Statement by Mr. Akihiro Okochi

Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

The Fifth Committee, Session on Organization of Work

5 March 2012


Thank you, Mr. President,]


          At the beginning of this first resumed session of the Fifth Committee, I would like to reiterate three points that Ambassador Jun Yamazaki raised during the informal plenary meeting for brainstorming on this Committee’s working methods organized by the President of the General Assembly and put them in the context of this session.


           First, our delegation emphasized that finding ways to achieve timely and well-informed agreements based on consensus should be the goal of our efforts to improve the working methods of this Committee. In this respect, we are fully aware that our representatives in the Bureau propose to complete our discussions within three weeks, which is not overly ambitious, given the experiences of the past. We are confident that this proposal is quite feasible if all the Member States make serious efforts to show flexibility earlier in the discussions rather than at the last minute. Given the amount of resources that would be required to extend this session, all the delegates should engage in this discussion, aiming at meeting the deadline of 23rd of March.


           Second, our delegation stressed that a culture of mutual trust should be further promoted within this Committee with a view to cooperating to find common solutions. In this respect, my delegation is convinced that this session is opportune for fostering this culture of mutual trust because most of the agenda items for this session are systemic issues, ranging from Limited Budgetary Discretion to accountability through air travel which require us to gather our wisdom to shape a better future for the Organization rather than immediate approval of financial resources.


           Third and finally, our delegation has proposed to replace the current seating practice with one in which members of G77, and delegates from Japan and other nations may sit side-by-side rather than in opposition to one another. We are encouraged to have received the positive reactions of some Member States from both sides. Since the initiative of the PGA is still underway, leading up to a retreat in April, we will not ask for an immediate implementation of this proposal during this session, but we would like to emphasize once again that, given the increasing dynamism and diversity we merely because they are current practices and that any efforts, however trivial they might appear, should not be spared to reflect the reality of the world in our discussions.


Mr. President,
           Let me assure you once again that Japan will engage in discussions in a constructive manner.


I thank you, Mr. President.


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