Statement by H.E. Ambassador YAMAZAKI Kazuyuki, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Strengthening the Role of the African State in Addressing Global Security and Development Challenges”

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May 23, 2024

Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important open debate.

I also thank the Secretary-General, the African Union Commissioner, Mr. Adeoye, and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Ambassador Danese, for their briefings.

Japan believes that strong collaboration and partnerships with Africa are vital for the maintenance of international peace and security, including strengthening the free and open international order based on the rule of law.

As the concept note reflects, Africa’s diversity, wealth, vibrant young population, and abundant natural resources give it vast potential to contribute to international peace and security.

However, the continent continues to face multifaceted security and development challenges and the international community should support African ownership to make good use of its potential to overcome these obstacles, contribute to the global good, and build and sustain peace.

Today, I would like to mention three points in this regard.

First, a long-term, tailor-made, and comprehensive approach that ensures the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and protects and empowers all people for human security, especially women and youth, is important for peace and stability in Africa.

A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective for more complex root causes and risk multipliers.

Such a comprehensive approach will enable African States to build resilient and inclusive societies that are equipped to detect early warnings and counter internal and external challenges, and thus better prevent conflict.

Second, Japan supports the aspirations of African States to be rightly represented in multilateralism and global partnerships, which helps Africa to contribute more to international peace and security.

Let me take this Council as an example, where the majority of discussions are dedicated to Africa.

We appreciate the timely agenda setting and insights rooted in direct on-the-ground knowledge and experience by our A3 colleagues, but there is still room to further enhance the representation of the continent.

As the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG), Japan is committed to updating and improving the working methods of the Council, including in promoting the roles of elected members, and to welcoming stronger and clearer African voices and greater regional ownership in this regard.

This Council was created almost 80 years ago and already 60 years have passed since its last reform.

An expanded Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories is absolutely necessary to better reflect contemporary realities.

It is a longstanding position of Japan as a member of the G4 to fully support the Common African Position.

Furthermore, the PBC should be better utilised as an advisory body to the Council to share experiences and good practices from Africa and serve as a hub to convene African and non-African States, civil society, UN bodies, regional and sub-regional organizations, IFIs, and more.

Finally, the African Union and the network of sub-regional organizations and regional economic communities form a pivotal infrastructure for African peace and security.

Strong ownership of African solutions is the key to enhance synergies with UN support to address formidable challenges facing African States.

Resolution 2719 is designed to promote such African ownership in their efforts for sustainable conflict resolution.

Japan remains committed to further consultations with all stakeholders to ensure that the new mechanism crafted by the resolution is well-placed and functions within the UN collective security system.

To conclude my statement, I reiterate Japan’s commitment to maintaining and promoting peace and security in and beyond Africa hand in hand with African States.

The 9th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD9, will be held next year in Japan and we are looking forward to deepening our partnerships with the continent.

I thank you.

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