Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 2. Measures for Each of the Priority Issues > 4. Peacebuilding

4. Peacebuilding

Since the end of the Cold War, the international community has confronted antagonisms arising from ethnic, religious, or historical differences in many parts of the world, leading to numerous regional and domestic conflicts. The majority of victims who suffer under such conflicts are the general public including children. Such conflicts also produce a great number of refugees and displaced persons, and easily develop into humanitarian issues and issues of violations of human rights. Moreover, such conflicts instantaneously destroy many achievements gained through years of development efforts and cause massive economic loss. Since peace and stability are prerequisites to development and growth, peacebuilding plays an important role in achieving the MDGs, common goals for development in the international community.

    Looking at efforts by the international community, in 1992, the then UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali published "An Agenda for Peace," a report which emphasized the importance of peacebuilding. Then in August 2000, the UN published the "Brahimi Report" based on its experiences of peacebuilding activities up until that time, and defined the goal of peacebuilding as being to "reassemble the foundations of peace and provide the tools for building something that is more than just the absence of war." Furthermore, many international organizations have been making efforts to assist peacebuilding in conflict regions. For example, the UNHCR is providing emergency assistance to the refugees and displaced persons caused by conflicts and providing assistance for their return, while UNICEF is making efforts to help children in conflict regions that are tailored to the factors causing the conflict and the configuration of the conflict. In June 2006, the Peacebuilding Commission, of which Japan is one of the founding members, commenced its activities with the objective of providing advice on an integrated strategy for post-conflict peacebuilding, based on a coherent approach from conflict resolution towards reconstruction.

    In parallel with this situation in the international community, Japan announced its "Action from Japan on Conflict and Development" in July 2000, and expressed its intent to provide comprehensive ODA assistance to help reduce damages caused at each level in the cycle of conflict, from conflict prevention through emergency humanitarian aid, reconstruction and rehabilitation assistance, to prevention of recurrence of conflicts. In addition, at the Asia-Africa Summit held in April 2005 the then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi raised economic cooperation, peacebuilding, and promotion of international cooperation as issues that Asia as a whole must work to address. Furthermore, on the occasion of his visit to Ethiopia and Ghana from April to May 2006, he announced that Japan would actively support peace and development in Africa.

    Japan lists peacebuilding as one of its priority issues in the ODA Charter. Specifically, along with conflict prevention and emergency humanitarian assistance supply, Japan also provides seamless assistance ranging from assistance to expedite the end of conflicts through to post-conflict "consolidation of peace" and nation building to ensure peace and stability. Moreover, according to the new Medium-Term Policy on ODA based on the ODA Charter, the purpose of peacebuilding is defined as being "to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of conflicts, alleviate the various difficulties that people face during and immediately after conflicts, and subsequently achieve long-term stable development." As such, it lays out specific approaches and efforts in implementing assistance and states that Japan will cooperate with international organizations, other donor countries, domestic private sector and NGOs to provide active assistance so that people may feel their "dividends of peace" and so that peace and stability will be realized in a society.

    Japan has thus far taken specific measures for peacebuilding in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Timor-Leste, Palestine and others, and will continue to actively address this issue by using ODA.