State Minister for Foreign Afairs Suzuki attends the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group Meeting in Video Message Format
On July 22, at Vienna, where the headquarter of the Oragnization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is located, the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group Meeting was held in a hybrid format in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Japan-OSCE Partnership. Ms. SUZUKI Takako, State Minister for Foregin Affairs, participated in a video-message format in the meeting, as overviewed below.
- On July 22, the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group Meeting was held under the theme “30th Anniversary of Japan-OSCE co-operation –Human Security as Approach to Peacebuilding-”, with attendance of the representatives of more than 30 OSCE member states and also of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Afghanistan and Australia as OSCE Asian Partners. At the meeting, Japan-OSCE cooperation was overviewed and gratitude for the cooperation by Japan was expressed from the attended states. Furthermore, given the increasingly severe security situation by Russian aggression against Ukraine, discussions were held regarding future cooperation between the OSCE and its Asian Partners.
- Following the opening statement by Ms. Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the OSCE, State Minister Suzuki participated in a video-message format and the overview of her video-message statement is as follows.
- (1) I would like to thank all concerned in organizing today's Asian Partners for Co-Operation Group meeting to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Japan-OSCE Partnership, starting with the Swedish Chair co-hosting this meeting, the Polish Chair, as well as the OSCE Secretary General. As a State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, I am honored to have this opportunity to give a speech on this prestigious occasion.
- (2) The international community now stands at a historic juncture. Russia's aggression against Ukraine is not a problem for Europe alone, but instead an outrageous act that undermines the very foundations of the international order. Once again, Japan condemns it in the strongest terms. Japan will maintain firm sanctions against Russia and continue to support Ukraine and neighboring countries.
- (3) Besides, as we look in to Asia, in the East and South China Seas as well, unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force remain ongoing and continue to strengthen. The international community must unite in demonstrating that such attempts are absolutely unacceptable regardless of the region in which they take place. Now is high time to strengthen further cooperation between the OSCE, its participating countries, and its Asian Partners.
- (4) As Prime Minister Kishida stated while attending the NATO Summit in June, the security of Europe and that of the Indo-Pacific are inseparable. Japan has been constantly cooperating with the OSCE in response to the demands of the times, as a partner in addressing global security challenges.
- (5) For example, Japan has sent experts to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine and has cooperated to enhance the border management capacity of Central Asian countries that surround Afghanistan. Furthermore, Japan has participated in a session on climate-related challenges at the OSCE Asian Conference last month and has also supported the establishment of a network on gender equality. Japan will continue to cooperate with the OSCE on its comprehensive approach to security.
- (6) In light of the theme of today's meeting, I would also like to mention Japan's approach to human security. Since 1998, Japan has positioned human security as a key aspect of its foreign policy. We have long advocated the concept of human security in the international community, including as the first G8 country to place this concept at the core of a meeting of heads of state at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000. Japan also called for the establishment of a "Commission on Human Security" at the UN Millennium Summit that same year, with Sadako Ogata, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, leading the discussions as its co-chair. Based on this approach, Japan has been contributing to building resilient countries and societies in various regions of the world.
- (7) The current situation in Ukraine is truly a crisis for human security, and the international community must work together to address it. The Special Report on Human Security released by the UNDP in February this year emphasizes the importance of “solidarity” in addition to the two traditional pillars of “protection” and “empowerment”. The Japan-OSCE Partnership is rooted in this very idea of “solidarity”. Going forward, we will continue to make every effort to realize peacebuilding in the international community, also through this solidarity.
- (8) I sincerely look forward to a lively and meaningful discussion here today as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Japan-OSCE Partnership.