Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Open Debate of the Security Council
On “Securing Boarders against Illicit Flows”
25 April 2012
I. Importance of Border Management and It’s Challenge
First of all, I thank you for taking up this very important theme for today’s open debate at the Security Council. We cannot avoid discussing “Securing Borders against Illicit Flows” if we are to maintain international peace and security, because the illicit cross-border flow of materials, funds, goods and people causes instability in our societies at both the national and international levels. Securing borders is a cross-cutting issue encompassing organized crime, terrorism and proliferation.
Each sovereign State has the primary responsibility to secure its borders, and its responsibility is not only for inflows to it but also for outflows from it. While such an individual effort is necessary for diligent border control, it alone is not sufficient. To secure borders from illicit flows, we, the international community as a whole, need to take a holistic and synergistic approach in our efforts. In this regard, we highly value the active roles of the United Nations and its bodies such as the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1540 Committee, and the sanction committees including the 1718 Committee, as well as CTITF, INTERPOL, and UNODC, in helping the States act in a more coordinated manner.
II. Expansion of the Scope of Border Control
While the traditional scope of our efforts to control illicit flows is centered on land borders, we have been witnessing the rapid expansion of the field. We must begin to recognize that efforts to control illicit flows have to include the sea and the air as well. As a nation bounded on all sides by the sea, Japan has vital interests in securing sea borders to block illicit flows.
In addition, although it has no physical boundaries, cyberspace is frontier which urgently requires greater attention in terms of illegal transactions, transfers of the technology and classified information which may be usurped for purposes of organized crimes, terrorism and proliferation.
III. Coordinated Efforts to Close Loopholes
Our success in the fight against illicit flows relies on how best we can close loopholes that allow such flows. To that end, we need coordinated efforts both at the international and the national levels.
In this regard, we would like to encourage States that have not done so to ratify the related conventions as well as to urge States to fully implement their obligations including those under Security Council resolutions.
We also believe that fighting the transfer and transport of weapons of mass destruction, missiles, and related materials contributes to the improvement of the security of the entire international community. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is an international effort to halt WMD proliferation. Japan has actively participated in activities of the PSI including through hosting several PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercises. Japan has also conducted outreach activities toward non-participating countries, particularly in Asia to enhance inclusiveness of international non-proliferation efforts.
At the national level, securing borders involves a complex coordination of multiple entities such as customs, immigration, and law enforcement bodies. Since they have their own authorities and jurisdictions, even in a country with sophisticated systems, it is very difficult to make such a coordination functioning in an effective way. Each State needs determination to achieve an active coordination. Japan for its part has operated strict border control in order to prevent illegal inflows and outflows by means of a cross-organizational and multi-layered response which relies on cooperation between our relevant Ministries and Agencies, the training of personnel, and outreach to exporters.
IV. Capacity Building
In addition, we recognize an urgent need to improve the capacities and the awareness of developing countries to further coordinate our efforts to fight against illicit flows. Every year, Japan holds the Asian Export Control Seminar in Tokyo to deepen understanding of the importance of export control and to exchange views and information in the region, recently with active participation of the sanctions committees and 1540 committee.
Japan has also implemented various programs aimed at assisting developing countries in building their capacities in the areas of immigration control, air and sea port control, and customs. These programs include organizing a series of seminars, dispatching experts from Japan, organizing training programs in respective countries, and providing equipment, such as X-ray inspection tools.
Securing borders extends to people, goods, and funds; each of which is covered by its own relevant government agencies. What is critically important is to connect these distinct bodies, responsible for different aspects of border security, into a cohesive and comprehensive strategy and to close any gaps or loopholes. Although we need to avoid any duplication and to continue our discussion on more efficient ways to tackle the issue, we believe that, in some cases, it is beneficial to address the threats generated by illicit flows with a multi-layered approach without being afraid of overlaying our efforts.
Finally, the advance in globalization is making border security more urgent than ever before. Once again, I thank you, Madam President, for your leadership to draw our attention to this very important issue in a timely manner. Japan will continue to proactively contribute to have each border secured from illicit flows that pose serious threats to international peace and security.
I thank you, Madam President.