Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Chargé d’affaires a.i.
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
to the United Nations
At the Open Debate of the Security Council
On ”Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council” (S/2010/507)
30 November 2011
At the outset, allow me to express my deep gratitude to H.E. Mr. José Filipe Moraes Cabral, (Permanent Representative of Portugal and) President of the Security Council for the month of November, for his initiative, which includes convening today’s open debate on the working methods of the Security Council, an issue upon which Japan places great importance, and holding a separate and in-depth discussion in the General Assembly earlier this month on the Annual Report of the Security Council. We also acknowledge the work of H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalić, Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina for his contribution in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
The discussion on working methods is crucial to ensuring prompt and effective action on the part of the Council for the maintenance of international peace and security as well as securing the wider support of the UN membership in the implementation of Council decisions. Continuous attention and effort, such as the better use and implementation of Presidential Note 507 as revised last year, are vital in achieving improvement in the working methods.
The issue of working methods is also important in the context of Security Council reform. Working methods have been identified as one of the five key issues of reform by the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform. Achieving real progress in this area will require continuing and sincere efforts on the part of the Council as well as Member States-led initiatives. In this connection, we highly appreciate the dedication shown by the S-5.
We recognize that the Security Council has been engaged in an effort to increase transparency and has made some significant progress in that regard, as reflected in the Council’s more frequent interaction with non-Council members, while showing some success in improving efficiency. For example, the programme of work is briefed by the Presidency to non-Council members at the beginning of each month and is readily available on the Security Council website. In its interaction with non-Council members, the Security Council has not only engaged in dialogues with relevant parties such as troop and police contributing countries and the Peacebuilding Commission, but has also made use of informal interactive discussions. These improvements are duly reflected in the revised Note 507. Furthermore, under Japan’s initiative, a comprehensive Handbook on the Working Methods of the Security Council, commonly referred to as the “green book”, was compiled to assist newly elected members of the Council as well as the wider membership in gaining an understanding of the workings of the Security Council. I am delighted to announce that this handbook is now available as a publication of the United Nations.
We also listened to your presentation at the General Assembly which described recent efforts in the Council to improve its internal efficiency with keen interest, and commend the Members of the Council for such undertakings.
While it is important to acknowledge the progress made to date, we must continue our efforts to improve the working methods.More specifically, improvements that we hope to see include betterment of the monthly assessments by the President on the work of the Council through summaries of major discussions. This will help the creation of a more substantive Annual Report.
It is also critical to acknowledge that effectiveness is not antithetical to openness. The Security Council must recognize that interaction with concerned parties is necessary in order for the Council to take prompt and effective actions.
In this context, we note that progress in improvement of the Council’s working methods cannot be achieved without the cooperation of the permanent members. Needless to say, periodic review of the progress is necessary, and, with help from existing and newly elected members, we hope for continued engagement on this issue in the coming years.
The participation of many non-Council members in today’s meeting testifies to the fact that the working methods remain a critical issue. We appreciate the work of countries such as S-5 and Portugal who have helped promote this issue from both inside and outside. Japan will also maintain its engagement in this very important issue in order to promote continuous improvement in the working methods.
Thank you, Mr. President.