Statement by Mr. Wataru Otsuka, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, Agenda Item 140 and 149: Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations and UN PKOs, Main Part of the Seventy-third Session of the Fifth Committee

(Check against delivery)
Madame Chair,
          I would first like to thank Ambassador Bernardo Greiver, Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, and Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Acting Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Budget, and Accounts, for introducing their respective reports.
Madame Chair,
          Assessed contributions are the backbone of the United Nations. Without assessed contributions, this Organization would not function. According to Article 17 of the UN Charter, as well as relevant General Assembly resolutions, all Member States share the responsibility of financially supporting the United Nations according to their respective capacities to pay. Japan is proud to continuously hold its position as one of the major financial contributors to the United Nations and to have paid all its assessments in full.
          For decades, Japan has shouldered and remains to shoulder very significant rates of assessment and paid it in full because we believed it reflected the economic realities of the time. Japan is firmly of the view that we should respect and maintain the principle that each Member State of the United Nations should pay its assessed contribution according to its ‘capacity to pay.’ In this connection, changes in the scale of assessments shown in the latest report of the Committee on Contributions reflect the recent changes in the economic realities of each Member State. Also, needless to say, the methodology needs to better reflect each Member State’s capacity to pay in a more equitable manner, based on the most current, comprehensive and comparable data available.
Madame Chair,
          In addition to the principle of capacity to pay, the peacekeeping scale of assessments takes into consideration the special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council, and this general principle underlying the financing of the UN peacekeeping operations should be borne in mind in connection with their contributions to the financing of peace and security operations.  This principle should be maintained and should not be attenuated.  At the same time, Japan, as a Member State, along with others, is seeking a long overdue reform in the Security Council, and reiterates its readiness to shoulder special responsibility should it become a permanent member of the Security Council.
          Finally, concerning the application of Article 19 of the Charter, my delegation endorses the recommendations of the Committee on Contributions regarding the exemptions to its application, while encouraging those Member States under application of Article 19 of the Charter of the United Nations to consider submitting multi-year payment plans as recommended by the Committee.
I thank you, Madame Chair.