Statement by H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At informal plenary of the General Assembly on Security Council reform
19 February 2009, New York
Thank you very much for convening this meeting of an informal plenary of the General Assembly to commence intergovernmental negotiations. We are very much grateful for President d'Escoto's and your commitment and dedication to achieve decisive progress in the reform of the Security Council.
I would also like to express deep appreciation to the President of the General Assembly and you for the work plan that has been prepared for us, as the President promised at the last informal meeting on 29 January.
We welcome the schedule of work for substantive negotiations as contained in the work plan. Reform of the Security Council to better reflect the reality of the contemporary world is long overdue after 15 years of consultations and preparation.
As the President stated in the letter of 18 February 2009, we should make use of the current window of opportunity to make decisive progress. We welcome the work plan to embark upon intensive, substantive negotiations starting on 4 March 2009 with a sense of urgency.
The President's letter adequately clarifies the objective of Security Council reform and also procedural issues such as the arrangement of each meeting, the record of meetings, the formal decision at the plenary of the General Assembly and applicable rules of procedures. All these understandings are fair and reasonable because they are in strict conformity with paragraph 153 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and also GA decision 62/557.
We also support the work plan to organize negotiations on each of all of the five key issues in an orderly sequence at the first round and then move on to the second round when all elements will be negotiated as a whole. Negotiations should always be conducted in an open, inclusive and transparent manner in an informal plenary. Such a method of negotiations would be most equitable and beneficial to maintain the integrity of the negotiation process.
Concerning the basis for negotiations, the work plan envisages that GA decision 62/557 paragraph (e) sub-paragraph i and iii constitute the substantive basis for meetings, and the options presented by the Member States as contained in document A/62/47 should form the basis for negotiations when they start.
I think it would be helpful, in line with the envisaged work plan, if a concise composite paper would be prepared before the first meeting of the negotiations on 4 March 2009, containing options for the five clusters of key issues, incorporating all of the positions of and proposals by Member States. On the basis of such a paper, we could make substantive progress, because we can focus on the possibility of narrowing differences among Member States in seeking the necessary flexibility.
Thanks to your leadership, we have now arrived at a new stage in the reform process. Japan, together with other delegations, will make the utmost effort to follow the work plan and engage constructively in the substantive negotiations, in good faith and with mutual respect. We will seek a solution as we promised that can garner the widest possible political acceptance by Member States in order to achieve meaningful reform of the Security Council.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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