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 122: Question of equitable representation on and
increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters
8 November 2011
I would like to thank you for convening today’s plenary meeting to discuss Security Council reform. Japan highly appreciates that you have identified United Nations reform and revitalization as one of the four priority areas of the 66th session of the General Assembly. As you have pointed out, in order for the Organization to remain legitimate, it is important that there is strong political will to realize previous resolutions and decisions. In this regard, early reform of the Security Council is truly needed.
I would also like to commend your swift re-appointment of Ambassador Zahir Tanin as the Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations. We fully trust that you and Ambassador Tanin will exercise proactive leadership in order to promote substantive and meaningful discussions among the Member States.
Various efforts have been made to reform the Security Council so that it will better reflect the realities of the 21st century, and not the world of sixty years ago. I believe that all Member States are committed to realize early reform, so that the United Nations can address present challenges with greater representativeness, legitimacy and effectiveness. In the last session of the General Assembly, the G4 took the initiative to propose a draft resolution on reform, and other Member States were also actively engaged in serious discussion of the issue, creating strong momentum toward real negotiations.
On the basis of the progress of the last session, we must take the next step towards achieving a concrete outcome. Although there remain wide differences of views among Member States, I believe that all Member States are now ready to begin substantive negotiations aimed at finding a solution which can accommodate different views and garner the widest possible political acceptance, as required by previous decisions of the General Assembly. To this end, we hope to see a spirit of flexibility demonstrated by every Member State for the purpose of beginning constructive and results-oriented discussions on the way forward.
We fully share your view that the collective political will of the Membership is necessary to advance our efforts to reform the Security Council. The G4 Foreign Ministers met in New York on 23 September, and expressed their determination to work in close cooperation with other Member States in a spirit of flexibility and to press ahead with all the necessary steps to achieve a concrete outcome in the current session.
With regard to the draft resolution on expansion of the Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories and improvement of its working methods, the Ministers expressed the view that the strong support extended to the initiative should be considered as a basis for further discussion in the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations.
All Member States must proactively commit to the reform effort and take steps to accelerate the process with a sense of urgency. Japan, for its part, is sparing no effort to promote substantive discussions with like-minded members, with a spirit of openness, transparency, honesty and realism.
In this regard, I take the opportunity to mention today that the Japanese government is organizing a dialogue in Tokyo on Security Council reform to be held on 14 November. Our aim is to open a new chapter for an honest, open and substantive dialogue, which is essential in order to explore achievable reform. Japan would highly appreciate, Mr. President, your participation in this meeting. It is our hope that this dialogue will stimulate fruitful discussions, in continuity with the previous efforts, to generate a further dynamism for meaningful progress, and we are ready to share the results with all interested Member States.
Now is the time to take concrete action. Japan welcomes the next round of the intergovernmental negotiations to be held at the end of this month, and hopes that the Tokyo Dialogue will add impetus to the discussions in the negotiations. We strongly wish to see more frequent and substantive negotiations and welcome any initiative from Member States which can generate momentum towards a real solution. In this regard, we believe that the streamlining of the negotiation text Rev. 3 to include narrowed-down options will help move the negotiating process forward.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate once again Japan’s firm commitment to exert all efforts to achieve a concrete reform outcome during the present session, in close cooperation with you, Mr. President, Ambassador Tanin and all of the Member States.
Thank you, Mr. President.