Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform
27 June, 2013
At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to you for convening today’s meeting. Japan aligns itself with the statement made by Brazil on behalf of the G4. Besides that, I would like to make some remarks in my national capacity, in response to your letter dated 12 June 2013. I would also like to refer to Japan’s effort on this issue since the last meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on 16 April.
Japan’s basic position on this issue remains the same; we need to reform the core of the Council, namely the permanent membership. Leaving the core of the Council unchanged is tantamount to allowing the legacies of 65 years ago to still prevail into the 21st century. This is the firm conviction of all G4 countries, as well as a large majority of the U.N. Member States. The expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories should be the basis of further negotiations.
Japan also recognizes the urgent need to increase the representation of developing countries in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, in order to better reflect today’s geopolitical realities. In particular, Africa should occupy a position at the core of the Security Council. I have no doubt that any Member State would not oppose to the continental aspiration of Africa for permanent membership to the Security Council. Of course, Japan also supports it, and seeks further cooperation with Africa.
Based on this recognition, Japan convened the first Japan-Africa Summit Meeting on U.N. Security Council Reform on 3 June 2013 in Yokohama, on the margins of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD V). Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, African leaders and Ministers of the Committee of Ten (C-10) on U.N. Reform, including H.E.Dr. Ernest Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, held a candid discussion on this important agenda, with the participation of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E.Dr.Nkosazana Dolamini-Zuma. With a view toward early realization of reform, we concurred to further coordination and cooperation between Japan and African countries in their capitals and New York as well. Japan also spares no effort to coordinate with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with regard to Security Council reform. Last May, the Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi, attended the 16th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in Trinidad and Tobago and had a fruitful discussion with CARICOM Foreign Ministers on how to further advance the Japan-CARICOM relations, in particular on Security Council reform. Japan highly appreciates the active efforts of CARICOM toward early reform of the Security Council, based on the expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
Japan is keen to move the process forward with a sense of urgency. We must act now; otherwise, the Security Council will lose its effectiveness and legitimacy and moreover the trust of the peoples of the world, as an essential mechanism for the maintenance of peace and security. Therefore, while maintaining its aspiration for the expansion in both categories of the Security Council, Japan is ready to take a flexible and realistic approach. Japan is ready to discuss various options which could pave the way for the Council’s expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, including an option of establishing a longer-term category with the possibility of its conversion to the permanent category after a certain period of time. This is the response of Japan to you, Mr. President, who asked us to focus on the ‘possible areas of convergences and links between different reform models.’
Japan, for its part, believes this approach offers a broad basis for starting real negotiations under certain timeline. Japan is ready to contribute to the collective efforts of all Member States to elaborate possible reform models which can garner the widest political support. Japan encourages all Member States to move together to the next stage of discussion where focused and substantial negotiations take place with a view to realizing Security Council reform. The next meeting should be convened with a focus on interim models as the aforementioned.
In order to help break the apparent impasse of the IGN, it may also be worth exploring ways to reach out to a wider audience, such as academia and the civil society, in order to solicit ideas and suggestions on how to narrow the gap among Member States. From this point of view, it was commendable that the Government of Brazil hosted an inclusive seminar on Security Council reform last April. Japan is also willing to contribute to stimulating such interactive discussions in the near future.
I thank you Mr. President.