(As delivered)

STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. KOICHI HARAGUCHI
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE PUBLIC MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE SITUATION IN TIMOR-LESTE

10 MAY 2004

Mr. President,

Let me begin by expressing our deepest condolences to the Government of the Russian Federation for the lives that were lost, including that of President Kadyrov, in the bombing incident that took place in the Republic of Chechnya on 9 May. Such terrorist acts should never be tolerated on any grounds. I would like to thank Ambassador Kamalesh Sharma, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his comprehensive briefing.

Mr. President,

Timor-Leste will soon commemorate the second anniversary of its independence. When we look back over the last several years, the Government of Japan is deeply gratified to see the Government of Timor-Leste and its people working as a united whole to build, brick by brick, the foundations of a new, independent state out of the turmoil that preceded its formation, with the support of the international community, especially the United Nations and the parties concerned, including Indonesia. The role of United Nations, in particular, has been significant. Japan reiterates its sincere appreciation for the contributions made by UNTAET and UNMISET under the leadership of the late Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello and Ambassador Kamalesh Sharma.

Mr. President,

As a nation belonging to the Asia-Pacific region, Japan attaches special importance to the stability and development of Timor-Leste and has been devoting its efforts to helping to achieve those objectives. We are therefore delighted that Timor-Leste has attained its current level of progress, after traveling such a long way on the path toward independent statehood. At the same time, my government is of the view that the international community must continue to extend its support, so that continued progress for peace and development in Timor-Leste is assured. More concretely, we believe it is crucially important to make certain that the valuable incipient achievements in the areas of peace, the rule of law, respect for human rights and development take root and endure, and we believe there is still an important role for the United Nations to play in helping to reach this objective.

From that point of view, the Government of Japan welcomes the Secretary-General's proposal to extend the mandate of UNMISET for "a one-year consolidation phase", while clarifying which tasks are truly necessary. At the last Security Council meeting on this issue, Member States expressed various opinions in response to the Secretary-General's proposal, and the stakeholders in this enterprise, including Japan, have been in close contact with the Secretariat in an effort to build a consensus. My government is convinced that this proposal is one which the international community can endorse unanimously.

Mr. President,

What has been achieved by the international community in Timor-Leste since the United Nations undertook the transitional administration there may be regarded as a striking success story. However, in order for the story to be followed through to its conclusion, UNMISET must complete its activities and achieve its goals within this final one-year period. It is therefore necessary to conclude during this period the transition from the phase of peacekeeping operations for resolution of the conflict to the next phase of development activities conducted through bilateral channels or relevant international institutions. Timor-Leste in turn must recognize that this will be the final one-year period of active assistance on the part of the UN PKO, and must redouble its efforts to ensure that it will be able to stand on its own. In that connection, the review of the size of UNMISET, which is scheduled to be conducted at the end of this year on the basis of the progress achieved at that point toward the fulfillment of the mandate, should be duly carried out.

Mr. President,

In support of the building of a sustainable Timor-Leste, Japan has pledged and has been steadily implementing assistance of up to $60 million over the first three years following independence, with the focus on peace-building and on reconstruction in the three key areas of agriculture, infrastructure and human resources development. We are pleased to learn that the roads and bridges which the Engineering Group of our Self-Defense Forces has constructed and repaired for the activities of UNMISET is benefiting the people of Timor-Leste as well. We also plan to hand over the equipment of the Engineering Group, including various types of vehicles, to the Government of Timor-Leste, in the hopes that it will meet their requirements. My government is also making efforts at transferring technology by educating Timor-Leste government staff in the operation, maintenance and management of the donated equipment and materiel. We believe such support is in line with the needs of Timor-Leste as described in the report of the Secretary-General.

Mr. President,

Japan has thus been devoting its energies, through the activities of the Self-Defense Forces Engineering Group and through ODA, to the development of Timor-Leste. There remain, however, many areas in which further international assistance for nation building is needed. For that reason, my government believes that it is essential for the international community to continue its assistance to Timor-Leste in those areas where support is still required through well-coordinated activities of the United Nations and bilateral contributions.

Mr. President,

Finally, I wish to underscore once again how important this final one-year period will be for Timor-Leste. The Government of Japan is convinced that, with the efforts of UNMISET and the people of Timor-Leste, guided by their wise leaders, stability and the foundations for development in Timor-Leste will be strengthened, and the UN peacekeeping operation will successfully complete its mission.

Thank you, Mr. President

Related Information (Japan-Timor-Leste Relations)
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