Opening Remarks by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan
to the United Nations
at the Seminar “The Turtle Bay Security Roundtable: Navigating the Sanctions Regime, Promoting Proliferation Prevention,”
organized by the Permanent Missions of Japan and Poland to the UN, in cooperation with the Stimson Center
5 December 2011
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentleman,
It gives me great pleasure to host this event again with Ambassador Sobków of Poland in close cooperation with the Stimson Center, led by Ms. Ellen Laipson.
As many of you recall, here at Japan Society, we organized an event in May with the presence of the Secretary-General. As we were able to generate candid and stimulating exchanges of view in that event, I aspired to organize another event by the end of this year. Some of you may recall the promise I made at the end of that day. I am very delighted to have kept that promise and be able to welcome all my colleagues from Member States, the UN Secretariat, experts and members of think tanks today.
The year 2011 was another important year for the world in the area of disarmament and especially non-proliferation. Despite our best efforts, North Korea continues their nuclear program, having announced just a few days ago their “steady progress” in their uranium enrichment program. In the case of Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency warned us in its report of the military dimension of Iran’s nuclear activities, resulting in the adoption of the resolutions at the most recent Board of Governors meeting last month. The problem of proliferation has now gained the attention of the international community beyond the traditional area of weapons of mass destruction. As much as the world has been inspired by the dramatic changes in the Middle East, there is a serious risk of the proliferation of conventional weapons in the region, most notably in Libya. I have named only a few cases, but they all are compelling examples of the urgent need for us to address the issue of global non-proliferation.
As I explained in the previous seminar, I cannot think of a better place than New York to discuss all of these issues. Not only because this is where the Security Council resolutions are passed, but more because New York enjoys the most universal representation of the international community to discuss such an important subject. Among all the Member States, we can share our experiences and confide with each other on the many emerging challenges we face in the rapidly changing world.
When we discuss the issue of non-proliferation and the need to effectively implement the key Security Council resolutions, we must have a holistic picture of the challenges we face. One of the major difficulties before us is the speed of advancement in technologies which allows goods, services and capital to move beyond boundaries. We need to find a way for national measures to outpace these developments.
In this context, I am very heartened to see that leading experts in all these fields are present here today. I am especially grateful to Mr. Masao Takebayashi of Hitachi, our keynote speaker for today’s luncheon, who decided to travel from Tokyo to New York just to attend this meeting. I believe that input from the private sector and expertise on regional affairs are indispensible to properly address the issue of non-proliferation. Not only Mr. Takebayashi but many other experts have agreed to join us today to engage in candid exchanges of views. I hope all my UN colleagues will be able to benefit from their participation today.
As with our previous meeting, we are very blessed to have the full cooperation of relevant UN offices. Our friends from the Department of Political Affairs and the Office for Disarmament Affairs provided us with a great deal of useful advice on how to make this event more meaningful. I would like to express my deep gratitude for all of the support we have received to make this event possible.
I hope you will have a fruitful discussion today, and look forward to hearing your thoughts at the end of this seminar.
With that, I would like to ask my dear colleague, Ambassador Sobków, to share his thoughts with us.
Thank you for your attention.