Statement by H.E.Mr.Koichiro Gemba Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the High-Level Event "Peacebuilding: Way Towards
Sustainable Peace and Security"

United Nations 25 September , 2012


Honorable Madam Chair,
His Excellency Mr. Secretary-General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to pay tribute to Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, the Honorable Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, for having taken the initiative to hold this meeting as the current Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. It is now nearly seven years since the Commission has been established, during which time, we have gained a certain amount of experience. It is thus timely that we discuss peacebuilding here at the United Nations today.

Madam Chair,

Let me point out five important lessons learned from our past experience in peacebuilding.

First, peacebuilding varies greatly depending on a country and region concerned. There is no single model that fits all: flexibility will be required.

Second, peacebuilding is a political process. The underlying causes of conflict, including political issues, must be resolved.

Third, countries concerned and their international partners should agree on shared goals and priorities in their peacebuilding strategy.

Fourth, gaps must be overcome, including gaps in communication between the headquarters and the field, as well as gaps in the attention of relevant actors.

Fifth, individual persons must be protected and empowered - including women and the vulnerable – with a view to ensuring human security. Peoples’ lives must be rebuilt, employment opportunities should become available, and an environment which generates hope for the future must be created. In all this, the ownership of the countries concerned must be respected.

Madam Chair,

With these lessons in mind, the Peacebuilding Commission is the key to flexible and effective peacebuilding. The Commission’s integrated peacebuilding strategies must be implemented effectively.

The relevant actors, including UN agencies, donor countries and regional organizations, should be involved in a comprehensive and integrated manner. At the same time, division of labor must be coordinated, and vacuums in activity and overlaps of work should be eliminated. Japan will continue to be actively engaged, so that the Peacebuilding Commission and the UN as a whole, can play a truly leading role, thereby living up to the expectation of the international community.

Madam Chair,

Japan has traditionally placed great importance to peacebuilding as an endeavor which contributes to international peace and security. It has always been a major pillar in our foreign policy. Japan has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission ever since its inception. We have also served as the Chair of its Organizational Committee. Japan is also a major contributor to the Peacebuilding Fund. Since last year, we have assumed the Chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned, where we extract lessons on various issues for the improvement in our efforts.

Furthermore, we contribute personnel to United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKO), support recovery and development through Official Development Assistance (ODA), and develop human resources including peacekeeping personnel and civilian experts.Recently, Japan co-chaired the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July 2012 with the Government of Afghanistan. At the Conference we announced our intention to provide up to around 3 billion dollars in assistance to Afghanistan in the next five years in the fields of socio-economic development and enhancement of security capabilities. In South Sudan, we have dispatched an engineer unit of the Japan Self Defense Force to the UN Mission there. They are working to improve the local infrastructure, with possible coordination with ODA and international organizations in mind.

Japan will continue to do its utmost in its effort for peacebuilding, bearing in mind the discussion taken place here today.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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