Statement by H.E. Mr. Kinichi Komano, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Charge of Human Security,
on the occasion of the Seventh Ministerial Meeting
of the Human Security Network, held in Ottawa 18- 20 May 2005


Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to all member countries of the Human Security Network for allowing me to participate in this very important Ministerial Meeting.

I also would like to thank the Government of Canada and all the people of the conference secretariat who have worked to prepare and organize such an excellent event. Especially, I would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, who extended a kind invitation to the Japanese Government and has made necessary arrangements to accept my delegation as an official observer in today's session.

(The Japanese concept of human security)

Mr. Chairman,

Two years ago, in this Ministerial Meeting, Madame Ogata presented work done by the Commission on Human Security and an outline of the report entitled "Human Security Now - Protecting and Empowering People". Last year, we clearly stated that this report, which advocates the promotion of"protection and empowerment" of people, is in line with the concept of human security Japan has been promoting in the international community. Therefore, today, I will not repeat our basic position again, but I would just like to say that Japan's human security approach emphasizes the two elements of "protection" and "empowerment".

Last year we introduced the Trust Fund for Human Security established in the United Nations by Japan's initiative in March 1999. Allow me to report to you that, as of May 2005, total contributions amount to approximately US$ 256 million. The Fund has supported more than 120 projects of UN agencies, funds and programmes to realize human security on various sites.

In addition, for the better management of the Trust Fund for Human Security, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, OCHA, established the Human Security Unit last autumn and the Guidelines of the Fund were revised last January. I am sure that all these measures have begun to facilitate the application procedure of the Fund projects and to make the direction of the Fund even more clearly focused. If you are interested in the Fund, you may find more information in the brochure in the documents distributed today.

(Human Security and Responsibility to Protect)

Mr. Chairman,

The main point of my remarks today is to present Japan's view on the relationship between "responsibility to protect" and "human security". I emphasize that the Japanese Government appreciates the notion of "responsibility to protect," and also welcomes that "responsibility to protect" was properly addressed by the Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change issued in December 2004 and the Report by the Secretary-General entitled "In Larger Freedom".

The draft of the Human Security Network Ministerial Statement on "Human Security and UN Reform" to be adopted in this meeting clearly states: "The protection of its population is the primary responsibility of each State. Yet, where national authorities are unable or unwilling to ensure such protection, that responsibility falls to the international community to use diplomatic, humanitarian and other methods, in conformity with the UN Charter and international law, to help protect civilian populations." Japan supports this idea. Japan, however, gives priority to preventing the aggravation of the situations created by conflicts or crises. We believe that we should employ all kinds of measures to prevent the aggravation. In this context, the international community has a lot of things to do, such as development assistance, humanitarian assistance, human rights protection or police and PKO activities. We constantly attach great importance to protecting and empowering individuals and local communities in continuous phases from pre-conflict, post conflict humanitarian relief to development.

We do not deny that there could be some extremely catastrophic cases such as genocide, mass killing or ethnic cleansing. If all the non-military efforts do not produce any good outcome, we understand that the responsibility to protect these suffering people should fall upon the international community, which may have recourse to military intervention, or "humanitarian intervention", as a last resort. I believe that this is the core of the notion of "responsibility to protect" and I also appreciate the excellence of the intellectual exercise to define the criteria required for military enforcement measures in humanitarian crises.

We consider that those extreme cases which require humanitarian intervention could correspond to the "threat to peace" and "breach of peace", described in Article 39 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter. When non-military action has failed, military enforcement may be taken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Therefore, in such extreme cases, it is no longer enough to resort to non-military actions; actions, including military ones, should be taken to address the imminent "threat to peace" and "breach of peace". Under the concept of "human security", what is most needed is preventive measures and non-military actions. Unfortunately, the Security Council can be very slow to make decisions and take actions, as seen in the case of Darfur, and while the Security Council is discussing the issue, we have to consider and employ all possible measures to prevent the deterioration of crises. "Responsibility to protect" is often regarded as a concept to provide the basis for the justification of humanitarian intervention. I know that "responsibility to protect" also advocates the importance of preventive actions, and I again want to emphasize that human security gives priority to prevention, thereby excluding the idea of use of force from this concept. The use of force as a last resort to intervene in catastrophic cases of humanitarian crises must therefore not be regarded as a measure taken under the concept of human security. Such a humanitarian intervention can better be interpreted as an implementation of the philosophy of "responsibility to protect" rather than of "human security".

(Possible Cooperation between the Human Security Network and Japan)

We continuously state that the concept of human security promoted by the Network and the concept promoted by Japan have large areas in common. And I believe that both ideas can peacefully coexist despite the difference in its dimension. Japan, therefore, would like to propose that the Human Security Network further strengthen dialogue with a view to defining our cooperation in concrete areas. One idea could be the initiation of certain joint projects between the Network and Japan to promote human security.


Mr. Chairman,

"Responsibility to protect" and "human security" are regarded as controversial issues by some countries, and neither of them are universally accepted in the United Nations. Japan has been making its best efforts to persuade other countries to accept the notion of "human security" and Japan will continue to do so. I hope that the members of the Human Security Network and Japan will be able to focus our strengths and resources to these ends.

The Human Security Network and Japan share a common goal in mainstreaming "human security" within the international community. We look forward to our closer cooperation in future.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.


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