The 56th Session of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Executive Committee
Statement by Ambassador Ichiro FUJISAKI
The Delegation of Japan on the occasion of The 56th Session of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Executive Committee
Geneva, 3 October 2005
Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva
This is the year of reform in the UN. To this end, heads of nations successfully adopted the Outcome Document at the UN World Summit. In this document, heads of nations expressed their commitments.
Some of the lines:
"We commit ourselves to safeguarding the principle of refugee protection and to upholding our responsibility in resolving the plight of refugees, including through the support of efforts aimed at addressing the causes of refugee movement, bringing about the safe and sustainable return of those populations, finding durable solutions for refugees in protracted situations and preventing refugee movement from becoming a source of tension among States. We reaffirm the principle of solidarity and burden-sharing and resolve to support nations in assisting refugee populations and their host communities.”
We should not leave these to remain only words. It is our duty to turn this resolve to deeds.
We welcome and support the High Commissioner's initiatives stated in July. We were also very much impressed by the High Commissioner's Opening Statement this morning. It provided us with a comprehensive overview of the state of the Office today. It also pinpointed the challenges that lie ahead. Our position regarding three relevant issues is as follows:
•First, the strengthening of the Inspector General is indispensable.
•Secondly, in order to strengthen protection activities in the field, the creation of Assistant High Commissioner is welcome.
•Thirdly, we commend the High Commissioner's positive initiative in strengthening the Organization's efforts for IDPs. We welcome the new coordination within the UN system regarding this issue. We will engage positively in the discussion in this organization.
Let me briefly refer to Japan's efforts.
Japan has been pursuing the concept of Human Security. Last April, the Japan-UNHCR Partnership for Human Security was established. We look forward to its implementation through the empowerment of refugees and enhancing self-reliance. With a view to Human Security, we also welcome the strengthening of the UNHCR's activities such as the Convention Plus Initiatives that contribute to the Millennium Development Goals.
We continue to commit ourselves to improving refugee situations in Africa. This is done through both refugee assistance and development cooperation. Japan recently announced a contribution of 8.9 million dollars in emergency grant aid to the UNHCR.
Japan also places importance on situations in Asia, especially since the tsunami disaster. As referred to by the High Commissioner, the security of UNHCR staff is imperative. We are happy that the eCenter in Japan is contributing to this end.
Let us not think we have to accept the status quo as something unchangeable. Refugees are suffering this very moment.
Let us not commend ourselves too much for the decrease in the number of refugees. A protracted situation continues for still millions of refugees, and the number of IDPs is increasing.
Let us think we can change this situation by working together, among us member countries and with the UNHCR.
The recognition that the High Commissioner explained this morning regarding relations between asylum and terrorism; between durable solutions and development; and the necessity of vision, results, transparency, and the continuation of reform is so right.
We look forward to working together with you, High Commissioner.