The International Symposium on Human Security
Remark by Mr. Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan

Tokyo, December 15, 2001

Mrs. Sadako Ogata,
Professor Amartya Sen,
Distinguished Panelists,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to say a few words at the opening of the "International Symposium on Human Security."

September 11th terrorist attacks were threat to the entire humankind and challenge to democracy and freedom. However, prompt actions of the international community to prevent and eradicate terrorism, and its united initiatives concerning Afghanistan, have given us a ray of hope.

Japan has made efforts to strengthen international solidarity, knowing that the fight against terrorism is a challenge of our own. Moreover, Japan proactively supported Afghan refugees through providing rescue materials and transportation as well as through extending economic assistance to neighboring countries. Now, with Mrs. Sadako Ogata, my special representative, Japan will continue to contribute human resources and provide active support through United Nations organizations. Furthermore, in late January next year, Japan hosts a ministerial level Afghanistan reconstruction conference. Japan will also participate actively in the broad-based international initiatives against terrorism, through concluding and ratifying international conventions, cutting financial sources of terrorist organizations and taking other measures.

Terrorism should never be tolerated, regardless of motives, since it threatens the survival, livelihood and dignity of citizens with heinous violence and killings. At the same time, we should take a closer look at the possibilities that armed conflicts, poverty and other socio-economic factors create "hotbeds" for terrorism. To eradicate terrorism, it is necessary to tackle not only terrorism itself but also other diverse threats to individuals. This means that we have to build and sustain a society where individual human beings can fully realize their possibilities. This is what "human security" aims at, and this what Japan's foreign policy has attached importance.

In other words, "human security" is to protect survival, livelihood and dignity of individual human beings from diverse threats, by strengthening initiatives from human perspectives, so as to realize the full potential of each person. "Human security" will gain further importance in addressing diversifying threats in the globalizing world after the Cold War.

Japan will continue to promote "human security." The "Trust Fund for Human Security," which Japan established in the United Nations, has contributed to materialize this concept into reality. The "Commission on Human Security," co-chaired by Mrs. Sadako Ogata and Professor Amartya Sen under the strong support of United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, has the important mission to deepen the concept and translate it into actions. The Commission will meet next two days here. Japan will continue to render support to such activities as much as possible.

To conclude my remark I would like to extend my wish for the success of this symposium.

Thank you very much.

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