Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Strengthening Multilateralism and the Role of the United Nations

(As delivered)
I would like to first of all thank the Presidency of China for convening this very important meeting.
The 21st century has presented us with formidable challenges, such as regional and ethnic conflict, poverty, climate change, terrorism, cybersecurity, and the abuse of human rights. Each of these challenges has something in common; it cannot be solved by any of us alone. Globalization, trade, and technological innovation have offered us a prosperous and interconnected world, but this depends on peace and stability.
Mr. President,
Faced with these challenges, we must not be passive. Japan wishes to be proactive in international cooperation to overcome the obstacles in our way. As a “Proactive Contributor to Peace,” Japan plays its part. Japan believes that we cannot achieve our nation’s own security and prosperity without peace and stability in our region and around the world. We are making our every effort to promote human security, peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and the SDGs, which underlines these situations.
Japan will continue our support for UN peacekeeping operations, including by providing training for enablers such as engineers and medical personnel from Troop Contributing Countries through Triangular Partnership Projects. We also continue our work in the Peacebuilding Commission to help enhance stability and prevent any relapses to conflict.
Mr. President,
As a leading trading and maritime nation, Japan seeks peace and stability on the high seas and in the airspace above. It is on and over these waters that the world’s commerce travels. We underscore the importance of open seas and the rule of law as the basis for peace and prosperity. We embrace the international law of the sea based primarily on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as indispensable for securing our maritime rights and interests as well as for undertaking maritime activities smoothly. We will continue to make every effort to promote and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As a forum for collective problem-solving, the importance of the United Nations cannot be overemphasized. Japan strongly supports the reform efforts initiated by Secretary-General António Guterres. The Secretary-General seeks to improve the United Nations’ management, its development apparatus, and its peace and security architecture, and Japan will be a constructive participant in these efforts.
Of course, reform of the United Nations will not be complete without reform of this Council, the Security Council. The world has seen enormous changes since 1945, but this Council’s composition has not kept pace. The Council must be reformed to reflect 21st century’s realities in order to tackle 21st century problems. As Prime Minister Abe said at the General Assembly debate in September, “in light of the lack of progress in reforming the Security Council, the significance of the United Nations in the 21st century world is already being starkly questioned.”
In closing, let me reiterate Japan’s commitment to multilateral engagement, the rule of law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Today’s problems can be resolved as long as we are ready to work together to resolve them.
I thank you, Mr. President.