54th SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY JAPAN'S POSITION

September, 1999

1. UN Reform in Preparation for the 21st Century

----- We need to present a clear vision of the role of the UN in the 21st Century, at the Millennium Assembly and the Millennium Summit scheduled for next year. In view of this goal, the most important task of the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly is to sort out issues which will face the international society in the 21st Century, and to map out a clear path toward reforms and strengthening of the UN so as to ensure an enhanced capability of the UN in dealing with these issues. Upon the discussions in the 54th Session and efforts of the Member States depends whether the trust of the international society in the UN can be sustained.

----- Concerning the Millennium Summit, Japan supports the Overall Theme and 4 Sub topics ("Peace and Security including Disarmament", "Development including Poverty Eradication", "Human Rights" and "Strengthening the UN") proposed in the Security General's Report issued in May. As the issues for the UN such as peace, development and human rights are increasingly intertwined with each other, the UN needs to tackle these issues in a comprehensive manner. It is also necessary to deal with various issues from the perspective of "Human Security". Strengthening the UN requires the following reforms to be carried out as one: the Security Council reform, the reform in financial areas, and the reform in the areas of development. "Strengthening of the UN" needs to be an independent sub-topic of the Millennium Summit, lest reform in various areas should be deal with, in pieces, in other sub-topics.

----- We must bear fully in mind that the case of Kosovo illustrated a necessity to enhance the capability of the UN to deal with conflicts. Japan will work actively, together with other Member States, in order to realize the reform of the Security Council for the purpose of strengthening its function.

----- Japan will endeavor to promote the financial reform, and stresses significance to realize more efficient UN budget. To ensure a stable financial base of the UN, all Member States with arrears should make every effort to liquidate them. Moreover, Japan's scale of assessment will be over 20% in 2000, and will considerably exceed the sum of that of four permanent members of the Security Council except for the United States (13.7%). It is highly questionable whether the consequence is fair and equitable, and thus we need to work to make scale of assessments more equitable.

----- As to the reform in the area of development, it is important to further strengthen the coordination among the UN agencies both at the Headquarters and on the fields, as well as coordination between the UN and Bretton-Woods institutions. Japan will make a further effort to promote reforms on the social and economic areas through the ECOSOC. In this context, Japan attaches great importance to being re-elected as a member in the election this fall.

2. Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

----- Endeavoring for a "Nuclear-Weapon-Free World", and taking full note of the report of the "Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" issued this July, Japan will take realistic and concrete steps in the area of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

----- Japan will promote a formation of an international agreement to uphold and enhance the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and make every effort for a success of the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

----- Japan will call upon the Nuclear-Weapon States including the US and Russia at the UN and other fora, to make a further effort to reduce their nuclear weapons, including a prompt ratification by the US and Russia of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II) and commencement of START III negotiation.

----- For a prompt entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Japan will make maximum contribution for a success of the Article 14th Conference to promote the ratification of CTBT to be held in October this year. Japan also strives, in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, to promptly establish an ad-hoc committee for negotiation of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.

----- On the issue of antipersonnel mines, Japan, taking note of the result of the First Meeting of the State Parties to the Ottawa Convention (Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction), will work actively to achieve the goal of "zero victim", and to materialize the comprehensive approach consisting of universal and effective ban, of antipersonnel mines, their elimination, and also enhanced assistance to mine victims.

----- Welcoming the submission of the report by the Group of Governmental Experts on Small Arms to the Secretary General, Japan will strive to see a General Assembly resolution to be adapted in the coming session, which will promote the implementation of the recommendations of the report. Japan will also work in all aspects for a success of the international conference on the issue of small arms to be held no later than 2001.

----- Japan will continue its effort to continue the operation of, the UN Register of Conventional Arms, and to further develop it.

3. Conflict Resolution and Conflict Prevention

----- Based upon the discussion, both at the 53rd Session of the General Assembly and at the ECOSOC, concerning the follow-up of the "Report of the Secretary General on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa," Japan intends to work toward implementation of the recommendations of the SG report.

