of Humanitarian Affairs

December 7, 2000

  1. Japan welcomes the appointment of Mr. Kenzo OSHIMA, as United Nations Under-Secretary-General in charge of Humanitarian Affairs (The Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).

  2. The Under-Secretary-General in charge of Humanitarian Affairs is entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating the emergency humanitarian assistance efforts of various UN bodies, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as efforts by governments and NGOs. The Under-Secretary-General is also responsible for formulating the emergency humanitarian assistance policies of the United Nations as a whole and issuing integrated appeals of the United Nations. As a member of the Senior Management Group of the United Nations, the Under-Secretary-General in charge of Humanitarian Affairs is also involved in the administration of the United Nations as a whole.

  3. Mr. OSHIMA is currently serving as the Executive Secretary of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters within the Office of the Japanese Prime Minister. As such, he bears the ultimate working-level responsibility in Japan for issues relating to the United Nations peacekeeping operations and emergency humanitarian assistance efforts. Mr. OSHIMA has a broad range of experience in the fields of development and humanitarian assistance, having served as the Director-General of the Economic Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Managing Director of the Department of General Affairs of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), among others. Moreover, Mr. OSHIMA is an experienced diplomat who, for example, served in the Japanese Permanent Mission to the United Nations, as Minister at the Japanese Embassy in the United States, and as Deputy Director-General of the Ministry's Asian Affairs Bureau.

  4. Mr. OSHIMA will assume his post as Under-Secretary-General in charge of Humanitarian Affairs in January 2001. Japan believes that Mr. OSHIMA will make a significant contribution to the humanitarian assistance activities of the United Nations.

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