Closing Remarks by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Seminar “Promoting the Global Instruments of Nonproliferation and Disarmament:
the United Nations and the Nuclear Challenge,”
organized by the Permanent Missions of Japan, Poland, and Turkey to the UN,
in cooperation with the Stimson Center
31 May 2011
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much Ambassador Sobków and Ambassador Apakan for your thoughtful comments.
I would also like to thank all of you who have actively participated in this day-long discussion. We knew that it was an ambitious undertaking, but I believe we were able to achieve what we intended, which was to have a candid exchange of views on wide-ranging issues related to non-proliferation and disarmament. This was made possible because the Stimson Center was able to gather such a remarkable pool of experts to participate in the discussions. The informal, candid and passionate discussions of the afternoon sessions exceeded my expectations.
Through today’s discussion, I feel that we have once again reinforced our belief in the critical importance of strengthening our efforts to achieve the goal of global non-proliferation and disarmament. We also shared the sense that this is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently. As the Secretary-General pointed out in his speech this afternoon, the threat of proliferation is imminent. Time is not on our side.
In this regard, next year, 2012, will be a critical year for us. There will be a preparatory meeting for the NPT Review Conference, the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, and an international conference on the WMD free zone in the Middle East. There was a strong sense in this room today that we have to strengthen our cooperation and make tangible progress in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation.
Throughout the discussion today, the central role that the United Nations plays in these global efforts has been reiterated. In addition, there have been many valuable insights and comments made in support of improving and enhancing the level of cooperation between international and regional organizations and experts. A number of participants also stressed that technical assistance for building the capacity of Member States was crucial to ensure the effective implementation of non-proliferation measures. The importance of closer public-private partnerships and the role private companies play were also emphasized in the discussion.
I am very heartened to hear the warm support expressed by many participants in today’s meeting for the value of convening an event like this. Many of you have mentioned the merit of continuing to hold similar events here in New York so that we can better learn from each other and develop creative ideas to move forward. Japan has been active in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation. With your support and understanding, we will continue make serious efforts. It is my hope to convene at least one more event of a similar kind by the end of this year here in New York to maintain the momentum created through today’s discussion.
Discussions of disarmament and non-proliferation take place in Geneva and Vienna as well as respective capitals. However, just as Ambassador Sobków mentioned at the beginning of today’s discussion, New York is unique, for it has the most universal representation of all Member States. I strongly believe that, in the area of non-proliferation and disarmament, there is great potential to make a difference from here in New York. With our collective wisdom and determination, our efforts can truly make an impact.
Thank you once again for active participation, thank you for your support, and thank you for the wonderful contributions you all made today.