Statement by H.E. Mr. Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council under the Agenda Item “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507): Security Council Working Methods"

Thank you, Mr. President,

          Let me begin by congratulating you on assuming the presidency of the Council. And I hope that you find the presidency a useful occasion to reflect the discussion that you have led as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions into the real discussions or real working methods of the Council. I would also like to thank Ms. Karin Landgren and Mr. James Cockayne for their very useful briefing this morning. And I would especially like to appreciate Ms. Karen Landgren, basing some of your comments on the experience that you’ve had as SRSG. I think that really added power to your statement. And of course Dr. James Cockayne for your briefing in which you focused on a specific issue, but through that, you informed us of the complexities of the discussion that we are undertaking right now.

          We believe that the “Note 507” is a living document, and therefore it should be served as an inspiration for further improvement of working methods rather than something that we merely just follow, as the distinguished PR of South Africa said earlier this morning representing the current E10 members. Also we are of the view that reforms of the Council working methods must be balanced between the dual needs for transparency and effectiveness, as well as for ambition and feasibility.  This requires a flexible approach that takes into account many views from both inside and outside the Council.  We would therefore like to commend you for organizing today’s Open Debate, Mr. President.

          Improving the Security Council working methods is a process that has evolved over time.  It is vital to ensure the Council’s legitimacy by pursuing a decision-making process that is transparent and draws on the wisdom of all 15 members of the Security Council working together.  We must also be conscious that the prime objective of upgrading the Council’s working methods should be to enhance its capacity to take the best action in the timeliest manner to maintain and restore international peace and security.

          Every year, five non-permanent member countries are elected to bear indispensable responsibilities. We believe it is necessary and important to give these new members enough opportunities to prepare in advance and then actively participate in the Council’s work from day one. Tomorrow, five members who will serve on the Council from 2020 are to be elected.  We hope that they will be able to make the best use of the recent improvements of the Council working methods so that they will be well prepared to hit the ground running. From this perspective we welcome the discussions in the Council on important issues, including penholdership and subsidiary bodies that is going on.

          Lastly, I would like to point out that working methods are an essential part of Security Council reform, but not the only one. Ultimately, a comprehensive reform of the Council must include an expansion in its membership to reflect the current realities through adding more Member States that have the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security. Japan will continue to work with all Member States towards this goal.

          I thank you.