Statement by His Excellency Mr. Hisashi Tokunaga
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
At the Meeting of the United Nations Security Council
15 December 2010
His Excellency Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to pay tribute to the Honorable, Joseph Biden, Vice-President of the United States of America, for taking the initiative to convene this timely meeting. Today, Iraq is at a critical juncture, just a step away from establishing a new Government. It is important for us to express our support at the ministerial level for the efforts made by the Government and the people of Iraq to build their nation as well as to achieve international standing equal to that which it held prior to the adoption of resolution 661 (1990). It is also opportune to discuss how the Security Council should involve itself with Iraq. On behalf of the Government of Japan, it gives me great pleasure to share with you our government's views on these issues.
Political stability is most important for the success of nation-building in Iraq. We hope to see the early establishment of a Government through an inclusive process that involves Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. The international community should continue to encourage such efforts.
It is necessary for the new Government in Iraq to continue its efforts to improve the security situation on the ground. The withdrawal of the US combat troops and transfer of security responsibilities to Iraqi Government in August were significant steps. The overall security situation in Iraq has improved since then. Japan welcomes this trend and hopes this trend will continue.
Circumstances surrounding Iraq has changed drastically since 2003, and Japan supports the aspiration of the Government of Iraq to achieve international standing equal to that before the first Gulf War. Iraq has now carried out national elections on its own and is now a fully democratic nation. In order to encourage the Iraqis to continue its course, my Government fully supports the resolutions and the presidential statement we adopt today to close, one by one, the issues left over from the days of the former regime.
At the same time, we hope that the new Government of Iraq will work with the government of Kuwait to find solutions to pending issues between the two countries based on mutual trust.
Japan believes that the international community should continue to support the peacebuilding efforts in Iraq under the ownership of the Iraqi people. In this context, we support the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) which is playing an important role in promoting political dialogue, national reconciliation and humanitarian assistance.
Japan on its part has almost completed the implementation of the 5 billion dollar assistance pledged at the Madrid Conference in 2003 as well as the debt relief of 6.7 billion dollars. Our assistance has focused on rebuilding their livelihood and improving security. Japan intends to continue its assistance for economic and social development in Iraq. The Government of Japan will work closely with the private sector on reconstruction and development projects in Iraq to support the efforts to rebuild its economy.
I would like to reiterate the significance of the Security Council sending a unified message at the ministerial level to encourage Iraq's nation-building efforts and efforts to achieve international standing before the first Gulf War. Strong support from the international community is important for Iraq to continue on its path to stability and development. I would like to conclude by expressing the determination of my Government to remain actively engaged.
Thank you Mr. President.
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