Japan's Contribution to UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)

Statement by His Excellency, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan At the 2nd Leader’s Summit on Peacekeeping at the 2nd Leader’s Summit on Peacekeeping

September 29, 2015

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great honour to co-host the 2nd Leader’s Summit on Peacekeeping again this year. I would like to express my deepest respect to United States President Barack Obama for his initiative.

Since last year’s Summit, lively discussions have taken place on current and future United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). The High-Level Independent Panel’s report on U.N. Peace Operations and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s subsequent report, both call for change in order for U.N. Peacekeeping Operations to become more effective and truly deliver results. In turn, further deliberations and concrete contributions are expected from the U.N. and its Member States.

This past year, in addition to realizing the commitments I expressed here last year, I dedicated myself to preparing a framework for further contributing to the peace and stability of the international community, based on a “Proactive Contribution to Peace.”

First, Japan enacted a series of Peace and Security legislations. Our International Peace Cooperation Act was revised to allow Japanese Peace Cooperation personnel to adapt to diversifying U.N. PKOs, thus broadening the range of activities in which Japan could participate. Under this new legal framework, Japan can and will further expand its contributions to U.N. PKOs.

We will also steadily make even more quality contributions to PKOs in the field, through engineering activities employing Japan’s Self-Defense Force’s advanced technical skills and by dispatching personnel to mission headquarters and U.N. headquarters. In addition, Japan will zealously explore other possible contributions such as airlift support for mission rapid deployment.

Second, Japan is expanding cooperation with diverse partners. Last year, we announced support for the U.N. Project for African Rapid Deployment of Engineering Capabilities (ARDEC), a pioneering project of the triangular partnership model. To fund it, Japan has contributed approximately $40 million to the United Nations Secretariat. Engineering unit personnel from East African Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces are now laboring together in Nairobi, Kenya, conducting a trial training on the operation and maintenance of heavy engineering equipment. We intend to develop this into a full-scale training that is slated to commence next year. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Kenya for hosting this trial training.

Japan looks forward to working with many more Member States to expand the triangular partnership model to other areas besides engineering. Japan supports the U.S.-African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership and seeks to develop coordination even further. Japan will also proactively support those peacekeeping endeavors of new and emerging TCCs from Asia.

If Japan is elected a non-permanent member of the Security Council next month, we aim to strengthen the dialogue between the Security Council and TCCs.

Third, Japan will further support various training programs to enhance the capacity of Peacekeepers. In October, Japan is co-hosting with the U.N., for the first time in Tokyo, a U.N. Training of Trainers Course. Moreover, Japan plans to further foster civilian professionals capable of working in PKOs through upgraded human resource development programs in the peacebuilding field. Japan will also endeavor to increase the number of its female peacekeepers.

Any exploitation of women and children by U.N. Peacekeepers, sworn to keeping the peace, is absolutely unacceptable. Japan reiterates the importance of a remedial action program for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, and is resolved to provide support through concrete contributions.

Finally, the call for change is essential for U.N. Peacekeeping Operations to adapt to the changing landscape and deliver results. It is also a challenge that Member States contributing to U.N. Peacekeeping Operations should address squarely. With this in mind, I promise here that Japan is determined to spare no efforts towards achieving this necessary change.

Thank you for your kind attention.