Middle East Peace Process
- Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi - Peace in the Middle East, Towards the peaceful coexistence of the two states - (April 29, 2003)
- New Japanese Assistance Package and Confidence-building initiative (April 29, 2003)
Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi
Peace in the Middle East, Towards the peaceful coexistence of the two states
April 29, 2003
The real chance for peace in the Middle East, which is the key for the peace and stability of the region, is emerging, when the "Roadmap" which shows an itinerary towards the peaceful coexistence of the two states of Israel and Palestine is expected to be announced following the inauguration of the new prime minister, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, for Palestinian self-government Authority (PA). At this juncture, the international community needs to further assistance and cooperation. Taking the opportunity of my second visit to Israel and Palestinian territories, I call upon both Israelis and Palestinians to end violence, confirm once again a firm commitment for achieving peace in the Middle East, and announce that I am ready to take the following measures (the total amount of 22.25 million dollars) to support new prime minister, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, thereby, promote efforts for peace in the Middle East.
1. Announcement of a new assistance package for humanitarian assistance and state-building efforts by the Palestinians
Based on the "Japanese roadmap of assistance to the Palestinians" announced at my previous visit to the region last June, Japan will provide emergency humanitarian assistance materials, humanitarian assistance including vaccines, basic services and food. For the reform efforts by the Palestinian Authority, Japan will also assist in building a new Prime Minister's office for improving the administrative capability of the Palestinian Authority, facilitating reform in the field of judiciary including training for Palestinian trainees in Jordan, and supporting job creation through restoring the infrastructure of local governments, and encouraging human resource development. Furthermore, taking security situation on the ground into account, Japan will study the possibility of dispatching JICA officers in order to strengthen the capacity to implement our assistance on the ground as well as to consolidate our local competency in executing tasks related to the "Palestinian Reform Task Force" in which the Government of Japan has been actively participating as a chair of the Reform Support Group on Local Government.
2. Launching a confidence-building initiative in promoting dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians
(1) Assistance for the grass-roots level cooperation between the Israelis and the Palestinians
The Government of Japan, in order to support the precious grass-roots cooperation between the Israeli and the Palestinian NGOs which continue their humanitarian activities in spite of this difficult situation, will assist their projects through the scheme of "Grant assistance for grass-roots human security projects" and promote exchanges between the Israelis and the Palestinian.
(2) Pursuing the possibility of cooperation in the field of environment between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority
The difficult situation on the ground is worsening the environmental damage. Environmental issues are borderless, and require joint cooperation by both Israelis and Palestinian sides. The Government of Japan, as a chair of the Middle East Peace Process Multilateral Negotiations Working Group on the Environment, has a great interest in improving the environmental conditions in the region and aims for joint cooperation projects between the Israeli Government and Palestinian Authorities for the protection and improvement of the environment and will assist such projects. Consequently, it will work to strengthen confidence between the two sides.
(3) Hosting a Conference for confidence-building between Israelis and Palestinians
On May 19th and 20th, the Government of Japan will host a conference "Toward Stable Coexistence of Mutually Interdependent States of Israel and Palestine". This conference is aimed at discussing a vision of mutual prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians and the role of the international community, and the representatives from business circles, the government, and the academic field from both Israel and Palestinian territory and Japan will participate.
The Government of Japan will implement a total amount of 22.25 million dollars of assistance (including accepting about 100 Palestinian trainees) and other assistance projects implemented by NGO etc. through the scheme of "Grant assistance for grass-roots human security projects "
1. Humanitarian assistance(Total amount of 12.9 million dollars)
(1) Emergency Humanitarian Assistance
This project provides basic humanitarian assistance materials including food, drinking water and medicine for the poor in the Palestinian territories.
Amount: 500,000 dollars
Implementing Organization: United Nations Development Plan (UNDP)
(2) Providing Vaccines
Vaccines are the most acutely needed of all the basic materials in very short supply for the Palestinians. This project will assist the vaccination campaign for FY 2003.
