Statement by Ambassador Kitano at the High-Level Meeting of Partners for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Mr. Chairman
Her Excellency, Minister Azimi
Special Representative Haysom
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to the co-chairs for convening this high-level meeting. It is my great honour to make a statement on this important occasion.

Distinguished Chairs,
As preparations for the upcoming UNGASS increase in momentum, it is very timely to have this meeting with high-level participation from Afghanistan, neighbouring countries and their partners. We welcome the efforts made by countries concerned including the adoption of the Afghanistan National Drug Action Plan 2015-2019.
We are aware that narcotics and related transnational organized crime can affect the stability and security of the region. We hope this meeting will further strengthen the momentum for countering narcotics and related transnational organized crime in this region.
<Principle in counter narcotics and lessons learned>
Distinguished Chairs,
Addressing drug issues is a common and shared responsibility of the international community. We recognize the three international drug conventions as the cornerstone of international drug control. With this understanding, Japan has been actively working on counter narcotics measures in various regions including Afghanistan and Neighbouring countries, East and South East Asia, and Africa.
From Japan’s experience in this work, one of the most important lessons learned is the significance of regional cooperation, which is one of the main themes of today’s meeting. We would like to reiterate that the global drug problem should not only be addressed by individual countries, but also addressed by regions as a whole.
<Japan’s assistance to Afghanistan>
Distinguished Chairs,
Japan has made Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries one of its priority areas to tackle the world drug problem. Let me briefly touch upon Japan’s support to Afghanistan.
In 2012, Japan hosted the “Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan” to support Afghanistan’s self-reliance. In the conference, Japan announced approximately 3 billion US dollars of assistance to Afghanistan in the 5 years from 2012, in the field of socio-economic development and enhancement of security capacity. In addition, Japan announced that it would implement projects worth around 1 billion US dollars in neighbouring countries. In the course of this assistance, Japan has been steadily implementing counter narcotics measures in this region.
<Japan’s assistance to Afghanistan: Counter Narcotics>
Distinguished Chairs,
The drug problem in Afghanistan is multi-faceted. In addition to addressing the supply and demand of narcotics, it is also necessary to strengthen the rule of law, including anti-corruption measures. Therefore, Japan puts great emphasis on anti-corruption measures in parallel with reinforcing border control and demand reduction efforts.
Keeping this in mind, I would like to share with you an example of international cooperation in practice. Since 2012, Japan has implemented a project for strengthening law enforcement in cooperation with UNODC and the Russian Federation. In this project, Afghanistan Police is provided with counter narcotics training in a training center in Domodedovo, Russia. In addition to funding, Japan has also provided trainers. This project has brought about substantial results. Since its commencement, 5 sessions have been completed and more than 80 officers have been trained.
<Japan’s support to Central Asia>
Distinguished Chairs,
Allow me to move on to Japan’s support for Central Asia. This region, particularly the area situated on the northern route from Afghanistan, is affected by Afghanistan derived narcotics. As in Afghanistan, Japan has been assisting countries in the region in their efforts to curb both supply and demand. Based on the positive results shown by the training for Afghanistan Police in Domodedovo, we decided to expand the project to 5 Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. We hope the expanded training will accelerate regional cooperation in these countries’ counter narcotics efforts.
Furthermore, with regard to regional cooperation, we welcome the efforts made by the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center (CARICC) in Almaty Kazakhstan. We note the significant role played by CARICC in the coordination of counter narcotics measures and enhancement of cooperation between law enforcement authorities in the region.
In addition to Japan’s support to CARICC up until now, we plan to start a new initiative, together with UNODC and CARICC, to support Central Asian countries on their counter measures against NPS.
<Japan’s support to Iran>
Distinguished Chairs,
Now, I would like to turn to the west of Afghanistan. Iran is largely affected by Afghanistan derived narcotics. The recently published UNODC report showed Iran’s role as a gatekeeper on the Balkan Route in seizing a large amount of narcotics.
Japan has mainly supported Iran in its efforts to strengthen border control. For example, Japan has introduced narcotic dogs in this region. Japan has also supported Iran’s participation in international and regional meetings.
Distinguished Chairs,
Japan recognizes the effectiveness of regional cooperation, such as regional workshops and regional information centers through the various experiences we have gained in international cooperation. These instruments play a critical role in sharing issues encountered and various approaches to these issues, in fostering human networks among authorities as well as enhancing joint operations in the region.
Distinguished Chairs,
UNGASS is only 4 months away. It will be an important milestone towards the 2019 goals set by the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action.
Making the best use of this momentum and lessons learned, Japan would like to actively support Afghanistan and Neighbouring countries hereafter.
I thank you.
The Practical Export Control Workshop was hosted by the Wassenaar Arrangement as part of its 20th Anniversary programs and held at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna on 27 and 28 June 2016. More than 100 government representatives from 46 countries participated in the technically focused Practical Workshop.
Workshop speakers included the 2016 WA Plenary Chair Ambassador Anu Laamanen (Finland), 2016 WA General Working Group Chair Ambassador Paul Beijer (Sweden), 2015-2016 WA Experts Group Chair Robertas Rosinas (Lithuania), 2016 WA Licensing and Enforcement Officers Meeting Chair Jon Erik Strömö (Norway), as well as the Head of the WA Secretariat, Ambassador Philip Griffiths. The WA control lists as well as export licensing and enforcement topics were covered during the two days.
The following link from WA’s webpage contains more details: