Welcoming Remarks by Mr. Shuji KIRA,
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
On the occasion of the Welcome Reception of the U.S.-Japan Global Peace Operations Initiative Senior Mission Leaders Course

(photo) Parliamentary Vice-Minister Kira

October 19, 2009

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to have you here at this reception, held on the occasion of the U.S.-Japan Global Peace Operations Initiative Senior Mission Leaders Course.

I heard that it was last March when Japan and the U.S. began to discuss co-organizing this training Course, which was firstly proposed by the U.S. We have put forward the preparations since then, with your cooperation, and now we are ready to start the Course with 25 participants from 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and with 15 well-experienced and competent instructors from all over the world. I would like to renew my deepest appreciation for all of you.

After the end of the Cold War, UN peacekeeping operations have been deployed to countries suffering from intense internal conflicts, originated by ethnic or religious conflicts, and to areas where state functions are fragile in the absence of stable peace agreements. Needless to say, it is highly important to ensure that mission personnel have sufficient training prior to their deployment.

Under the principle of the Hatoyama Cabinet, "Yu-ai" in Japanese, meaning "fraternity", Japan, in cooperation with the international community, will actively support the efforts of post-conflict areas and their peoples for stability and reconstruction.

In this regard, I expect that the participants will make the most of this two weeks' intensive Course and courageously take part in difficult missions as senior leaders, thus shouldering the burden of maintaining international peace and stability.

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