----- Japan finds it important that the UN efforts on conflict prevention should be strengthened. Therefore, Japan continues to support the activities of UNMIK, humanitarian assistance, and support for post-conflict reconstruction process in Kosovo.

----- Japan is gravely concerned about the recent increase in the number of casualties of the UN personnel including civilian staff, in PKO and other activities. Japan will, as a part of measures to improve the safety of personnel of the UN and of the relevant humanitarian assistance agencies deployed in various parts of the world, invite other Member States, who have not yet done so, to conclude the "Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel", which entered into force this January.

4. Development

----- Japan will work at advancing efforts for development through constructive dialogue and cooperation between developed and developing countries. We need to promote the "New Development Strategy", promote further a wide ranging study in development capital, including the mobilization of private investment and domestic resource of recipient countries, conduct a comprehensive policy study including trade, investment and human resource building and work on an effectiveness- and result-oriented approach to development. Respecting voluntary effort by the developing countries for their own development, Japan will make effort to promote partnership among developed and developing countries, international organizations, donors and NGO's. Japan also intends to strengthen such partnership through South-South Cooperation.

----- Japan considers it important to adopt a human-centered approach to development. Based upon the outcome of the "International Symposium on Development" and "Tokyo International Conference on Development Cooperation" which were held in Tokyo this June, Japan continues to take an initiative in promoting development from the perspective of "Human Security".

----- Through the follow-up of the "Tokyo Action Plan", which was adopted at the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) held in last October, Japan will carry out development policies with the priorities established in the "Tokyo Action Plan" in the areas of "Social Development", "Economic Development" and "Good Governance, Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Development".

----- "The Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives" will be held in June 2000. The Special Session will review the implementation of the "Copenhagen Declaration" adopted at the World Summit in 1995 and also discuss further actions/initiatives for social development. Japan intends to actively promote the idea of human-centered development from the perspective of "Human Security" in the process of the Special Session.

5. Humanitarian Assistance and Human Rights

----- Japan attaches great importance to such tasks as response to humanitarian emergencies, as well as smooth transition to rehabilitation and reconstruction in past conflict phase. Japan, therefore, intends to continue its active support for the activities of the UNHCR and other UN organizations to protect and assist the refugees and displaced persons, not only in Kosovo but also in other parts of the world.

----- Japan will continue to actively support the activities of the UN in the field of human rights, and especially that of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and also assist improvement of legal, judicial and administrative systems and democratic elections in developing countries, under the initiative of "Partnership for Democratic Development" (PDD). Japan has been actively engaged in the efforts for the advancement of women through financial contributions to the Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women, established under the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and also intends to actively contribute for the success of the Special Session of the General Assembly, "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century," to be held in June 2000.

6.Global Issues

----- Japan will endeavor to promote negotiations in order to realize an early entry into force of the "Kyoto Protocol" on preventing global warming, which prescribes quantified emission limitation of greenhouse gases from developed countries. Japan is supporting developing countries in their efforts to tackle global warming through a steady implementation of the "Kyoto Initiative". The "Kyoto Initiative" is one of the main measures to carry out the "Initiative for Sustainable Development toward the 21st Century (ISD)," which embodies a comprehensive mid-term strategy of environmental cooperation through Japanese ODA.

----- Based upon the "Key Actions" adopted at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Population and Development in June this year, Japan will continue, in collaboration with relevant international organizations, other donor countries and NGOs, to be actively engaged in dealing with the population issues. Particularly, Japan has supported developing countries by the "Global Issues Initiative on Population and AIDS" (GII), and intends to continue such efforts.

----- Japan will make efforts with other countries in order to make an early conclusion of the negotiation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the Protocols thereto as called for in Cologne Summit Communique.

7. Culture

----- As the year 2000 is "International Year for the Culture of Peace", Japan will seek to strengthen the UN activities in the area of culture. Japan is, for the first time, presenting its candidate in the coming election of the Director-General of UNESCO and thus attaches great importance to the election.

8. Japanese staff in the United Nations

----- The number of Japanese staff in the United Nations is extremely modest in comparison with the size of light of the Japan's contribution to the UN, for example its large scale of assessment. Japan will continue to request that a due consideration should be paid to geographical equity in recruiting its staff.

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