Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Debate of the General Assembly
On Agenda Item 30: Report of the Security Council
8 November 2011
I would first of all like to thank the President of the Security Council for the month of November, Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, for his presentation of the annual report of the Security Council to the General Assembly. I also wish to thank Ambassador Peter Wittig and the German delegation for their preparation of the annual report during Germany’s presidency of the Security Council in July.
Japan appreciates that the annual report of the Security Council continues to be improved and submitted to the General Assembly in line with Presidential Note 507, which was revised under our chairmanship of the Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedureal Questions in 2010. We believe that this report not only strengthens the ties between the General Assembly and the Security Council but also plays an important role in ensuring the accountability of the Council.
Japan stands today in an advantageous position, as we have observed the work of the Security Council from the inside as well as the outside, having served most recently as a non-permanent member of the Council through 2010. From that perspective, allow me to use this opportunity to highlight some of our insights and contributions with respect to the work of the Security Council.
To begin with, a crucial role of the Council, which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, is to respond to various regional developments. In this regard, Japan, as the lead country for Afghanistan and Timor-Leste, advanced the Council’s consideration of these countries by organizing consultations and drafting and adopting relevant resolutions and PRSTs. We have remained committed to these two countries even after our departure from the Council as a member of their respective Group of Friends.
In the African region, Japan has contributed to the consolidation of peace and security in Sudan. For example, Japan was the first donor to announce its assistance to the South Sudan referendum in January 2011, encouraging others to follow suit. Japan also dispatched its referendum observation Mission to assist the conduct of a free and fair referendum. We believe the smooth transition to independence was ensured by the strong support extended by the Council. Recently, Japan announced its willingness to contribute an engineering contingent of its Self-Defense Forces to UNMISS. Japan continues to take the multi-faceted approach to assist Sudan and South Sudan through ODA, private sector assistance and peacekeeping/peacebuilding activities. In Somalia, in addition to police support, Japan has helped to expand the logistical support of the AMISOM and contributed to the expansion of its forces. The eviction of Al Shabab forces from Mogadishu was an accomplishment resulting from concerted efforts of the international community.
However, despite these accomplishments, there have been areas in which the Security Council has not met our expectations, including DPRK’s uranium enrichment activities, the Yeonpyeong Island incident last autumn, as well as the situations in Syria.
While regional affairs represent the substantive work of the Council, the thematic debates are no less important in setting policy.
In the field of peacebuilding, the PRST adopted under Japan’s presidency in April 2010 has been serving as the basis for the growing recognition of the importance of the peacebuilding approach as well as of strengthening the ties between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council. Japan, as Chair of the PBC’s Working Group on Lessons Learned since January this year, has continued to encourage greater cooperation between the General Assembly and the Security Council, even after its departure from the Council.
In the field of peacekeeping, as Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, Japan helped to reinvigorate the Group’s discussions by inviting troop and police contributing countries and relevant regional organizations to its meetings. These discussions, which were compiled into four interim reports, led to a better understanding of the following:
i) First, the gaps between Security Council mandates and the capacity of peacekeeping operations;
ii) Second, transition and exit strategy of PKO missions;
iii) And third, triangular cooperation among the Security Council, troop and police contributing countries and the UN Secretariat.
The Japanese Self-Defense Forces have been on the ground in Haiti assisting MINUSTAH by removal of debris and land leveling for the construction of IDP camps. Japan is also preparing for dispatching an engineer contingent to UNMISS as mentioned earlier.
With regard to non-proliferation issues, Japan has been actively engaged in the discussions in both the 1718 and 1737 Committees addressing the nuclear issues concerning the DPRK and Iran, respectively. In the 1737 Committee, in particular, Japan served as committee chair and contributed to the establishment of the Panel of Experts in November last year. As regards the 1540 Committee, Japan supported the Committee’s effort to compile matrices indicating the status of implementation of relevant resolutions by all Member States. After its term on the Council ended, Japan co-organized a seminar on non-proliferation and disarmament here in New York with colleagues from Turkey and Poland, stressing the importance of relevant Council actions such as resolutions 1718, 1874 and 1929. We plan to organize a similar event this December.
In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the strong support and the significant accomplishments achieved by our outgoing colleagues, namely, Gabon, Nigeria, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lebanon and welcome wholeheartedly the newly elected non-permanent members of Togo, Morocco, Pakistan, Guatemala and Azerbaijan. I trust that the new members will continue the renewed focus on the Council’s relationship with the General Assembly, by ensuring the transparency of the Council’s work through information-sharing with non-members of the Council, as they work to strengthen the maintenance of international peace and security. Japan, as a continuing partner to the Security Council, will remain committed to the work of the Council until the day we join it again.
Thank you, Mr. President.