Amount: 2 million dollars
Implementing Organization: United Nations Children's Fund(UNICEF)
(3)Assistance for the Palestinian Refugees
This project will assist the activities of the UNRWA ( United Nations Relief and Works Agency), which provides social services including medical care and education for the Palestinian refugees who are in the most desperate need of assistance.
Amount: about 6 million dollars
Implementing Organization: UNRWA
(4)Food assistance for the Palestinian refugees
This food assistance project is for the Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Amount: about 4.2 million dollars
Implementing Organization: UNRWA
(5)Assistance for ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross)
This is to assist the activities of the ICRC, which provides medical care in the Palestinian territories.
Amount: about 0.2 million dollars
Implementing Organization: ICRC
(6)Providing basic services through NGOs
This project will assist NGOs and local governments which are providing basic services to the residents of the Palestinian territories efficiently and effectively, in spite of the poor security situation on the ground through the scheme of "Grant assistance for grass-roots human security projects "
2. Assistance for Restoring and Reforming the Palestinian Authority ( total amount of 7.85million dollars)
(1)Assistance for the reform of the Palestinian Authority
This project is for assisting construction of the new Prime Minister's Office to enable the well-ordered execution of the agendas by the newly appointed Prime Minister, aiming at facilitating the reform efforts of the Palestinian Authority.
Amount: 1.2 million dollars
Implementing Organization: UNDP
(2)Assistance for Judiciary reform
This project is for construction of a Court House and a Judiciary Agency Office in Khan Yunis, Gaza, aiming at promoting the reform efforts of the Palestinian Authority particularly in the judicial field.
Amount: 3.5 million dollars
Implementing Organization: UNDP
(3)Assistance for job creation through restoring the infrastructure in Gaza strip
This project aims at ,job creation through restoring the damaged infrastructures and facilitating the movement of people and goods in the major cities in Gaza strip
Amount: 1.7 million dollars
Implementing Organizations: UNDP, Local governments
(4)Human Resource Building
This project is for conducting training for about 100 Palestinian experts in Japan, Jordan and other countries in the field of auditing, judiciary and others, aiming at building human resources indispensable for promoting the reform efforts of the Palestinian Authority.
Amount: 1.45 million dollars
Implementing Organization: JICA
(5)Assistance for job creation through restoring the infrastructure in the West Bank
Projects aiming at job creation through restoring the infrastructure (so-called " life-line") in the major cities in the West Bank such as Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, Salfit, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah where serious damages to the infrastructure were caused by the Israeli military incursions will be implemented through the scheme of "Grant assistance for grass-roots human security projects ".
3. Confidence Building (total amount of about 1.5 million dollars)
(1) Israeli-Palestinian Joint Project for improving waste disposal capability of the local governments
In the Palestinian territories, there are serious environmental problems in many local governments and local residents' frustration and despair is mounting. There is also a risk of pollution in the underground water and the spread of infectious diseases, if this situation is left unaddressed. Especially, at the waste disposal facility in Ramallah in the West Bank, where local residents are restricted by Israeli government from accessing the waste disposal facilities in the adjacent Al Bireh city, concern over hygiene and water pollution is mounting. This assistance is for planning, implementation and monitoring of the projects for expanding the current waste disposal facility and building an alternative waste disposal, by establishing joint Steering Committee including Japan, the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
Amount: 1.5 million dollars
Implementing Organizations: Ministry of Local government, Ministry of Environment
(2) Assistance for confidence building between Israelis and Palestinians
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has continued for the past two and a half years, causing serious casualties in terms of human life and damaged property on both the Israelis and the Palestinian sides. This also aggravates deep-rooted distrust and hatred. In order to achieve "two-state vision," which aims at realizing the peaceful coexistence of the two states of Israeli and Palestine, it is necessary to promote confidence building through various levels of dialogues and cooperation. This project aims at supporting through the scheme of "Grant assistance for grass-roots human security projects" NGOs and local governments that carry out activities such as raising public awareness, cooperation and peace activities between Israelis and Palestinians.
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