Statement by H.E. Mr. Yoshiki MINE
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Head of the Delegation of Japan
to the Conference on Disarmament
At the First Committee
of the 60th Session of the General Assembly
Cluster Debate : Conventional Weapons
13 October 2005, New York
(Small arms and light weapons)
The UN Programme of Action, adopted by consensus in 2001, provides an essential guide for comprehensive efforts to address the multifarious SALW issue. It is essential for the international community to actively and steadfastly implement the Programme of Action at the national, regional and international levels.
Under this recognition, Japan, together with Colombia and South Africa, presented a draft resolution entitled “The illicit trade of small arms and light weapons in all its aspects” again this year, the contents of which, as in previous years, provide concrete steps for the near future based on the progress achieved in the course of the past year in this field.
We sincerely hope we will receive the support and cooperation of all Member States for the resolution’s consensus adoption, as we believe that it offers a reliable approach to resolving this problem.
The year 2006, when the Review Conference takes place, will mark a significant turning point for the international community in tackling SALW problems. As mentioned in this year’s draft resolution, the Review Conference is extremely important for setting the agenda in this field beyond 2006, and Japan therefore wishes to encourage all States Members to make every effort for a successful outcome by involving participants from civil society offering useful knowledge and experience.
In the Review Conference, it is essential for us to examine all aspects of the SALW problem, which are multifaceted, complicated and inter-linked in a complex manner. Each country or region have different problems depending on its own specific circumstances. Bearing this point in mind during the Review Conference, we must seek identify the problems which the international community should address commonly in the future, and set the agenda accordingly.
The problems which the international community must take steps to address are gradually becoming apparent. In this connection, Japan believes that we had good discussions in the Second Biennial Meeting of States in July. Without mentioning each individual element, let me say that the challenges which the BMS2 illuminated provided very useful indications about the appropriate topics for discussion in the Review Conference. I would like to take this opportunity to highly appreciate the efforts the Chairman, Ambassador Pasi Patokallio
, whose dedicated efforts ensured the success of the Meeting.
In addition, Japan believes the Review Conference is a good opportunity to share the experience of each country in implementing the International Instrument on marking and tracing, the negotiation of which we concluded in June this year. I would like to reiterate (here again) the great significance of its implementation, and to call upon all States to continue their steady efforts at implementation.
I also would like to emphasize the importance of promoting projects on the ground. Japan is actively applying its “two-pillar approach”, by promoting both projects on the ground and the international rule-making efforts which I mentioned earlier, in parallel.
With regard to the former pillar, we will continue to provide assistance to projects for collecting and destroying surplus SALW in affected countries and for capacity-building in the areas of law enforcement and export/import control. We will also strengthen our efforts to provide aid in the field of conflict prevention and post-conflict recovery processes, which constitute important elements of “peacebuilding”, a major focus of Japan’s mid-term ODA policy.
I would now like to make some remarks on the draft resolutions related to small arms and light weapons. I understand that this year there are several drafts. Generally speaking, now that we are making vigorous efforts for the reform of the First Committee as well as improvement of its effectiveness, it is appropriate that resolutions that are similar in nature be merged to the maximum extent feasible. Japan believes efforts in such direction are important and requests the continued cooperation of the countries concerned in this regard.
Since the adoption of the POA, each country has been actively tackling SALW problems, and we have seen significant progress in this field. However, much remains to be done. Each country concerned has its own ideas as to how to adequately address these problems. Japan believes this thematic debate provides us with an important opportunity for a frank exchange of views among countries. I sincerely hope we will engage in active and profound discussions on this issue.
I strongly hope that the States Parties Meeting in November will succeed in adopting a draft protocol on MOTAPM (Mines Other Than Anti-Personnel Mines), which has been under discussion for over four years. There remain only a few outstanding issues, and the goal is almost within reach. I urge all the States Parties to exercise flexibility so that we may create an instrument that will minimize the humanitarian problem caused by MOTAPM while maintaining the option of their use in cases of military necessity.
The coming States Parties Meeting in Croatia in November and December is the first States Parties Meeting since the Nairobi Summit held last year. I strongly hope that this Meeting will ensure and promote progress in implementing the Nairobi Action Plan as well as offering further direction towards its full implementation. Among Action Plan items, Japan would like to emphasize the importance of the universalization of the Convention and effective implementation of APL-related projects.