STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. KOICHI HARAGUCHI
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON
ITEM 11: REPORT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
AND ITEM 53: QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION ON AND INCREASE IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND RELATED MATTERS
11 October 2004
Let me begin by expressing my appreciation to the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom, for his presentation of the annual report of the Security Council on its work. I would also like to thank the former President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Julian Robert Hunte, as well as Ambassador Luis Gallegos Chiriboga of Ecuador and Ambassador Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein for their efforts in revitalizing the discussion in the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council.
The United Nations is confronted with new threats such as internal violence, poverty, infectious diseases, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the inter-state conflicts which the United Nations Charter originally was intended to address. The Japanese Government regards Security Council reform, an initiative to bring the Council in line with the reality of international politics at the beginning of the 21st century, as the central issue of UN reform, since the Security Council, as an organ with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, must be able to address the above-mentioned issues effectively. The establishment of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change represents an effort by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to improve the UN system for addressing these challenges. Along with the work of the High-Level Panel, serious discussion has also being going on among the UN Member States particularly on the subject of Security Council reform, because the Security Council must play the central role in the matter related to international peace and security.
Japan's position on Security Council reform, as Prime Minister Koizumi stated in the General Debate, is that, in order for the Security Council to effectively address its new threats and challenges, 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. In addition, the Security Council must improve its representativeness to better reflect today's world. 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. It is our conviction that the role that Japan has played in the international community has provided us with sufficient basis for assuming the responsibilities of a permanent member of the Security Council. Japan supports Brazil, Germany and India as legitimate candidates for permanent membership in the Security Council. I also wish to add that Africa must be represented in the permanent membership of the Council.
We have conducted discussions in the Open-ended Working Group on Security Council Reform for more than a decade only to arrive at no consensus among the Member States on how to reform the Security Council. In December of this year, the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change is to issue its report, which is expected to include proposals on Security Council reform. This time it is incumbent on us to carry on a serious discussion to seek ways to adjust the Security Council to the current reality of the world. Based on that discussion, we have to produce solid results regarding Security Council reform in next year, which marks the sixtieth anniversary of founding of the United Nations. Nothing less than our wisdom, courage and public spirit from the global viewpoint are challenged in addressing this issue.
Facts speak more eloquently than rhetoric. In the chairman's summary of the work of the Working Group on the Security Council reform of the 58th Session of General Assembly, it was stated that many speakers expressed support for an increase in the membership of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. In the General Debate this September, we were able to have a lively discussion on the Security Council reform. By our own counting, among the 190 Member States that made remarks at the General Debate, 151 members referred to the need for Security Council reform, and 86 Member States supported the expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. Dozens more countries may have wished to express the same viewpoint, but were prevented from doing so because of time constraints. There are thus many nations which believe it is time to expand the number of both permanent and non-permanent seats in the Security Council. In contrast, only six countries supported the expansion of the Council in the non-permanent category only. These figures present a clear picture of what the Member States desire in terms of Security Council reform: there is substantial impetus among the Member States in support of the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of the Security Council membership. We must translate this sentiment into the realization of true reform. Japan, along with many other like-minded Member States, will make its maximum effort to ensure that Security Council reform finally become a reality. In view of the substantial interest which many UN members have in this issue, Japan would like to reserve the right to seek further discussion under item 53 during the 59th session of the General Assembly.
I welcome the Council's voluntary efforts to improve its working methods in recent years. Among other improvements, the frequency of open briefings for non-Council members and of open debates allowing for statements by non-Council members has certainly increased. I believe that such meetings contribute to enhanced transparency of the discussion in the Security Council. In order that the varied opinions of Member States may be reflected in the discussion in the Security Council, it is essential for the Council to provide non-member states with opportunities to listen and speak in the Council, especially with regard to those matters in which they have major stakes.
Since the decisions of the Security Council are generally binding on all of the Member States, it is vital that the views of those states which are major stakeholders be reflected in the decision-making process. By so doing, the Security Council will be able to fulfill its responsibility to be accountable to Member States. It is Japan's hope that the Council will continue to look for means to involve non-Council members with a vital interest in an issue under discussion more substantially in the Council's decision-making process. For the resolutions that have large budgetary implications on such activities as political missions and the consolidation of peace in addition to those pertaining to peacekeeping operations, transparency as well as accountability needs to be ensured, particularly vis-a-vis major financial contributing countries. A mechanism for consultation has been established between the Council and Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) regarding specific PKOs. This mechanism needs to be expanded to include major financial contributors as well. In this regard, Japan considers the holding of the PKO Working Group with non-Council members as a sign of progress and looks forward to further efforts by the Security Council for the revitalization of the PKO Working Group.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.Related Information (Japan and the United Nations)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site
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