At an exhibition on “The Chinese Army to Protect the World Peace” held in New York, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, commended China for currently deploying a total of 2,508 uniformed personnel, including 70 women, to 8 of the UN’s current peacekeeping missions, including UNMISS, UNIFIL, and MINUSMA. Khare also noted China has contributed approximately 5.8 million dollars to UN Peacekeeping through the Peace and Security Trust Fund since 2017.
The present conflict is merely the symptom of a more fundamental schism in South Sudanese society. Traditional tribal rivalries and competition for resources is at the heart of the problem.
Some participants found positive and encouraging signs while others remained skeptical about the possibility for South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his major adversary, the former vice-president and opposition leader Riek Machar and other tribal leaders to translate the agreement reached in September 2018 into the formation of a stable government. A summary report of discussion will follow.
The moderator, Ms. Mio Sato, Chief of Mission, IOM in Japan, started the session by explaining that Human Mobility has been increasingly addressed as one of the common issues by the international community, as exemplified by that Human Mobility is recognized as one of the core issues for 2030 SDG Agenda of the UN and that two Global Compacts (namely, with respect to refugees and migration) had been introduced at the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2016. Ms. Sato stated that the aim for this session was to discuss Human Mobility in the light of Peacebuilding assistance while addressing the case study of Rohingya Refugees and responses relating to refugees and migration.
In opening the session, Professor Katsumi acting as Moderator said that this session would discuss involvement of major actors including US, China and Japan in tackling with broad issues relating to UN peace operations not limited to UN PKOs but inclusive of peacebuilding activities. He introduced the three Panellists, the Commentator and the Rapporteur.
Mr. Yasushi Akashi looked at how the UN peace operations had evolved over the years in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa and pointed out the need to ascertain how Japan can contribute to the UN peace operations in the future. Mr. Akashi served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cambodia and in the former Yugoslavia.
2018 Tokyo Peacebuilding Forum was held at JICA Ichigaya Building on December 8, 2018. It was opened by former Under-Secretary-General and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General Mr. Yasushi Akashi and keynote speech was delivered by Ambassador Fumio Iwai, Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan. Please find the program with pictures of meetings and participants.
Takakazu Ito, Senior Programme Officer, Department for Field Support, United Nations made a presentation “Triangular Partnership to strengthen UN Peacekeeping Operations” and Herman Salton, Associate Professor of ICU on “Dangerous Diplomacy: Bureaucracy, Power Politics, and the Role of the UN Secretariat in Rwanda.” (Reported by Maja Liechti)
To commemorate the end of the War, Ambassadors of Germany and France, Dr Hans Carl von Werthern and Dr. Laurent PIC held a symposium on 5th November 2018 to discuss the war and its lessons for today’s politics.
Key points made during the discussion included the importance for UNDEF to sustain universal value, efficiency in execution of its programs and activities; to assist the institution building; to encourage local, national and regional ownership in democratization process. There was a consensus that Japan should support financially and technically the democratization process and sustaining democratic principles of governance.