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Natsuko Sakata

Director, International Peace Cooperation Division, Foreign Policy Bureau
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has conducted human resource development in the peacebuilding field since 2007. Approximately 500 people have participated in the program to date, and many former program associates are currently working actively in international organizations all over the world including Afghanistan, South Sudan, Cambodia, and Haiti.

There is a growing need for qualified human resources for peacebuilding and development throughout the world. In the ongoing discussion on strategic review of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, it has been pointed out that UN officials need to respond flexibly to realities on the ground, coordinate with stakeholders concerned, and deliver results throughout the process of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development. In order to achieve this, there is undoubtedly a pressing need for human resources with high-levels of professionalism, capacities, and strong will.

The Government of Japan aims to develop such human resources through this program and hopes that those who wish to contribute to peacebuilding and development will join this program.

Sukehiro Hasegawa

Chair of HPC Council for The Program for Global Human Resource Development for Peacebuilding and Development
Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary- General for Timor-Leste. He has authored numerous books including Primordial Leadership: Peacebuilding and National Leadership in Timor-Leste.

The role of the United Nations peace operations encountered rapid change in response to the evolving concept of peace. In 1945, when the UN was founded, peace meant the absence of inter-state wars. However, at the end of the Cold War, which was characterized by the outbreak of intra-state wars, maintaining security became the major role of the UN. Within this context, constructing perpetual peace grounded on democratic norms as well as the establishment of the rule of law became the major tasks for peace operations. In the contemporary world, the causes of civil wars entail ideological confrontations which transcend national and regional boundaries, invoking multilateral conflicts. As such, building the political environment in which the local population, local leaders and people who holds different values and religious beliefs to live and coexist in a peaceful and stable society constitutes the core component of peace operations.
To pursue this goal, peacebuilders are required for assistance in building peace for citizens and local leaders founded on both peace and development, in other words, human security and human development, so to develop the democratic political structure which values freedom and human rights, as well as the rule of law which enables the establishment of human rights and politics based on freedom and impartiality.
Peacebuilding is ultimately a political process, the process to establish the opportunity for leaders and parties to take constructive roles in shaping a new and stable society. In order to achieve this, harmonizing universal values with traditional norms and customary practices is required. Peacebuilders are asked to be equipped with specialties and technical skills, as well as in-depth understanding towards the conditions of the new era.