Statement by Mr. Takahiro Nakamae
Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the
Work of the Revitalization of the General Assembly
19 April 2012
As my delegation observed at the last meeting, we all acknowledge the position of the General Assembly as the most representative organ of the United Nations. The process of revitalizing the General Assembly forms an important part of the wider goal of reforming the United Nations, which is expected to play a central role in global governance.
At this second meeting of the Working Group convened on the topic of the role and authority of the General Assembly and its relationship to the principal organs, I would like to present Japan’s view on the following two points.
First, it is Japan’s view that further enhancement of the relationship between the General Assembly and the other principal UN organs should be sought in a practical manner and through confidence-building efforts. The GA is in the position of taking the lead in such efforts, taking into account the GA’s broad mandate to address any issues and questions that fall under its responsibility in accordance with the UN Charter, except as provided in Article 12, paragraph 1.
With respect to the GA’s relationship to the Security Council in particular, while the Security Council bears primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Charter does not exclude the General Assembly from addressing issues of peace and security. When the Council fails to fully exercise its functions, the General Assembly may play a complementary role. In case of Syria, a GA resolution adopted last February paved the way for the mediation efforts of Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy for the UN and the League of Arab States, which led to the adoption of a new Security Council resolution last weekend.
In light of this function of the General Assembly, it is important to develop a better relationship between the two organs. The holding of regular consultations between the Presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly provide valuable occasions to that end. The recently revived practice of holding a stand-alone debate in the General Assembly on the annual report of the Security Council is a welcome development, which the wider Membership should take advantage of in presenting their feedback to the work of the Security Council. In this connection, Japan hopes that the President of the Council will continue to undertake efforts to reach out to the wider Membership in the preparation of this year’s annual report.
Second, we need to revitalize the work of the General Assembly so that it can fulfill its role in addressing current global issues in a timely manner and produce result-oriented outcomes which are duly implemented and followed up.
In this regard, the holding of thematic debates on relevant current issues is one significant achievement realized so far. My delegation invites the President of the GA to continue this practice, which has proven to be a useful instrument for encouraging broader and more flexible exchanges of views outside the constraints of the formal agenda.
The relevance of thematic debates is enhanced when they are prepared and organized in relation to current events of common interest to the international community. One such example is the debate held on 12 April on Disaster Risk Reduction with the participation of political level dignitaries and experts from a number of Member States and relevant international organizations. This debate was both opportune and productive in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in development and international cooperation. Japan will certainly bring the fruitful outcomes of the debate to the High Level International Conference on Large-Scale Natural Disasters to be held in July in the Tohoku region of Japan.
In closing, as we embark on a series of thematic meetings starting today, my delegation reiterates its commitment to make an active contribution to the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly.