Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet top page


23 September 2010
New York

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak to you.

Today, threats against the security of human beings are diversifying, as exemplified by issues such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and acts of piracy, and the context wherein such threats originate is becoming more complex.

To cut off these threats at the root, we need to fully understand their causes and carefully choose the most appropriate policy options.

In April this year, Japan hosted a ministerial meeting in this chamber, and we came to the conclusion that a peacebuilding strategy is necessary to work in a comprehensive and integrated manner on political, security and development issues.

It is worthwhile for the world leaders to engage in discussion on peacebuilding on this occasion. This is a testimony that peacebuilding is an urgent issue and a common goal of the international community. I appreciate the initiative of President Abdullah Gul of Turkey in that regard.

Mr. President,

What does true peace mean? Can we call the mere absence of a state of war or conflict "peace"?

No, that is not the case. Restoring peace and lives of the people destroyed by war, conflicts and natural disaster leads to true peace. Japan fully supports the people who rise to strive for the reconstruction of society and economy in this process of restoration.

This is because I firmly believe that state leaders' most important role is to reduce to the extent possible sources of human suffering such as diseases, poverty and conflict. I call this concept the realization of "a society where human suffering is reduced to minimum". I have also introduced this idea as a fundamental philosophy during my speech yesterday at the High-Level Plenary Meeting.

Japan will take proactive and concrete action towards the realization of true peace.

Based upon these thoughts, Japan will promote its assistance focusing on four pillars, namely peace keeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and human security.

Mr. President,

First, on peacekeeping, as chair of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, Japan will lead discussions on enhancing cooperation among countries contributing to peacekeeping activities and on securing necessary resources for PKO activities.

Japan itself is actively contributing to peacekeeping and other related operations. This year we expeditiously dispatched Japanese Self-Defense Forces to the disaster-affected countries of Haiti and Pakistan. We also decided to dispatch military liaison officers to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).

Mr. President,

Next, let us consider peacebuilding. The common assumption is that peacebuilding is to begin after peacekeeping ends. However, in order to realize true peace, it is imperative to engage in peacebuilding in tandem with peacekeeping activities from the early stages of the latter.

Japan has learned the importance of a comprehensive and integrated approach to peacebuilding through its experience of long-term assistance in peacebuilding in Cambodia, where we were fully engaged from the outset, hosting a peace conference and donors' conferences, and continued to provide support through the final stage of the peace process, the Khmer Rouge Trial.

In the efforts for nation-building in Timor-Leste, our contributions based on such prior experience are about to bear fruit. We attach great importance to peacebuilding efforts employing similar approaches in other areas such as Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Africa.

Of all of these, it is Afghanistan that presents the greatest challenge for the international community in terms of peacebuilding, and it is that country to which Japan is providing the most intensive assistance.

In cooperation with various partners, Japan has extended comprehensive and integrated support for the Afghan Government's efforts, focusing on three pillars: improvement of security including police training, reintegration through vocational training for former Taliban rank-and-file soldiers and job creation, and sustainable and self-reliant development by means of agricultural assistance, among other programs.

Japan will cooperate with the Republic of Turkey in assisting Afghan police training by providing funding as well as police personnel, with a view to improving security in Afghanistan. We also recently disbursed 50 million dollars in assistance for the reintegration of insurgents.

It is our intention to provide assistance, in cooperation with the international community, in such a way that the people of Afghanistan will be able to perceive a tangible improvement in their livelihood.

Mr. President,

In the area of conflict prevention, the third pillar, creating a safe and secure environment for people to live their lives and implementing continued confidence-building measures are essential in vulnerable or post-conflict States.

The Security Council also must continue exerting its utmost efforts to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in order to prevent terrorist groups or other organizations from acquiring those weapons.

Japan will implement the Action Plan agreed at the NPT Review Conference. During a foreign ministers' meeting yesterday, Japan and Australia, together with other like-minded countries, launched a new group on this issue. We will also continue to work on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation efforts in cooperation with the international community.

Mr. President,

For the Security Council to cope with these matters, the concept of "human security," the fourth pillar, is useful.

That is, true peace can be sustained only when each individual human being achieves freedom, secures dignity and leads a fulfilled life. Relying on such philosophy, we will continue to contribute to international efforts towards protecting and empowering vulnerable States and people.

Mr. President,

Finally, it has been 65 years since the birth of the United Nations. World situation has changed drastically since then. For the Security Council to continue to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security in the 21st century, the Council itself needs to demonstrate its legitimacy by reflecting the reality of the international community.

To that end, Japan will cooperate with other Member States and work actively for the early realization of reform of the Security Council.

Thank you very much.