(As delivered)


22 April 2004

Thank you, Mr. President.

At the outset, allow me to state that Japan considered it desirable, given the critical importance of the issue, for non-Council Member States to be afforded the opportunity to express their views. We therefore highly appreciate your initiative to convene today's open debate.

Having said that, Mr. President, let me offer several comments at this juncture.

First, Mr. President, Japan shares the serious concern and misgivings over the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and believes that the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole must play a more effective role in addressing this issue. With respect to the present draft resolution, it is urgent and essential for us to act to ensure that weapons of mass destruction do not fall into the hands of terrorists and other non-state actors. For this reason and because the issue is the one that is directly tied to the security in many countries including mine, my Government supports the adoption of a resolution by the Council, as long as it is acceptable to Member States after further discussion of the present draft.

Secondly, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the resolution, it is desirable that the committee mentioned in the current draft resolution should offer advice to countries concerned so as to enable them to correct their specific, concrete violations. Such committee should be stuffed by persons with sufficient expertise who should be recruited not only from the members of the Council but also widely from non-Council members. Japan, for its part, is prepared to make a contribution in this respect. In addition, I wish to draw the attention of the Council that the Department for Disarmament Affairs, with responsibility for disarmament and non-proliferation, already exists within the United Nations. It might be advised for the committee to make good use of its resources.

Third, in order to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, it is essential to secure active, not passive, and willing cooperation of a large number of countries, especially developing countries. The Security Council therefore should also play an important role in encouraging the provision of technical assistance to developing countries so that they are able to enact necessary domestic laws in implementing effective non-proliferation measures obliged under the resolution.

Finally, allow me to make a general observation. By adopting a binding Security Council resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the Security Council fulfills a law-making function. It is, therefore, for the Security Council to be cautious not to undermine the stability of the international legal framework.

Mr. President,

Japan strongly hopes that the Security Council will take note of these foregoing observations so that discussion over the draft resolution may be conducted in such a manner that full transparency is guaranteed, and that it will adopt a resolution with the widest support among Member States.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Siteother site

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