Address by H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan
On the Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization
At the 64th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
6 October 2009
First of all, I wish to express my deep appreciation to Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his dedication to leading the wide-ranging activities of the Organization.
The most pressing challenge before the United Nations is above all to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The global economic and financial crisis seriously affects the efforts of many developing countries to achieve the MDGs.
All means available to the United Nations should be mobilized towards the target year of 2015. We should deepen our focus on the development agenda toward the High Level Meeting to be held in 2010.
Pursuit for the reduction of poverty alone will not lead us to achieve the MDGs. Large segments of the bottom billion poor are trapped in conflict or struggling for survival in fragile post-conflict situation. About half of post-conflict countries relapsed back into conflict within ten years.
The end of conflict should be accompanied by visible changes in everyday livelihood and immediate efforts to strengthen social and economic stability. In order to end the vicious cycle of conflict and poverty, it is essential to tackle both poverty and conflict together in an integrated manner.
The Peacebuilding Commission is the key organ to promote such integrated strategy and to fill some of these gaps.
Human security advocates the human centered and integrated approach, aiming at realizing every individual freedom from fear and freedom from want. Human security approach is therefore essential to address the MDGs and peacebuilding.
Human security pursues the bottom up perspective, focusing on the protection and empowerment of the individual and community. We wish to see that the human security perspective is properly reflected within the work of the UN. System-wide coherence among gender related activities will be also benefited by human security approach.
We commend the work done by the Friends of Human Security. We look forward to debate of the General Assembly on the human security during this session.
(Peace operations and disarmaments)
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding are the core activities of the United Nations. Peacekeeping operations and special political missions are kept expanding, and overstretching our capacities.
The relevant UN organs should collectively elaborate on improvement measures to manage them effectively under clear and achievable mandates. It is therefore essential to ensure all stakeholders such as TCC, PCC and FCC be closely involved with planning, managing and evaluating PKO.
To talk about peace, we welcome the current positive movement of global nuclear disarmament. As the only country that has suffered nuclear devastation, we are determined to stop nuclear proliferation and work together for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Before the 2010 NPT Review Conference, we are now at a critical juncture. We must make a crucial step toward the creation of a world free of nuclear weapons. Japan will submit a draft resolution during this session to lay out measures towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Climate change is another major challenge to humankind. We must mobilize our efforts and innovative technology towards reaching an agreement on an effective post-2013 regime during Copenhagen COP15. Japan highly commends the initiative of Secretary-General to raise political momentum by organizing the Climate Change Summit on 22nd September.
At the opening session, Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced Japan's mid-term target to reduce its emissions by 25% by 2020 over the 1990 level. He also introduced the "Hatoyama Initiative" which aims to support developing countries through technology and finance. Japan will play a leading role towards the successful conclusion of COP15 through such initiatives.
It is also essential for the UN to continue to protect and promote human rights as one of the three pillars of the United Nations' activities. Even after the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, serious violations of human rights remain unabated in the world. Japan supports main-streaming of the human rights perspective throughout all UN activities.
(Security Council Reform)
UN reform is not complete without meaningful Security Council reform. Japan welcomes the good progress in the intergovernmental negotiations since last February. The General Assembly adopted the decision to immediately continue the intergovernmental negotiations during 64th session, building upon progress made so far.
Japan believes the Security Council needs to be reformed by expanding both permanent and non-permanent membership in order to reflect the reality of the 21st century.
We are pleased with your emphasis, Mr. President, on the need of an early reform of the Security Council. We hope the concrete outcome will be achieved during this session under your able leadership.
Japan attaches great importance to transparent, accountable and efficient management of the UN. Japan welcomes and supports SG'ｓdetermination to make a more efficient and responsive Secretariat.
As the world economy affects the Member States' financial situation, the trend in which United Nations continues to keep expanding its regular and peace-keeping budgets is no longer sustainable. It is essential to make the UN Secretariat more efficient and dynamic in order to fulfill its mandates within an affordable level for Member States.
To this end, the Secretariat should closely work to prioritize expenditures and find ways of implementing mandated activities less costly. New requirements should be met in principle through redeploying the available resources. We should maintain stronger financial discipline in planning and implementing the 2010-2011 programme budget and the PKO mission budgets.
Let me conclude, Mr. President, by reiterating Japan's firm commitment to making an effective and better functioning United Nations.
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