Statement by H.E. Mr. Norihiro Okuda
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
On Agenda Item 118: Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly

At the 64th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
19 November 2009

Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,

First of all, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to H.E. Dr. Ali Treki, President of the General Assembly, for convening today's meeting to discuss one of the most important agendas conducted by the General Assembly, Revitalization of its work. I also would like to thank the Co-Chairs of the previous Ad hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly, Ambassador Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Permanent Representative of Ecuador, and Ambassador Morten Wetland, Permanent Representative of Norway, for their excellent work which was related in the report A/63/959 and the resolution A/RES/63/309. Let me also warmly welcome the Co-Facilitators in this process, Ambassador Sanja Stiglic, Permanent Representative of Slovenia, and Ambassador Jorge Arguello, Permanent Representative of Argentina, and I expect to closely work with them in order to continue to work on the essential issues.

The General Assembly is the most representative organ of the United Nations which all the Member States participate in. Despite an exception in article 12.1, the General Assembly is mandated to address any issues and questions determined by the UN Charter. Japan commits to the process of the revitalization of the General Assembly and continues to contribute to the activities to be carried out in this regard.

Mr. President,

(Thematic Debates)

My delegation would like to point out an issue concerning Thematic Debates which we consider very useful in promoting understanding on the priority agenda of the United Nations among the Member States. I welcome the Thematic Debates organized since last year on global agendas such as the Financial Crisis, Food Crisis, energy and natural resources problems, and today's important theme of Human Security. Japan believes there should be certain mechanisms to link these Thematic Debates to various concrete activities of the General Assembly.

The selection of the subject of a Thematic Debate is also a crucial issue. I would like to underline that in order to hold Thematic Debates within limited UN resources, careful selection of the theme and content of discussion will be required on a case-by-case basis. I hope that the President of the General Assembly and the Member States will closely consult each other in this regard.

(Implementation of GA agenda)

Japan recognizes the importance of continuing to review the status of implementation of GA resolutions and commends the Secretariat's strenuous work to issue the report A/62/952/Add.1 in February. I expect that based on the document, monitoring of the GA resolutions' implementation will be further promoted.

(Relationship between the General Assembly and principal organs of the Organization)

Japan welcomes the submission of annual reports from the Security Council to the GA, the regular consultations conducted between the presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly, and the timely communications from the Secretary-General to the GA. I firmly hope that the GA's relationship and coordination with the other principal organs will be further strengthened and improved as this process continues to be implemented.

It is also to be noted that the General Assembly is a supervising organ of the Peacebuilding Commission jointly with the Security Council. Japan commends the active discussion by both the GA and the Security Council on the annual report of the PBC as it contributes further to reinforcing the linkage between the two main bodies of the United Nations.

(New voting system)

I take note that the introduction of a voting system for the GA using new technology is being examined in the framework of the Capital Master Plan. This should be under the condition that it be done with full consideration of the needs of the Member States and their concerns on secret security as well as by rational utilization of existing financial resources without any additional budgetary requirements. I expect the Secretariat to sufficiently consult with the Member States for these purposes.

Mr. President,

Looking forward to forthcoming constructive discussions with regards to this agenda, my delegation reiterates its commitment to contribute to revitalizing the work of the General Assembly.

Thank you.

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