Statement by Mr. Takahiro Nakamae
Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
At the Fourth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the
Work of the Revitalization of the General Assembly
May 10, 2012
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for convening today’s meeting.
Regarding the working methods of the GA, Japan believes that it is important to rationalize the work of the General Assembly with a view to better enabling it to focus its activities on current challenges and events of common interest to the international community. We need to continue to make efforts to implement relevant provisions of previous GA resolutions. In this context, I would like to point out three specific points:
First, it is appropriate to continue to consider streamlining and prioritizing the agenda of the General Assembly and its Main Committees. The possibilities of the further biennialization, triennialization, clustering and elimination of items should be looked into, based on relevant GA resolutions.
Second, there is a need to continue to undertake substantial discussions aimed at improving the working methods of each of the six main committees. A recent initiative of the President of the General Assembly to convene a retreat on the working methods of the Fifth Committee was a welcome one to that end.
Third, with respect to the GA’s relationship to the Economic and Social Council, we need to streamline the work of the Second and Third Committees and of ECOSOC by clarifying the roles assigned to each body. The relevance of such efforts is clearly increased in light of the consultations which are currently under way on the Rio+20 negotiations to define the role of ECOSOC in producing effective follow-ups to the outcomes of that Conference.
On the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General, the distinct roles and responsibilities of the Security Council and of the General Assembly are provided in the Charter. Relevant GA resolutions already offer some possibilities to be explored for ensuring the transparency and inclusiveness of the selection process in accordance with the Charter. In particular, Resolution A/RES/51/241 suggests that the President of the General Assembly may consult with Member States to identify potential candidates without prejudice to the prerogatives of the Security Council. Also, Resolution A/RES/60/286 provides the option for the General Assembly to hold a formal presentation of candidatures for the position of Secretary-General in a manner that allows sufficient time for interaction with Member States.
Japan highly appreciates the smooth process last year by which H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon was appointed for a second term as Secretary-General. The next Secretary-General will be selected in less than 5 years from now. Japan believes that it will be useful to continue to review our experiences in the implementation of the relevant GA resolutions in anticipation of the next selection process.