H.E. MR. KOICHI HARAGUCHI
Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Plenary Meeting of the 57th General
the Follow-up to the Outcome of the Millennium
Summit (Item 44) and
Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization (Item 10)
7 October 2002
Today I would like to focus on the following
three areas, which are currently high on the UN agenda, namely:
international peace and security, development, and UN reform.
(International Peace and Security)
Preventing the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction and their means of delivery has become a
task of greatest urgency in the maintenance of international
peace and security. Weapons of mass destruction are a particularly
grave threat when they are used for terrorism. At this time,
the issue of Iraq is of profound concern to the international
community. It is essential that Iraq allow inspections without
any conditions and restrictions and comply with all relevant
UN Security Council resolutions. We consider that the Security
Council should seek to adopt appropriate and necessary resolutions
in order to gain international cooperation in resolving this
The relaxation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula
is essential for the peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
At the recent summit meeting between Japan and North Korea,
North Korea expressed its intention to work with sincerity
to resolve humanitarian issues such as the abduction of Japanese
nationals, and security issues such as its nuclear and missile
activities. Japan intends to make strenuous efforts to resolve
these and other important issues in the process of the resumed
normalization talks, and to realize normalization of relations,
thereby contributing to the peace and stability of the region.
The recent relationship between India and
Pakistan is a serious concern for us. We want to urge both
of them to seek the reduction of tensions and the resumption
of dialogue, not only for the sake of peace and stability
in South Asia but also for the world. On the other hand, Japan
welcomes the commencement of peace talks between the Government
of Sri Lanka and LTTE, the talks which are meant to bring
about peace and reconstruction in Sri Lanka. Japan is prepared
to cooperate in the peace talks and reconstruction process.
Concerning Afghanistan, it is important for
the international community to promote cooperation to ensure
security and to steadily fulfill its commitments of assistance
to that country. In this regard, Japan is now preparing a
program called "Register for Peace," to facilitate
the reintegration of former combatants. In our view, ensuring
a seamless transition from humanitarian assistance to recovery
and reconstruction assistance is critically important for
the stability of Afghanistan. Cooperation for the construction
of the road which connects major cities is an especially urgent
need, as is a comprehensive regional development program through,
inter alia, resettlement of refugees and internally displaced
I would also like to touch upon the situation
in the Middle East. It is crucial that the vision of the peaceful
coexistence of Israel and an independent Palestinian state
be materialized as early as possible. However, the most urgent
task is for both parties to rebuild mutual trust, and put
an end to the vicious cycle of violence. Toward that end,
Japan strongly urges Israel to immediately withdraw its troops
to the line of September 2000, halt its military operations,
and lift closures in the autonomous areas; at the same time,
Japan resolutely condemns terrorist acts by Palestinian extremists.
Let me also refer to the situation in Africa.
We are encouraged by the positive movements, such as the establishment
of peace in Angola and a partial cease-fire in Sudan. On the
other hand, efforts for national reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire
are retrogressing, to our regret. Violence and bloodshed must
be stopped immediately. In this regard, we highly appreciate
and support the efforts by the African people themselves through,
for example, ECOWAS which has been seeking to undertake arbitration.
There is a clear causal link between development
on the one hand and peace and stability on the other. Where
instability, conflicts and war prevail, we see sorrow, tears,
frustration, lack of development and poverty. Where there
is stability and peace, we find joys, smiles, hopes and steady
developments. Development also has lots to do with enhancement
of "human security". Incidentally, human security
is a concept to which Japan attaches great importance and
we are looking forward to the final report which the Commission
on Human Security co-chaired by Mrs.Ogata and Professor Sen
is going to issue next spring.
Having said that, I would like to draw your
attention to the following historical fact. In the 1960s,
the per capita GNP of countries in East Asia was similar to
that of sub-Saharan African countries. Since then, however,
East Asian countries have dramatically increased their per
capita GNP, and in the past ten years the proportion of the
population living in poverty has been successfully cut in
half. Such sustainable growth has been described as the "East
Asian Miracle." Naturally, it is not at all my intention
to be boastful of the success of East Asia, of which Japan
is a part. I cited the story simply because I thought that
it must contain a valuable clue behind it which could serve
as a useful reference for us in addressing the issue of development.
