Statement of Ambassador Yukio Takasu Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

At the informal plenary of the General Assembly on Security Council reform on
"The relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly"

20 April 2009, New York

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to thank you for convening this meeting on the fifth cluster.

When we discuss the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly, first and foremost, it is important to understand and respect the distinct roles given to the Security Council and the General Assembly under the Charter.

As two of the principal organs of the United Nations, the Security Council and the General Assembly should cooperate and work together with mutual respect in a complementary manner, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter.

First of all, the General Assembly may discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the Charter. However, the General Assembly shall not make any recommendations with regard to any dispute or situation while the Security Council is exercising its functions in respect of said dispute or situation.

The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and thus must have the ability to take prompt and effective action. The Security Council acts on behalf of all of us UN Member States in carrying out its duties under this responsibility. All Member States have agreed to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.

The international community in the 21st century is facing a large number of new challenges to international peace and security that were not anticipated 60 years ago. As such, the concept of "international peace and security" has been expanding and evolving. The mandates of peacekeeping operations also have also been enlarged from the traditional role of monitoring ceasefires to include promoting democratic governance, protection of civilians and post-conflict stabilization and durable peace. PBC was referred to this morning by other Member States. This is one of good examples.

Under such circumstances, a number of issues are now considered in both of the General Assembly and the Security Council, as well as other organs of the UN. In that light, the Security Council and the General Assembly must respect each other's distinct roles for securing the effective functioning of the Organization as a whole.

In order to ensure that all Member States continue to accept to carry out the decisions of the Security Council, it is essential to assure all Member States that the Security Council has considered and acted on behalf of all member states of them, fully taking into account their views and preoccupations. Otherwise, the legitimacy of the decisions by the Security Council might be questioned. Hence, it is essential to review and revise the composition of the Security Council to enhance its legitimacy and effectiveness by expanding both categories to reflect the global reality of the 21st century.

Mr. Chairman,

An equally important aspect of strengthening the relationship of between the Security Council and the General Assembly is the enhancement of accountability and transparency in the work of the Council. I stated my position on the working methods of the Council on 7 April and will not go into details on that today.
I would simply stress that the working methods of the Security Council need to be adapted to the new situation so as to increase the involvement of states that are not members of the Council in its work, enhance its accountability to the membership and increase the transparency of its work. This is an essential part of the reform.

Mr. Chairman,

The agenda item for today's meeting completes the five clusters in the first round. I would like to thank you for your effort to mobilize our time and energy in our negotiations and for raising increasing momentum towards an early reform. We shall continue to keep up and intensify this momentum.

We need to consider how to organize and conduct the second round of negotiations which start in May, in order to achieve meaningful reform. We are expecting you to prepare an overview before the start of the second round. I believe that the overview should include the summary of the first round of the negotiations and viable options for the five clusters of key issues, incorporating the positions of and proposals by Member States.

In the second round, we must avoid simply repeating the first round.
Negotiations in the second round will be conducted with on the basis of such an overview as a basis. Some of the clusters are inter-related. Therefore, it would be more practical in our view to concentrate first on categories of membership, the veto, regional representations and the size of an enlarged Council all together, and then move on to the working methods.

In this way we will be able to narrow differences through demonstrating flexibility and to search for a reform package which is likely to garner the widest possible political support among Member States.

Thank you.

Related Information (United Nations Reform)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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