2013 Statement


Opening Remarks by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
at the Turtle Bay Security Roundtable:
Proliferation Challenges in a Flat World,
organized by the Permanent Missions of Japan, Poland and Turkey to the U.N., in cooperation with Stimson
18 January 2013




Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,


It gives me a great pleasure to invite you to this Fourth Turtle Bay Security Roundtable meeting with Ambassador Sarkowicz of Poland and Ambassador Çevik of Turkey.


I am also delighted to see Ellen Laipson from Stimson with us today. She has been with us from the first Turtle Bay roundtable in May of 2011, and Stimson has been instrumental in making the last three events a success.


The purpose of convening this roundtable discussion is to provide an opportunity to engage in candid and in-depth discussions on issues of critical security interests to us all, namely how to maintain global peace and security. When discussing these difficult challenges, it is useful to think outside the box, to be more creative and critical. We therefore invited many non-New York-based experts, to benefit from their insights.


We have here with us today leading scholars and experts in wide-ranging fields, travelling from as far as Stockholm and Nairobi. Just to give you some examples, Mr. Juan Zarate, our keynote speaker, has played a central role inside the U.S. government in formulating its policy against transnational security threats. Our keynote discussant, Dr. Duane Lindner from Sandia National Laboratories, has a wealth of experience in developing a system to defend key infrastructure from WMD threats. I would like to thank all the panelists and speakers who join us today.


The eclectic mix of participants in today’s gathering shows not only the complexity of the subject matter but also the critical importance for us to avoid being compartmentalized in a narrowly defined scope. This danger exists especially here in the U.N., where so much time is spent on what each subsidiary organ should or should not do, and where constant anxieties exist on interfering with the work of other bodies. The Turtle Bay roundtable hopes to encourage more open and stimulating discussions to overcome such barriers which are often self-imposed.


One of the biggest challenges Member States, both developed and developing, face in implementing international obligations on arms control and non-proliferation, is limited resources. We therefore need to think creatively how Member States can effectively fulfill international obligations under multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. Export control and technology transfer, which we will discuss today, are prime examples. A single custom regulation can become effective in addressing WMD and conventional arms proliferation, as well as the control of dual use material and technologies. Through our discussions here, we can learn from each other on ways to tackle these challenges without over-burdening ourselves.


Such creative thinking is of critical importance as it has practical relevance to the latest developments in international society. Let us take the example of the recent missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in which Japan and many other States have keen interest. The North Korean government claims the launch was made for scientific purposes and to advance its technology. However, relevant Security Council resolutions clearly prohibit any kind of ballistic missile launch. This is because of the continuing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and other WMD programs as well as lack of transparency of the regime. In order to prevent proliferation of sensitive material and technology, we need to understand how specific technologies can be developed and used, especially when they are disguised as legitimate activities. That would allow us in turn to promote healthy and legitimate growth of industry in each country.


The same applies for the issue of conventional weapons. In March, we will have the final negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty here in New York. In implementing a rule-based global arms trade, effective customs and border controls are critical. Needless to say, border control is not limited to smuggling or illegal arms. The flow of narcotics, counterfeits and other illegal transfers of goods are also detrimental to the development of each country. In this area, too, we have to think more creatively on how to find the nexus between security and development challenges, despite resource constraints.


All three sessions today will cover these complicated challenges we now face. I hope we will benefit from the discussions.


With that, I would like to ask my distinguished colleagues, Ambassador Sarkowicz of Poland and Ambassador Çevik of Turkey, to share their thoughts with us.


Thank you for your attention.