Population and AIDS
Statement by H.E. Mr. Masakazu Hamachi Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan At the High-Level Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on Protecting Civilians in the Context of Peacekeeping Operations
10 June 2016
Japan highly appreciates the French initiative for providing us with the opportunity to discuss this topic frankly at a Security Council Open Debate. My appreciation also goes to the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Peter Maurer, and Mr. Faustin-Archange Touadéra for their insightful briefings. The Protection of Civilians (PoC) is now one of the most important mandates given to UN PKOs.
There is a persistent gap between the mandates given by the Security Council and their implementation in the field. Japan commends the UN's various efforts to address this issue. These efforts include the development of guidelines and training programs which aim to enhance the implementation of mandates on the ground by promoting a common understanding on concrete actions in the field.
PoC should be undertaken by the entire mission, including not only military but also police and civilian personnel. On the one hand, physical protection with the use of force is necessary when the need for protection is most imminent. On the other hand, preventive efforts against attacks on civilians are equally important. In addition, improving access to humanitarian aid and creating safe environments for refugees and IDPs are also important components of PoC. As an example, Japan's Engineering Unit in UNMISS contributes to the implementation of its mandate through engineering activities such as PoC sites preparation as well as road maintenance and repair.
Japan shares the recognition that the capacity-building of personnel is essential for the effective implementation of PoC. To this end, Japan has provided financial support to the UN Training of Trainers Course on PoC, in which Japanese trainers also participated. Furthermore, Japan assists in the development of training materials for Women's Protection Advisers in missions, who play a critical role in protecting women. Finally, Japan also supports the development of an e-learning program on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, targeting all categories of field personnel, including military, police and civilian personnel.
We would like to recall that the primary responsibility for PoC rests with the host country, not to mention that harassment towards civilians by the host country is unacceptable. Against this backdrop, it is crucial to clarify and promote understanding among local communities of what the UN can and cannot do. With a view to realizing the future exit of the UN PKO, it is imperative to foster ownership of the host country and to support its capacity-building. In this regard, institution-building, including Security-Sector-Reform, is essential. An Open Debate will be held next month under the Japanese presidency on the topic of "Peacebuilding in Africa," and it will focus in particular on institution-building. We hope to carry over the results of today's fruitful debate to our Open Debate in July.
The international community is closely watching whether UN PKOs can effectively implement the Protection of Civilians, as well as what the UN Security Council can do in this regard. I would like to conclude my remarks here by promising you that Japan will continue to apply its expertise and capacities to contribute to the Protection of Civilians, both here in the Security Council and on the ground.
I thank you, Mr. President.