2011 Event


Seminar organized by the Permanent Mission of Japan, Poland and Turkey, in cooperation with the Stimson Center, on “Promoting the Global Instruments of Nonproliferation and Disarmament: the United Nations and the Nuclear Challenge”




31 May 2011


Summary of the Event


On May 31, the Permanent Missions of Japan, Poland and Turkey to the United Nations, in cooperation with the Henry L. Stimson Center held a one-day seminar on nonproliferation and disarmament.


The conference keynote speech was delivered by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Along with the Secretary-General, over 150 participants, representing the UN Secretariat, including the Director and Deputy to the High Representative of Office for Disarmament Affairs Hennelore Hoppe, experts from the 1540 Panel of Experts (Committee on nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction), 1718 Panel of Experts (Committee on sanctions for North Korea), 1737 Panel of Experts (Committee on sanctions for Iran), US based think-tanks and Permanent Missions, actively exchanged their views.


The conference began with opening remarks by Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida.  This was followed by the key-note panel discussion, and then a discussion among experts from the three UN committees before the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered his keynote address. In the afternoon, participants separated into small groups and had a candid discussion on two main topics: Next Steps for Strengthening International Framework on Nuclear Security, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and Challenges for Implementing Relevant UN Resolutions. (the Agenda of the Conference can be found here.)


Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the initiative by the permanent missions of Japan, Poland and Turkey for the timely organization of the event. He stressed his commitment to disarmament and nonproliferation by referring to several examples, including his visit to Hiroshima, the first ever by a UN Secretary General. The Secretary General highlighted the importance of Security Council sanctions in the area of nonproliferation. In addition, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called upon the need for Member States to take more concrete actions for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

(Full text of the Secretary General's speech can be found here.)


Due to high interest in the topic by the UN Member States, many representatives from the permanent missions participated and engaged in a lively discussion. The collegial atmosphere among the many participants in the meeting could also be attributed to the fact that it was organized not only by Japan but in cooperation with Turkey and Poland, countries which are active in tackling the issue of disarmament and nonproliferation in their regions.  (Turkey and Poland are members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, comprised of 10 countries, which formed during the General Assembly in September 2010, through the joint initiative of Japan and Australia).  In addition to the views expressed by the officials from Member States, the participation of many members from the UN Secretariat, Expert Panels, scholars, industry representatives, made the conference meaningful as they presented perspectives based on their knowledge and expertise in the field.


Among the participants, there was widespread acknowledgment that while the current dialogue on nuclear disarmament is making progress, it is not doing so at the desirable pace.  Furthermore, the attendees underscored that the situation in the area of nonproliferation is not necessarily improving, highlighted by the examples of North Korea and Iran.  The need to strengthen the international community’s framework toward addressing this common threat was shared.  It was noteworthy that the issues related to North Korea and Iran, which Japan attaches great importance, was discussed in a candid and informal atmosphere with the participation of the Expert Panels.  The presence of the Panel experts allowed officials from Member States to deepen their understanding on some of the specific challenges surrounding those issues.  It was also pointed out and shared that there is a need to raise awareness not only among experts but also at the political level, along with increasing cooperation with the private sector in order to effectively achieve nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The critical importance of building capacity, particularly among developing Member States, was also stressed by many participants.  They also pointed out the need for close coordination between international organizations such as the IAEA, with its professional knowledge, and regional institutions in order for Member States to effectively implement relevant Security Council resolutions. Many participants from the Permanent Missions welcomed the rare opportunity to have the candid exchange of views with experts and expressed their appreciation for the convening such a conference by Japan in cooperation with Poland and Turkey.


At the end of the seminar, Ambassador Nishida delivered the closing remarks by summarizing the day’s discussions.  He expressed appreciation for attendees’ active participation, declared that Japan will continue to play an active role in the field of disarmament and nonproliferation, and that Japan intends to hold a similar conference in New York where the international community can come together again.




Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida speaking during the conference

Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida greeting Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivering the conference keynote speech

Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and co-organizing ambassadors of Poland and Turkey

Ambassador Nishida making opening-remarks alongside with the participants of the first panel discussion

Panel discussion with experts of the three Security Council Committees on non-proliferation

Afternoon roundtable discussion (the first session)

Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan, Ambassador Kodama summarizing the first afternoon session

Ambassador Nishida summarizing the day’s discussions during his closing remarks



First four and the sixth photos were provided by Mark McQueen