At UN, Japan announces major boost in assistance for Syrian and Iraqi refugees

29 September 2015

In his address to the annual high-level meeting of the General Assembly, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, vowed to enhance his country's assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons from Syria and Iraq.

Underscoring its history of nation-building and fostering human resources, Mr. Abe offered Japan’s support to those who have fled their homes amid conflicts in Syria and Iraq by pledging to triple the amount of last year’s assistance, to approximately $810 million.

“In Lebanon, we will implement $2 million in new assistance measures… to impart momentum for the collaboration between humanitarian actors and development actors,” he said. “We will newly implement approximately $2.5 million in humanitarian assistance for countries neighbouring the European Union that are grappling with the acceptance of refugees and migrants.”

Mr. Abe made clear that each of these were emergency countermeasures, as Japan’s unchanging principle “is at all times to endeavour to return to the root of the problem and improve the situation.”

Recalling Japan’s 70 year history as a peace-loving nation, the Prime Minister highlighted the preparation of Japan’s legal domestic framework to contribute to peacekeeping operations moving forward.

“It is all people acquiring the ownership by which they themselves determine the path of their own lives that is our ultimate objective,” he said.

He also pointed to the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lamenting that this year’s review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty failed to indicate guidelines for future nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Determined to bring about the total elimination of nuclear weapons, Mr. Abe said “Japan is preparing a new draft resolution to promote united action by the international community.”

On related issues, he said, just as the UN does not “avert its eyes” from major concerns, Japan would work with relevant countries towards the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including abduction, nuclear and missile matters.

As for UN reform, he said Japan would pursue Security Council reform through cooperation with the Assembly President, and his country would seek a permanent seat. Citing peacekeeping work in South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere, he said Japan also had laid the legal domestic framework to contribute to such efforts.

 

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