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 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
8 October 2007

Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,

I would like to join the other delegates in congratulating Your Excellency Dr. Kerim on your assumption of the Presidency.

In the 21st century the United Nations needs to respond swiftly to emerging challenges in the world. The expectations the citizens of the world hold to the UN are higher than ever. I commend the Secretary-General's determination to reform the United Nations Secretariat to become a more efficient and dynamic organization.

Mr. President,

Climate change affects everybody on the planet. The UN is best placed to search for an international arrangement acceptable to all stakeholders. I highly commend the valuable initiative of the Secretary-General to organize the high-level meeting on climate change on 24 September. The meeting greatly contributed in forging broad political momentum for joint international action.

Japan has proposed a long-term vision for developing innovative technologies and building a low carbon society. Japan has also called for an international framework beyond 2012 that includes all major emitters of greenhouse gases. Japan is determined to take a leadership role on the climate change issue through hosting the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit next July.

Mr. President,

Another priority area for Japan is African development. For Africa to become a vibrant continent, a continent of hope and opportunity, conflict must be prevented, resolved, and consolidated. Its economic growth must be enhanced and sustained. Secondly, human security needs to be ensured though the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the consolidation of peace and democratic governance. And, thirdly, the issues of the environment and climate change must be addressed.

Japan will host the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) next May. Under the theme of "Vibrant Africa," we view it of utmost importance that, through African ownership and with a true partnership with the international society, peace and prosperity of Africa should be achieved. South-south cooperation between Asia and Africa will remain a key feature in the TICAD process.

The crisis in Darfur requires the highest attention of the international community. The strong personal engagement by the Secretary-General is highly commendable. Japan welcomes the establishment of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and looks forward to its early deployment and progress in the political process in Darfur. Japan will strengthen its contribution for the consolidation of peace and stability in Africa.

Mr. President,

Japan has cooperated for consolidating peace and assisting post-conflict recovery in many parts of the world, including West Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and Nepal.

To build peace, it is essential for the international community to ensure a seamless and intergrated effort to fulfill tasks ranging from resolving conflicts and providing humanitarian assistance to helping recovery and reconstruction. Serving as the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Japan is resolved to contribute to such international efforts and make the PBC a forum to bring all actors to marshal resources and support.

Mr. President,

Japan attaches utmost importance on human security, as one of the pillars of its foreign policies. We would like to see that the human-centered perspective is reflected in the broad areas of activities of the UN.

Human dignity and human rights must be universally respected and safeguarded. We sincerely hope for an early resolution of the abduction issue.

It is extremely regrettable that the authorities of Myanmar used force against the peaceful demonstrators, which brought about casualties, including the death of a Japanese citizen. Japan calls on the Government of Myanmar to refrain from the use of oppressive force.

We hope that the Government of Myanmar will engage in national dialogue, without precondition, to achieve national reconciliation and promote democratization, taking into account sincerely the wishes expressed by the people of Myanmar and hence fundamentally resolve the situation peacefully.

Japan supports the good offices effort made by the Secretary-General and his Special Advisor Mr. Gambari, in close cooperation with other interested countries, particularly those of ASEAN and the countries in the region, to promote national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar.

Mr. President,

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is another challenge that requires the undivided attention of humankind. From this point of view, we welcome that the Security Council has adopted a series of consensus resolutions on the DPRK and Iran and remains seized with the cases.

Nuclear disarmament should gather no less attention. As the only country that has suffered nuclear devastation, Japan will submit another draft resolution at this session of the General Assembly to lay out concrete measures toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Counter-terrorism is another important area of international cooperation which is of high priority. Japan welcomes the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1776. The Japanese Government will make every effort to continue our refueling activities in the Indian Ocean as a responsible member of the international community.

Japan also supports the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Furthermore, to strengthen the legal framework to counter terrorism, I call upon every State to exercise utmost flexibility for an early conclusion of the negotiations on the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

Japan believes that, for the Security Council to live up to its expected responsibilities, we need to make it more representative and effective. I renew Japan's determination to pursue early reform of the Security Council by expanding both the permanent and non-permanent memberships. No reform of the United Nations will ever be completed without the reform of the Security Council. All Member States must work together so that we can achieve concrete results during this session through inter-governmental negotiations.

Mr. President,

We need to enhance the capacity of the United Nations to deal with new challenges and to deliver more. Japan will constructively engage in efforts to strengthen the UN ability to maintain international peace and security. Japan also supports the ongoing endeavors to enable the United Nations system to work more coherently and effectively in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance, the environment, and human rights. We also need to achieve concrete progress in modernizing management and programs.

Let me conclude my remarks by renewing Japan's unwavering commitment to making a more effective, better functioning United Nations under the leadership of the Secretary-General.

Thank you very much.

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