Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Briefing by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies of the Security Council
December 8, 2017
I would like to share some of my thoughts and observations on the activities I have conducted during these two years as Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies of the Security Council.
The 2140 Committee met four times in informal consultations during this year.
The Yemen sanctions regime can assist in arriving at a political solution to the conflict. While Yemen’s political situation is extremely fragile, I believe it is all the more important for Council members to discuss how the Committee can contribute to the political process.
The Panel of Experts has been very active and achieved meaningful work. For example, it presented helpful case studies in addition to its mandated reporting. The Chair has made efforts to ensure the independence of the Panel, and to support its activities.
Unfortunately, I was not able to travel to Yemen during my tenure. I believe that it is useful for the next Chair and the Committee members to undertake a visit to the region so as to acquire first-hand information from the ground.
Allow me now to say a few words in my capacity as Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
Japan assumed the chairmanship of this Informal Working Group for the third time. This time, we decided to make a focused effort on two things: 1) improving the transitional arrangements for newly elected Council members, and 2) revising presidential note 507. In doing so, we desired to make an impact both through codification and actual practice.
We first tackled the issue of improving transitional arrangements for newly elected members.
After intensive discussion, S/2016/619 was adopted in July last year. The note outlined measures to facilitate the preparations of newly elected members by inviting them to observe the work of the Council for an expanded period of 3 months. The note also set out a more defined and advanced timeline, with emphasis on inclusiveness, for the selection of the Chairs of subsidiary bodies, in response to the strong call by many outgoing Chairs of subsidiary bodies.
Facilitation for the selection of the Chairs was carried out both in 2016 and 2017 in accordance with this new note, with Japan and one permanent member serving as co-facilitators in both years. We are now in the process of conducting handover to the incoming Chairs, also in accordance with this note.
Then, the Informal Working Group went on to explore some useful ideas and proposals from the open debate during our last presidency in July for revising note 507. There were rich discussions on lessons learned and challenges from past practices. During the course of this process, I updated the Permanent Representatives of the members of the Council on the work, and also exchanged views with interested non-Council members.
Thanks to the contributions of the members of the Council as well as the wider United Nations membership, I believe that the revised presidential note 507 represents a comprehensive and balanced text. It is, indeed, a truly collective achievement.
We must stress that improvement of working methods of the Council does not end with the adoption of the revised Note 507. It is an open-ended, ongoing process of collective endeavors. And what is most important is the implementation and actual practice of the Security Council. During our presidency this month, I will try my best to implement some useful measures in the Note, such as suggesting a few areas for Council members to focus on at least one day before the informal consultations, or going to press stakeouts after every session of informal consultations, for example.
We have recently issued the 2017 edition of the so-called “Green Book” on the working methods of the Council. I have brought one hundred copies here today, and they are placed in the Quiet Room for anyone to pick up.
In closing, I wish to express my gratitude to the members of the Security Council and the wider membership, as well as the Secretariat for their cooperation over the two years. I am confident that the incoming Chairs will bring enthusiasm and ideas to further the work. I convey my best wishes to them, and assure them of our full cooperation from outside of this Council.