Statement by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy 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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Thank you Madam President  for convening this meeting.
Let me begin by expressing Japan’s congratulations on the appointment of H.E. Mr. Christian Braun, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, and the re-appointment of H.E. Ms. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, as facilitators for this session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations. We have every confidence in the leadership of both of the co-chairs and intend to work closely with them over the coming months.
Japan fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by His Excellency Ambassador Mauro Vieira , Permanent Representative of Brazil, on behalf of the G4. Please allow me to make a few additional remarks in my national capacity.
Madam President,
Time is of the essence. As Prime Minister Abe said during the General Debate last 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.” We are now a decade into the Intergovernmental Negotiations, and yet the true negotiations, those based off of a text, have yet to begin. This session’s IGN must make tangible progress, and that can only happen with text-based negotiations. More than 160 countries have expressed support for text-based negotiations. Let us take this step immediately.
The text need not come from thin air. We should build on the final document of last year’s IGN, rather than starting over and re-exchanging the same statements year after year.  It is our wish that this year’s IGN discussions work off a text based on last session’s work, and focus on preparing a text for negotiation. And to make sure this text is optimally suited for that purpose, Japan wishes to see three modifications going forward:
•           First, we again call for the use of attribution in the text. Knowing who owns which proposal will help us navigate remaining issues of consideration. Japan also places  high importance on the right and accurate reflection of the Common African Position, as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and in the Sirte Declaration. Attribution will ensure that African inputs are duly taken into account.  
•           Second, we strongly request that the structure of the text be modified. We currently have five clusters under the “Commonalities” section and another five under the “Issues for Further Consideration” section. But these categories are inextricably intertwined. It would therefore make text-based negotiations significantly easier if these two sections were combined to form five clusters under a single heading of “Commonalities and Issues for Further Consideration.”
•           Third, we reiterate that the current IGN process should be reviewed, so that the consensus-based decision-making approach does not give a few countries a de facto veto over the process against the wishes of the great majority.
Madam President,
If we take these steps, I am confident we can move forward towards achieving our shared objective of Security Council reform. But we cannot delay. We all understand that for the Security Council to play its vital role in the decades ahead, it must be reformed to reflect contemporary realities.  It is therefore urgent that we achieve results in this session, lest the legitimacy and viability of this IGN process come into question. Japan stands ready to make every effort to ensure that this is a productive session.
I thank you.