Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Briefing, Agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”

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27 September, 2023

I thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Oslo Accords, but it is regrettable that numerous incidents have exacerbated tensions between Israel and Palestine since the beginning of the year. The lack of political progress is jeopardizing peace and security in the region.

We strongly call on all parties concerned to take concrete steps to ensure de-escalation. In particular, both Israel and Palestine need to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any inflammatory words and actions.

At the same time, we again condemn the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, including the authorization by the Israeli Government of three settler outposts earlier this month.

Japan continues to demand that Israel immediately stop settlement activities including demolitions and evictions. These are a clear violation of international law and against relevant Security Council resolutions.

In addition, we are concerned that PA’s governing capabilities are decreasing in various aspects. Taking note of the Israeli Cabinet decision in July to prevent the collapse of the PA, Japan calls on both parties to advance practical cooperation. Japan looks forward to seeing tangible results for the strengthening financial capabilities of the PA as soon as possible.

For our part, Japan has supported Palestine for realizing its self-reliant economy. Recently Japan began joint efforts with the regional partners such as Egypt and Jordan on assistance to Palestine and held the Japan-Egypt-Jordan Trilateral Ministerial Consultations on the Middle East for the first time in this month.

Mr. President,

Supporting Palestine refugees is very important for achieving stability in the region.

In fact, Japan had become a donor country to UNRWA even before joining the United Nations. Our assistance to UNRWA has surpassed 1 billion dollars over 70 years.

This year, Japan has contributed over 40 million dollars to UNRWA, including 1 million dollars in emergency assistance to the Jenin refugee camp.

We urge our fellow Member States to provide the necessary support to make sure the Agency sustains its core services to the Palestine refugees.

Japan once again reiterates that the only long-term resolution to this conflict is a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security. We are always ready to support any diplomatic efforts to achieve this goal.

I thank you.

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