Statement by Ambassador Yukio Takasu
Permanent Representative of Japan
Open Debate of the Security Council on Women and Peace and Security

23 October 2007

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,

I wish to express our gratitude to Ghana and in particular to you for organizing and presiding over this open debate. I would also like to thank the guest speakers for their insightful presentations.

It is now seven years since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), entitled "Women and Peace and Security." If we are to move closer towards realizing the principles the resolution presents, concrete actions have to be taken by all stakeholders including Member States, the United Nations system, regional organizations, and NGOs, especially those women's organizations that are working on the ground. SCR 1325 needs to be implemented in a coherent and effective manner. Japan welcomes the report of the Secretary-General (S/2007/567). The report provides with an overview of what the System-wide Action Plan has achieved to date, what gaps exist in its implementation, and what challenges must be surmounted if the plan is to be completely successful. We are also pleased with the development of a policy framework, implementation strategies, and a results-based management framework, as they will assist in improving accountability, monitoring, and reporting on the Action Plan in 2008-2009.

The initiative by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security is welcome to build a database on good practices and lessons learned in implementing SCR 1325. We hope it will be used primarily to present how the activities of the UN system are contributing to actual and positive changes in women's lives on the ground. We are also pleased that the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj as his Special Representative for Liberia, who will be the first female SRSG among the currently serving SRSGs.

The principles of the SCR 1325 have been increasingly shared and applied in many post conflict situations. However, we have witnessed so many countries emerging from conflict slide back to violence. In this context, the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) was a milestone for achieving the purpose of the SCR 1325. Gender perspectives must be integrated in peacebuilding activities. The consolidation of peace requires the full participation of women in all related processes, from peace negotiation, securing domestic stability, arranging for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, and national reconciliation. Japan is pleased to note that gender equality issues have been identified and integrated into the work of the PBC in both Burundi and Sierra Leone. We have to ensure the active participation of women be fully incorporated in post-conflict strategy. As chair of the Commission, Japan will make every effort for the PBC to take up policy and strategic review of the role of women in peacebuilding as a follow-up to today's open debate at the Security Council.

Mr. President,

It is no use of discussion on conflict or peace without taking into consideration the situation of the vulnerable whom conflict impacts most directly, especially women. In the post conflict situation, women are able to play a critical role by bringing and reflecting their special needs into every stage and process of peace consolidation. This clearly indicates the importance of a people-centered approach which focuses on the empowerment of individuals and communities as well as on the protection from threats to their safety and basic well-being. This is the human security approach that Japan has been promoting globally and locally with special efforts.

In order to put the concept of human security in practice and to promote concrete action, Japan has supported the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security since 1999. The Trust Fund has supported projects to assist women in conflict and post-conflict situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Burundi, Afghanistan, and many other countries. These projects have helped in creating conditions for co-existence and promoting reconciliation among former conflict parties. We hope that the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, together with the Peacebuilding Fund, will be utilized to support concrete projects which will facilitate women's initiatives to restore economic and social stability in post-conflict situations.

In closing, Mr. President, Japan wishes to pledge its continuing support for efforts to realize the goals of SCR 1325 so that women will be ensured the security and safety of their lives and their special needs will be taken care of in the times of armed conflict, peace-keeping and peace building.

Thank you very much.

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