Statement by H.E. Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Informal Meeting of the Plenary of the General Assembly
Briefing by the Secretary-General on the report by the United Nations
Mission on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of
Damascus on 21 August 2013
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
As it is the very first time that I take the floor at the General Assembly as the newly arrived Permanent Representative of Japan, I wish first to congratulate you on your assumption as the President of the General Assembly and I look forward to working with you and your team in the coming 12 months.
I would also like to express my gratitude for your initiative to convene the meeting today.
I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his presentation and the UN mission headed by Professor Sellström for their work which was carried out under very difficult circumstances.
The report by the UN Mission unequivocally points out that chemical weapons were used in the incident which took place on 21st August in the suburbs of Damascus.
Japan welcomes the agreement reached between the United States and the Russian Federation on 14th September on a framework toward complete destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.
Japan calls for sincere response by the Syrian government based on the agreement and we will watch concrete action by Syria. Japan also continue to support and will make necessary contributions to efforts by relevant countries and organizations so that chemical weapons will never be used again.
Finally, I wish to emphasize that we all should continue to contribute to the efforts not only on the chemical weapons issue but also toward cessation of violence, initiation of political dialogue, and improvement of appalling humanitarian conditions. Japan will continue to do so. We will proactively assist refugees and neighboring countries in response to the plea just made by the Secretary-General.
I thank you, Mr. President.