Then, what is the clue? After a thorough study,
the World Bank came to a conclusion that this was achieved
through vigorous investment which was sustained by high savings,
and the availability of highly skilled human capital. I agree
that vigorous investment was the powerful engine for growth.
But, what is noteworthy here is that the major portion of
the investment capital came from the accumulation of small
amount of money saved by those with low income, but who believed
in better future.
The availability of many men and women with
basic education must have been another vital factor. It was
made possible because there were many mothers who were willing
to skip their lunch in order to pay education for their children.
It is those vivid, concrete human factors that, in my view,
have played a major role in achieving the success.
Of course, I do not deny the important, complementary
role which donors and overseas investors played in their development.
In view of the tremendous handicap in which many developing
countries find themselves and in light of increasing interdependence
of states, the assistance by the donors has become all the
It is fortunate that we were able to agree
on the Millennium Development Goals in this respect. However,
it is crucial to keep reminding ourselves that these goals
would lose much relevance, unless there are many who are prepared
to run, sweating and short of breath toward these goals, and
unless there are equally many who are prepared to cheer and
give warm encouragement to supply water and towels to these
serious runners, or to ensure that the course is in good condition.
In this respect, Japan welcomes NEPAD, the
New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the establishment
of the African Union as manifestations of the ownership by
African countries. Anticipating that African countries will
strive to make further progress in their development on the
basis of NEPAD, and to help strengthen their partnership with
the international community, Japan will convene TICAD III,
the third Tokyo International Conference on African Development
in October 2003.
Development must be pursued in a sustainable
manner. It is therefore important to duly follow up the results
of the Johannesburg Summit. For example, the WSSD’s
Plan of Implementation recommended that the UN General Assembly
consider declaring a "Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development" starting in 2005. Japan is in favor of this
recommendation. And Japan, for its part, will host the Third
Water Forum and its International Ministerial Conference in
March of next year.
The treatment of HIV/AIDS and other infectious
diseases is another big task. As the report by the Committee
of Health and Macroeconomics of WHO pointed out last December,
public health is critical for the economic development of
poor countries, and investments in the health sector is a
means not only of improving health conditions but also of
achieving the Millennium Development Goals with respect to
In order to address the issue of infectious
diseases effectively, it is necessary to adopt a well-coordinated
approach that responds to the wide-ranging needs of each country,
including education, prevention, treatment, public sanitation,
and research and development. Cooperation based on a balanced
consideration to regions in need of assistance is also important.
From this viewpoint, Japan will continue to contribute to
the "Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria".
Last but not least, I would like to address
the need to strengthen the United Nations. The UN is required
to focus on the new challenges of the twenty-first century
and take actions in a flexible and more effective manner.
The priority issues which the UN is expected to address are
being defined by the Millennium Declaration and through global
conferences. It is up to the UN to establish work programs
and formulate budgets in accordance with these priorities,
and then to undertake organizational reforms. The report on
UN reform recently issued by Secretary-General clearly sets
forth the direction which this effort should take. Japan welcomes
the basic stance of the Secretary-General, and intends to
fully cooperate in the process of reform.
A large number of heads of state and government
noted at the Millennium Summit that Security Council reform
is especially important in strengthening the United Nations.
As the Secretary-General stated in his recent report: "No
reform is complete without the Security Council reform".
I welcome his exhortation to Member States with this statement
to move ahead in the discussion of this important issue. As
the debate on Security Council reform is about to enter its
tenth year, Japan believes we should focus our discussion
on such questions as the number of seats on the enlarged Security
Council. Japan intends to make various efforts in this regard,
and hopes that the present report will provide momentum to
The Japanese Government also welcomes the
fact that the reform of UN peace keeping operations, which
is based on the "Brahimi Report" is showing increasing
results. Japan looks forward to the efficient and effective
use of the enhanced capacity of the Secretariat in this area.
It is important that we not view the goals
contained in the Millennium Declaration simply as ends in
themselves. By 2015, we must reduce world poverty and hunger
by half, we must eliminate gender disparity in education,
and we must reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Then, we can build
a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. To that end, developing
and developed countries are equally required to do their utmost
according to their respective capacities. Towards the attainment
of the goals of the Millennium Declaration, Japan will spare
no effort to contribute to the work of the United Nations.