Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Informal Plenary Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

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          At the outset, I would like to thank you for convening today’s meeting. My delegation fully aligns itself with the statement made by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany, on behalf of the G4. Please allow me to stress several points in my national capacity.
          First, let me look back on the process of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) in the current session.
I welcome your efforts, co-chairs, to preside over such a difficult but crucial agenda item and try to accommodate the views of Member States.
          We have already held four meetings so far since you invited the Member States to “comment on, and identify any perceived gaps in the previous documents” at the first IGN meeting. Some changes have been made, such as incorporation of “Elements of convergence on two of the five key issues of Security Council reform”, as identified by the IGN of the 70th session, as well as the inclusion of paragraph 6 (j) in the cluster of regional representation as “Issues for Further Consideration”.
          However, we must recognize that many of the inputs from Member States and groups are not yet reflected even in the updated version of the IGN document. We cannot move forward if a proposal cannot be included in the document for a simple reason that the proposal in question will not please a Member State or a group. Member States’ positions should be reflected, at least in the “Issues for Further Consideration” section. In addition, ideas that enjoy an overwhelming majority of support should be considered “commonality”.
          Second, let me suggest once again the proposal made by the G4 during the current IGN session.
          Restructuring the IGN document so that the “Elements of Commonality” and “Issues for Further Consideration” are classified according to the clusters will make the document clearer.
          Moreover, paragraph 6 (j) is important. However, 6 (j), as it stands now, seems to be a conceptual compilation of positions of various groups and Member States, rather than their actual reflections. It is necessary to attribute each specific element or number of seats in this paragraph to its respective proponent, so that everyone can clearly see who owns which proposal.
          I would also like to mention that the accurate and appropriate reflection of the Common African Position in the IGN document is critical. The inputs from Africa should be duly taken into account. The G4 has already supported this idea in its previous statements and I would like to reaffirm it today.
          Third, I would like to suggest to you, co-chairs, that the IGN document be further updated, in order to reflect inputs from Member States and groups.
          As I mentioned in previous IGN meetings, the IGN document belongs to the Member States. It is our paper, emanating from Member States’ inputs through a Member State-driven process. The third edition of the IGN document should therefore be further updated and once again submitted to Member States for their review.
          As I am aware that it is your policy to seek comments from Member States in a forum open to all Member States, I would humbly ask you to convene at least one additional IGN meeting during this GA session. There should not be any artificial timeline to limit the debates over such an important topic.
          At the beginning of this session, the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Lajčák, stressed his intention to “promote a credible process to address the reform of the Security Council”. Member States and groups have worked tirelessly during this session to move forward on Security Council reform. It is important for us to achieve tangible progress toward text-based negotiations.
I thank you, co-chairs, for your cooperation.