Open Debate on Security Council Working Methods: Japan Urges for Improvement and Reform
(26 Nov. 2012)

       On 26 November 2012, Japan participated in an Open Debate on the Working Methods of the Security Council held in the Council’s chambers. During the debate, Japan, represented by Ambassador Kazuo Kodama, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, made a statement outlining the importance of improvement and urging for substantive progress.

       Noting Article 25 of the UN Charter which states that the” Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter,” Ambassador Kodama reminded Member States of the need for legitimacy of decisions made by the Security Council which all Member States are obliged to execute. It is with this in mind that Japan believes that the improvement of the working methods is crucial for Security Council decisions to be considered legitimate.  Japan acknowledged improvements in the area of interaction between the Council and non-Council Members and requested a continuous effort to implement Note 507 (S/2006/507) which Japan, as Chairperson of the Working Group in 2006, compiled outlining measures to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the Council’s work. Japan urged the Council to achieve greater progress on the issue and further pledges to actively contribute to the process of improving the working methods.

(See Ambassador Kodama’s statement below)


Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
to the United Nations
At the Open Debate of the Security Council
On Working Methods of the Security Council
26 November 2012

Mr. President,

      At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the work of H.E. Mr. Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, Permanent Representative of Portugal, for his contribution in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.

Mr. President,

      According to Article 25 of the UN Charter, we, the Member States, accept decisions of the Security Council as binding to all Member States. Yet, this does not mean the legitimacy of decisions of the Security Council can be taken for granted. Let us recall that our leaders at the World Summit in 2005 agreed and adopted by consensus the resolution 60/1 in which the General Assembly recommended the Security Council to enhance its accountability to the membership and increase the transparency of its work. In a nutshell, we should remind ourselves of the fundamental structure of the UN Charter in which improving the Council’s working methods is indispensable for enhancing legitimacy of the decisions of the Security Council.


      From this point of view, Japan attaches great importance to the efforts to improve its working methods. In its capacity as the Chairperson of the Working Group, Japan took the initiative of compiling Presidential Note 507 in 2006 and updating it in 2010.

      As duly reflected in the revised Note 507, significant progress has been made so far. For example, the Council engages more frequently than before in interactions with non-Council members through various formats; informal interactive dialogues have been utilized this year in relation to some regional and thematic issues.  Furthermore, the Presidency briefs non-Council members on its program of work at the beginning of each month and this information is made readily available on the Council website.

      We would like to commend the chairmanship of Portugal this year, under which the Informal Working Group realized a notable achievement by issuing a Presidential Note in June concerning conference resources and interactivity. Since then, we understand that the Working Group has been actively addressing other issues such as pen-holders in drafting resolutions, and chairpersons of subsidiary organs, among others.  We look forward to seeing the results of such discussions adopted by the Council in due course, so that the wider membership can better understand how the Council intends to conduct its work in the future.

      While acknowledging the progress made to date, it is essential to further enhance the transparency of the Council through steadily implementing Note 507. The efforts and cooperation of the Council, especially of the permanent members, are indispensable in achieving real progress in this field. Of course, periodic review of the progress is necessary.

      We all recall that last May, the S5( Small Five Group) presented its draft resolution which had a direct bearing on the improvement on working methods of the Security Council and yet in the end they withdrew their draft resolution. Permanent Representative of Switzerland, H.E.Mr.PaulSeger, stated, and I quote, “We have listened carefully to the permanent members of the Security Council that they are ready to seriously consider our recommendations and we hold them to their promise with you as witnesses.・・If we see some real substantive progress starting within the next months, our efforts will not have been in vain”, unquote. We would like to know whether any tangible progress  has been made since then.

Mr. President,

      The participation of many non-Council members in today’s meeting is further testimony to the fact that the working methods remain a critical issue. Recognizing the importance of the issue, we look forward to seeing the Council – including its newly elected members for the next term – achieve greater progress in this regard. I would like to reiterate Japan’s determination to continue toactively contribute to promoting improvement in the working methods.

I thank you, Mr. President.