(Check Against Delivery)

Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform
April 16, 2013

Mr. Chairman,

           At the outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for convening today’s meeting. For its part, Japan aligns itself with the statement made by Germany on behalf of the G4. Besides that, I would like to make some remarks from Japan’s national capacity.

           Even though we spent four years in Intergovernmental Negotiations, we have not yet succeeded in starting ‘real negotiations.’ Now we, Member States, stand at the crossroads where Security Council reform is at stake. Each Member State needs to show a spirit of flexibility and willingness to start real negotiations and to take a more realistic approach to realizing reform. Japan spares no effort in reaching out to all Member States to find and consolidate common ground on the issue of Security Council reform.

           Member States should strive to find a possible option that could garner two-thirds of their support to realize the reform through jointly working out a concise working document. Japan expects Ambassador Tanin as Chairman, to further play an active role in facilitating the drafting process with a view to creating such a viable option. Japan acknowledges your efforts to update the negotiation text Rev.3, reflecting changes of some groups’ positions on the matter, but this lengthy text will not be a basis for the negotiations.

Mr. Chairman,

            It is the firm conviction of Japan, as well as the G4, that we need to reform the core of the Council, namely the permanent membership. Leaving the core of the Council unchanged is tantamount to leaving the legacies of 65 years ago to prevail in the 21st century. Japan also supports the urgent need to increase the representation of developing countries in both permanent and non-permanent categories in order to better reflect today’s geopolitical realities. In this regard, Japan commends the recent call by Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for “greater urgency” of Security Council reform, by way of presenting its draft resolution. I look forward to hearing from CARICOM countries about further details on their position.

           Africa should occupy the core of the Security Council, as nearly three-quarters of issues that are now on the agenda of the Security Council affect the continent. Realizing Security Council reform requires political leadership. In this regard, Japan desires to enhance mutual discussion and reinforce substantive cooperation between Japan and Africa. In June this year, we are hosting the TICAD (Tokyo International Conference for African Development) V in Yokohama to combine efforts with Africa to promote African Development. TICAD process has served to promote high-level policy dialogue on African Development over the last twenty years. Utilizing this timely occasion where African leaders get together, it is highly expected that political and candid discussion with Africa will take place on this issue as well.

Mr. Chairman,

           In 2015, the U.N. will commemorate its 70th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the U.N. World Summit, where several reform initiatives were agreed including the Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. The U.N. reform process, however, will not be complete without Security Council reform. Security Council reform is already overdue and Member States should double their efforts to realize the reform.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

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