Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
On the Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization
At the 65th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
5 October 2010
At the outset, allow me to extend my deep appreciation to His Excellency Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his remarkable devotion in guiding the diverse activities of the United Nations and for his report on the work of the Organization A/65/1.
The most urgent challenge facing the United Nations at this time is the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. We are concerned about the impact of the financial and economic crisis on the efforts of developing countries to attain the MDGs. Now that this year’s High-Level Plenary Meeting has been successfully concluded, we must follow through on all the commitments and promises, without any loss of time, in order to accelerate progress and achieve the MDGs by the target year of 2015.
Japan, for its part, will deliver on the promises made by Prime Minister Kan, focusing on the two crucial sectors of health and education.
Efforts for the reduction of poverty alone will not translate into achievement of the MDGs. A significant proportion of the bottom billion poor are caught up in conflict or barely surviving in a tenuous post-conflict situation. It is often said that as many as 50 percent of post-conflict countries relapse into hostilities within ten years after the conflict’s end.
In order to break the vicious circle of conflict and poverty, it is essential to address the two factors comprehensively. Once a conflict has been resolved, there should be quick delivery of a peace dividend, which can be discerned by the people in the form of tangible improvement in their daily livelihood and is supported by urgent measures to enhance social and economic stability.
In this context, Japan appreciates the activities undertaken by the Peacebuilding Commission to promote such an integrated strategy and to fill some of the most conspicuous gaps. During its Presidency of the Security Council this year, Japan hosted an open debate of the Council on post-conflict peacebuilding. We will continue to endeavor to promote this seamless approach for peacebuilding, taking into account the perspective of human security.
The concept of human security represents a human-centered and integrated strategy, aiming at actualizing freedom from fear and want for every individual. It is also a bottom-up approach, beginning with the protection and empowerment of the individual and the community.
In this regard, I welcome with appreciation the adoption of the resolution entitled “Follow-up to paragraph 143 on human security of the 2005 World Summit Outcome” in July this year. The adoption of this resolution is a crucial milestone in the efforts to materialize the commitments of the World Summit Outcome and to integrate the human security approach in United Nations activities. We commend the assistance rendered by the Friends of Human Security and look forward to continuing the discussion on this concept during the new session.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women now play a central part throughout the work of the United Nations. We welcome the establishment of UN Women, which will lead to strengthening of the United Nations commitment to gender mainstreaming. Japan is committed to contribute actively to help to ensure that all activities related to gender in the United Nations will operate collaboratively in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Moreover, we intend to utilize this momentum to renew our commitment to further the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment both in Japan and in the wider international community.
Peacekeeping remains the core activity of the United Nations. Japan will continue to participate actively in UN PKOs and disaster relief operations, as we have done in the case of the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan.
At the same time, UN peacekeeping now face unprecedented challenges, in terms of both capacity of the Member States and complexity of the mission’s mandates. Therefore, all the stakeholders responsible for these activities, such as the General Assembly, the Security Council, Member States and the Secretariat, must cooperate proactively to formulate improvement measures which ensure that peacekeeping operations will be assigned clear and achievable mandates and will be managed effectively and efficiently, with adequate resourcing.
We welcome, as measures to advance global peace and security, the recent positive developments in the area of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Taking its moral responsibility as the only country that has ever suffered the tragic consequences of atomic bombings, Japan is determined to exert all efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. To that end, Japan will submit a draft resolution during this session outlining concrete measures towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
I also take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General once again for making his visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August this year to attend a 65th peace memorial ceremony for the first time as the UN Secretary General and demonstrate his earnest resolve to realize a world without nuclear weapons.
Another major challenge confronting humankind at this time is climate change. Aiming, as the final objective, at adopting a new and comprehensive legally binding document, Japan will continue to coordinate with other States and the United Nations to lead international negotiations for the success of COP 16 in Cancun. We will also steadily support these developing countries which are making efforts for reducing emissions and are vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change through various channels, including partnership between the public and private sectors.
Japan will host COP 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya this month, and believes that every effort must be made in order to come to agreement on commencing new actions to halt the rapidly progressing loss of biodiversity. We are determined to play an important role for the resolution of this issue.
The role and functions of the Human Rights Council are to be carefully reviewed by the close of the year 2011, and the Council thus stands now at an especially important juncture. Japan is fully committed to taking part in the discussions in various forums such as the General Assembly, the Third Committee and the Human Rights Council to make further contributions to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights.
Reform of the United Nations cannot be considered complete without meaningful Security Council reform. Japan recognizes the solid progress made in the intergovernmental negotiations during the 64th session of the General Assembly, and looks forward to international negotiations based on the second revision of the negotiation text in the current session, as mandated by General Assembly decision 63/568.
It is Japan’s view that the Security Council must be reformed through expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent memberships, so that the Council will reflect the realities of the geopolitical configuration of the world in the 21st century.
In that regard, we are pleased to note, Mr. President, that you are clearly focused on the need for early reform of the Security Council, and we count on your steady leadership to guide us to a concrete outcome during this session.
Japan wishes to reaffirm the importance of transparent, accountable and efficient management of the United Nations. The determined efforts of the Secretary-General to work towards a more efficient and responsive Secretariat have our full and enthusiastic support.
We are well aware that the current state of the world economy negatively impacts the financial situations of Member States. In that light, it is clear that the recent trend in United Nations fiscal management characterized by continuous expansion of the Organization’s regular and peacekeeping budgets can no longer be sustained. The UN Secretariat must be streamlined for greater effectiveness and efficiency, and in order to facilitate the fulfillment of its mandates within the available financial resources of Member States. We look forward to carefully studying the proposal to be made by the Secretary-General related to Human Resources Management with a view to establishing a robust and lean organization.
From that point of view, the Secretariat should make a concerted effort to rationalize expenditures and develop strategies for implementing mandated activities at lower cost. To the extent possible, new requirements should be met through the redeployment of existing resources. Rigorous financial discipline must be exercised in the implementation of the 2010-2011 programme budget and the PKO mission budgets.
I conclude my remarks today by reiterating Japan's determined commitment to continue to work towards a more efficient United Nations.
Thank you, Mr. President.