STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. KENZO OSHIMA
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON
ITEM 53: QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION ON AND INCREASE
IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND RELATED MATTERS
11 July 2005
Let me first express my gratitude to you for convening this historic plenary meeting, which not only signals the success of the September Summit but also marks an important juncture for the future of the United Nations. We are confident that the Member States will be able to make the necessary decisions under your strong and wise leadership, and you can count on my delegation’s full cooperation. At the same time, as a co-sponsor of the framework resolution, Japan would like to fully endorse the introductory statement just made by the Permanent Representative of Brazil, Ambassador Sardenberg, on behalf of co-sponsors.
As the international community rises to meet the challenges we face in today’s world, the United Nations must not be left on the sidelines. We must reform the United Nations into an organization capable of addressing the realities of the 21st century. In other words, we must create “A New United Nations for the New Era”, as Prime Minister Koizumi stated last year from this podium. Among these changes, the core must be the reform of the Security Council. As the organ with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council must fulfill its role with maximum cooperation and participation of the international community. For that purpose, the Security Council must improve its representation to better reflect today's world. In addition, the Security Council must be provided with adequate resources to address challenges effectively. Countries with the will and resources to play a major role in international peace and security must always take part in the Council's decision-making process. The Security Council therefore needs to be expanded, both in its permanent and non-permanent categories, adding new members from both developing and developed countries.
As a result of extensive consultations with Member States, Japan, together with Brazil, Germany and India and with the support of co-sponsors, submitted a framework resolution to the General Assembly last week. We have listened carefully to the opinions of the Member States both in New York and in capitals around the world, and we have also waited for the results of the AU and CARICOM Summit Meetings. Africa is a vital member of the international community, and thus its participation is crucial for realizing Security Council reform. In this regard, Japan welcomes Africa’s resolve to pursue the enlargement of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, as declared in the recent AU Summit in Sirte. At the same time, we welcome the CARICOM Summit communiqu? which indicated the inclination of a significant number of CARICOM member states to support the resolution.
We believe that this resolution is the only viable proposal capable of garnering the support of more than two-thirds of the Member States. Japan appreciates the many Member States that have already expressed their support for the resolution and is determined to make further efforts towards adopting the resolution with maximum support. Japan, together with other co-sponsors, has been conducting constructive dialogue with the Member States aimed at achieving the common goal of reforming the Security Council. In view of the decisions of the AU and CARICOM Summit Meetings, we are ready to continue our dialogue with the AU and CARICOM, as well as the UN membership at large. Japan will continue to work in a transparent and democratic manner seeking adoption of the resolution, and we strongly expect that all Member States will take part in realizing the reform of the Security Council.
With respect to the timing of the decision on the issue of Security Council reform, the Secretary-General has clearly stated in his report that “Member States should agree to take a decision on this important issue before the summit in September 2005.” The timing for any important decision must be carefully considered. We are not arguing for any undue haste; however, it is important to remember the following:
- First, discussions on reform of the Security Council have been going on in earnest for well over a decade, since the early nineties.
- In addition, world leaders at the Millennium Summit in 2000 resolved “to intensify... efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects”, thus declaring their political intention to achieve results.
- Subsequently, the submission of the High-level Panel report and the Secretary-General’s report as well as the circulation of the G4 framework resolution in May prompted further extensive discussion among the Member States, in regional groups, in New York and in capitals around the world.
Permanent membership is not a privilege; rather, it is a duty and a responsibility for nations that are willing and able to contribute effectively to international peace and security. As a peace-loving nation that is fully committed to the ideals and objectives of the Organization, Japan firmly believes that it has a significant role to play in the maintenance of international peace and security as well as the advancement of the agenda of security and development, by becoming a new permanent member of the Security Council. On that basis, we are ready to submit our aspirations to the general membership for its consideration.
The reform agenda of the United Nations is much broader than just Security Council reform. Japan attaches great importance to such issues as development, establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council, and reform of the Secretariat and management system. We have already expressed our willingness to achieve tangible results in these areas of UN reform, and are working closely with like-minded delegations towards that end. At the same time, it is vital that we seize the momentum for reform. We firmly believe that a bold decision on the Security Council reform issue will not delay the reform process but will create the further momentum needed to tackle other important reform issues during the September Summit.
As we all have witnessed in the current session of the General Assembly, an overwhelming majority of the Member States share a sense of urgency for reforming the Security Council. It is clear that the time for a decision on Security Council reform has arrived. It is our sincere hope that future generations will judge favorably the crucial decision we will make to create “A New United Nations for the New Era”. Japan will spare no effort in working with other Member States to achieve that end.
Thank you, Mr. President.