Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform
2 July 2012
I have the honor of making a joint introductory statement on behalf of the G4.
We welcome today’s meeting as an opportunity to express once again our views on Security Council Reform. We do this with the benefit of very productive discussions held on the five main reform proposals. We once again thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your initiative. The G4 draws two important directions from the meetings that need to be operationalized.
First, in each and every of the meetings, a clear majority of delegates demanded an expansion of membership in both categories – non-permanent and permanent, which was confirmed by broad and cross-regional support for the ‘short-resolution’. The demand for an expansion in both categories of membership was expressed by the delegations from the Africa Group, the L.69 as well as numerous small and medium-sized states therein, and also permanent members and numerous
This, Mr. Chairman, is a fact that needs to be recognized.
Second, Mr. Chairman, the past discussions also showed near-universal support for an improvement of Security Council working methods. Needless to say, this is also an indispensable part of the G4 position. In this regard, we hope to see continuous improvement of this matter, aiming for increased effectiveness and transparency of the Security Council.
Throughout the series of meetings, we have gained a clearer and deeper understanding of each group’s position on this issue. Now is the time to start exploring achievable reform. The need to finally move forward was also underlined during the Retreat that PGA al-Nassir had organized and for which we want to express our gratitude. We have now reached the stage at which we must concretize our ideas and start real negotiations. This is ‘a logical and straightforward follow-up’ to the five meetings, as referred to in your letter of June 11. It is G4’s strong conviction that a wide coalition of Member States supports expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories and that such a strong backing should thus be considered as the basis for the next round of intergovernmental
The G4 is a reform-oriented and results-driven group. We want to achieve real progress and not retain the status quo. We will continue to engage with all reform-minded member states on ways how to translate the will of the clear majority of member states into action. This will include discussions on the various modalities of an expansion in both categories.
But moving forward will also require your strong leadership, Mr. Chairman, in order to achieve tangible progress. We sincerely hope to see you, Mr. Chairman, demonstrate concrete steps to begin real negotiations after today’s meeting which would demonstrate that our intensive discussions in the current session of the General Assembly were not in vain. Among several actions to take, the G4 reiterates its call for a focused Rev.3 document expanding the Council in both categories and incorporating the other key elements in order to provide the text for real negotiations.
Let me make some remarks from Japan’s national capacity. The last five meetings helped the Member States gain a clear and deep understanding of each group’s position on the issue. This was the first time in this framework that the IGN was conducted in a more practical manner. On the other hand, however, we Member States shared the fact that such discussion has not brought any tangible results to start ‘real negotiations.’ Even the modest proposal of S-5, asking for the
improvement of the Security Council working methods, has ended in vain, which I find quite disappointing.
Mr. Chairman, and fellow colleagues,
Japan firmly believes that we have had enough discussion, and is eager to move the process forward; otherwise the Security Council loses its effectiveness and legitimacy as an essential mechanism for the maintenance of peace and security. Japan is ready to discuss, with a flexible and realistic viewpoint, various options which will pave the way for the expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, including an option of establishing a longer-term category with possibility of its conversion to the permanent category after certain period of time. Japan, on our part, believes this approach offers a good basis for starting concrete negotiation. It is high time for Member States to move together up to a higher plateau where they can continue to discuss the future outlook of the Security Council with broader perspective.
In conclusion, let me stress that the status quo or inaction are not options. The future of the Security Council, and moreover the United Nations as a whole, is at stake. Security Council reform must be in the interests of all Member States, including the permanent members of the Security Council, and if we, the Member States, truly believe that Security Council Reform is indispensable for the future of the United Nations, we need to prove it through concrete actions.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.