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Statement by Mr. Shigeki Sumi
Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

Agenda Item 136: Scale of assessments for the apportionment
of the expenses of the the United Nations

Main part of the Sixty-fourth Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
5 October 2009

Mr. Chairman,

Since this is the first time for my delegation to take the floor, I would like to congratulate you and the other Members of the Bureau upon your elections.

I wish to express my appreciation to Mr. Bernardo Greiver, the Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, for introducing his report, and also Mr. Lionelito Berridge, Chief of the Contributions and Policy Coordination Service, for presenting the Secretary-General's report on the multi-year payment plan.

Mr. Chairman,

As the second largest financial contributor to the United Nations, Japan attaches great importance to the scale of assessments. Japan has paid its dues faithfully, despite the fact that its Government is shouldering a huge debt and that the historic world financial and economic crisis is seriously affecting Japan's economic and financial situations.

My delegation is of the view that we should respect and maintain the basic principle that each Member State of the United Nations should pay its assessed contribution according to its "capacity to pay." While views may differ on how correctly the GNI share represents the actual economic strength of a Member State, it is recognized as the base of comparison. The calculations in the report of the Committee on Contributions show substantial deviations between the scales and the GNI shares after applying adjustments such as that for low per capita income adjustment (LPCIA). Some Member States with large GNI shares are given scales much lower than their capacity to pay and influence, while on the other hand, Japan's scale is about 30 percent above its GNI share. This discrepancy is only likely to grow, given the continued trend downwards in Japan's GNI share. We strongly believe that such a deviation from the basic principle of "capacity to pay" due to excessive adjustments must be addressed.

Mr. Chairman,

The necessity of addressing large scale-to-scale changes was mentioned. It is not acceptable for us to add any element that would increase the deviation from the basic principle of "capacity to pay" by widening the discrepancy between the scale and GNI share.

Mr. Chairman,

Focusing on the rapidly changing world economic situation, we have to find a methodology that would better reflect each Member State's real and current capacity to pay in a more equitable way, based on the most current, comprehensive and comparable data available.

While it was regrettable that the General Assembly could not give any specific guidance to the Committee on Contributions during its sixty-third session, my delegation appreciates the excellent work it has done. We Member States should base our discussion on the scale of assessments during this session on this report.

Mr. Chairman,

As for the application of Article 19 of the Charter, my delegation endorses the recommendations of the Committee on Contributions regarding the exemptions to its application.

In closing, Mr. Chairman, I assure you that my delegation will actively and constructively participate in the coming round of negotiations.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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