(Check against delivery)
Thank you for giving me the floor. Japan aligns itself with the G4 statement delivered by my colleague Amb Syed Akbaruddin of India. Please allow me to add a few remarks in my national capacity.
Japan welcomes the start of this year’s IGN, and you have our full support.
Today, we have to ask ourselves if the discussion at the IGN meets our expectations. We have to ask if we are not repeating the same arguments for the sake of argument. We have to ask if we are not delivering speeches for the sake of blocking any serious negotiations. 75 years after this Organization’s founding, at a time when our world is undergoing tectonic changes and facing unprecedented challenges, standing idle and repeating the same arguments year after year will be a huge mistake, the consequences of which will be felt for decades.
Today, I call for this body to finally start negotiations. Only through negotiations can we find commonalities and bridge our differences. Blocking serious negotiations is tantamount to surrendering the responsibility to keep the UN fit to take on the challenges faced by present and future generations.
From this viewpoint, our objective at the IGN is clear and simple: we must have a single text with attribution on which the Member States can start negotiations by the end of this session.
Before talking about how to do that, let me make clear our thoughts on the Common African Position. Japan, together with our G4 colleagues, strongly supports the Common African Position as stipulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, including the African Group’s aspiration for not less than two Permanent seats with all the prerogatives and privileges of Permanent membership, and for an expansion of the Council’s membership to 26. We request that the Common African Position, as well as the position of the G4 and all other relevant proposals, be adequately reflected in the text.
We currently have two documents, the Framework document and the revised Commonality paper. Narrowing these two down to one is not difficult. Here is how:
First, transfer any elements from the Framework document that are not already reflected in the revised Commonality paper to the revised Commonality paper, either as “Commonalities” or as “Issues for Further Consideration.”
Second, to ensure transparency, the revised Commonality paper should be modified to fully reflect who owns which proposal. This can be done in a number of ways, including by either:
- Merging the “Commonalities” and “Issues for Further Consideration” sections so that the paper simply has the five clusters, with attribution for every proposal made in each cluster, or
- Maintaining the current format but providing attribution for every proposal in the “Issues for Further Consideration” section. This would be particularly simple with regards to Section 4) “Categories of Membership” and Section 6k) regional distribution of additional seats.
Let me conclude with a request to normalize the IGN process. Let us apply the General Assembly’s rule of procedure. Let us have a webcast of our meetings, as well as a written record.
This will ensure transparency and avoid repetition. Thus, for example, when Japan and the G4 express support for the Common African Position, this will be reflected in the written record and there will be no ambiguity or room for doubt on our position.
Japan strongly believes that those among us who have the capacity and willingness to contribute to international peace and security should be included in the expansion of the Security Council. But time is of the essence, and the legitimacy and credibility of both the Council and the IGN process are at stake. Let me be clear: while Japan stands ready to give the IGN one more chance, we must see tangible progress this year.
I thank you.