Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim,
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Joint Debate of the General Assembly
On Agenda Item 117: The Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters and Item 30: Report of the Security Council
15 November 2012
At the outset, I would like to thank you for convening today’s plenary meeting to discuss Security Council reform, combined with the Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. Japan highly appreciates that you have identified United Nations reform, which includes Security Council reform and revitalization of the General Assembly, as one of your priorities during the 67th session of the General Assembly. I would also like to commend your re-appointment of Ambassador Zahir Tanin as the Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN). We sincerely hope that you, as the President of the General Assembly, and Ambassador Tanin, as the Chairman of the IGN, will exercise legitimate leadership in guiding us to promote substantive and meaningful discussions among the Member States.
No one doubts the necessity of Security Council reform. Various efforts have been made to make the Security Council more representative, legitimate and effective. It’s regrettable, however, that the issue has not seen much progress over the decades. Let us remind each other that the 2005 World Summit and its Outcome Document prescribed Member States to realize early reform of the Security Council. Yet, even seven years after the World Summit, we have failed to reform the Security Council whatsoever. In this regard, Japan would like to remind every Member State that we have a collective responsibility to translate our political leaders’ commitment into concrete Security Council reform.
The present IGN process has also continued for nearly four years and we have exhausted every conceivable discussion pertaining to items on the agenda. Thanks to Ambassador Tanin’s leadership during the last round of the IGN, we have already acquired a clear and deep understanding of each group’s position on this issue. And we must note that an overwhelming majority of the Member States voiced support for an expansion of the Security Council in both categories of membership, permanent and non-permanent. Now is the time for all Member States to intensify the negotiations with a view to achieving a concrete outcome in the next ninth round of the IGN.
At the end of last 66th session of the General Assembly, we Member States, adopted the decision to roll-over the issue to the current session, while taking note of the recommendations by the Chairman of the IGN, contained in his letter of 25 July 2012. In this regard, Japan believes that in order to have a meaningful and constructive negotiation in the next round of the IGN, it is important that the negotiation will be conducted in line with the recommendations. Japan duly acknowledges these recommendations as ‘reflections’ of the Chairman who has guided the process forward over the past four years. In particular, Japan believes that one of his recommendations, the drafting of a concise working document, should be realized as a crucial step to move the process forward to realizing the reform. To that end, Japan requests all Member States to engage in this important task and Japan, of course, is fully committed to contributing to this collective work.
This commitment of Japan has also been demonstrated as part of the collective political will of the reform-oriented and results-driven group, namely the G4. The G4 Foreign Ministers met in New York on 25 September and reiterated their determination to work in close cooperation and in a spirit of flexibility with other Member States in genuine text-based negotiations. The Ministers also expressed their determination to inject greater political momentum into the process, including with a view to holding a high-level meeting on Security Council reform, as stated in the recommendation by the Chairman of the IGN. Japan is of the view that such a meeting should take place in 2013, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the IGN process.
Let me turn to another agenda item – the Annual Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India, President of the Security Council this month, for his presentation of the Report, as well as to Ambassador Nestor Osorio of Colombia and his staff for their preparation of the Report. Japan reiterates the importance of the Annual Report being improved and submitted to the General Assembly in line with Presidential Note 507/2010 and call for the relevant provisions of that Note to be followed accordingly. We believe that this Report not only strengthens relations between these two important organs of the United Nations but also plays an important role in ensuring the accountability and transparency of the Council. This obviously falls into the improvement of the working methods of the Security Council, one of the five clusters of Security Council reform. In this regard, Japan welcomes the holding of the debate at the General Assembly today as well as the informal consultation meeting with non-Members of the Security Council on this matter on 30 July 2012.
With regard to the contents of this Annual Report, Japan considers it comprehensive and descriptive. It comprises regional issues as well as thematic issues such as post-conflict peacebuilding, children and armed conflict, and some legal issues. It also contains information from other meetings, such as informal interactive dialogues with non-Members, other U.N. organs and regional organizations. Japan commends the format and description of the Report because they enhance the clarity of the Council’s work in the Report and eventually will further improve the transparency of the Council. We would have hoped that more background of the events on which the Council worked was included in the Report and hope that continued efforts will be made to strengthen the substantive aspects of the Report, including by improvements in the monthly assessments which form the basis of the Introduction. At the same time, more efforts are needed to make the Report even more concise.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate once again Japan’s firm commitment to exert all efforts to achieving a concrete reform outcome during the present session, working in close cooperation with you, Mr. President, Ambassador Tanin and all of the Member States. I would also like to request that Members of the Security Council continue their efforts in ensuring the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the Council’s work, and commend, in this regard, the contribution made by Portugal during this year as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
I thank you, Mr. President.