Statement of H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

At the informal plenary of the General Assembly
on Security Council reform:

First Exchange of the Fourth Round
8 December 2009, New York

Mr. Chairman,

Thank you for organizing this meeting today. Your dedication in the last three rounds of intergovernmental negotiations is greatly appreciated. We welcome you on the reappointment as Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations. We count on your continued guidance. We should do our best to achieve decisive progress during the current session.

(Objectives of Security Council reform)

At the 2005 World Summit, leaders of all Member States agreed on the objective of Security Council reform; to make the Council more broadly representative and to further enhance its effectiveness and legitimacy and implementation of its decisions. And they pledged to realize early reform of the Security Council.

The question I have to ask: have we fulfilled the pledges our political leaders collectively made? I am afraid, my answer is no. We cannot leave the current composition of the Security Council unchanged, a situation which is no longer acceptable for meeting today's challenges as the distinguished permanent representative of Sierra Leone on behalf of the African Group made it very clear. We are concerned that further delay of the reform will eventually lead to the erosion of the effectiveness of the Council if so many Member States start to question its representativeness and even legitimacy.

We therefore must act and deliver on the unanimous commitment of our leaders in the form of concrete solutions at the earliest possible time. Security Council reform is the common responsibility of those of us representing the Member States at this juncture.

Our position on reform is on record, so I do not need to repeat. We basically support expansion of both categories which is essential for reforming the Security Council, to achieve the objective of reform and thereby reflect more fully the global political reality in the 21st century.

This is why the option of expanding both the permanent and non-permanent categories continues to enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of Member States in the three rounds of negotiations during the last session. The debate in the plenary held in November manifested the same outcome. A solution must be found along this option.

(A basis of intergovernmental negotiations in 64th session)

The issue before us is how to conduct a fourth round of intergovernmental negotiations. Decision 63/565, unanimously adopted at the close of the 63rd session, provides clear guidance on how to conduct negotiations during the 64th session. Negotiations must be based on the progress achieved during the last session, as well as positions of and proposals made by Member States.

Three intensive rounds of intergovernmental negotiations at the informal plenary under your able chairmanship during the last session, on top of 15 years of consultations in the OEWG; all positions and proposals made by Member States are now abundantly clear and well elaborated.

In this respect, you adequately pointed out in your letter of 16 November 2009 that the next step in implementing the negotiation mandate is to focus more on the positions and proposals of Member States, regional groups and other Member State groups.

So in the next step of negotiations, there is no point of repeating statements of each other's formal positions. We should not duplicate what has transpired in the last session or even go back to the starting point. In the 64th session, negotiations should be built upon progress made so far and proceed to the next stage. What is the next stage? That is to search possible areas of narrowing differences among Member States, and broaden common area and possibility of convergence and to finally focus on a reform option which is likely to receive the widest possible support of Member States.

As shown in decision 63/565, it is a general wish of all Member States to immediately continue substantive negotiations. For that, like in other negotiations of important issues in the General Assembly, on which Members States presented different positions and proposals and also where they've been prepared to make compromises through negotiations, it will be essential to have a concise paper which serves as a basis for more focused negotiations to search for an agreement.

Such a paper will contain a list of options for the five clusters of key issues; namely, categories, size, veto, regional representation and working methods, incorporating the positions and proposals of Member States. The paper should not set preconditions or prejudge the outcome of the negotiations. Rather, it should incorporate the positions and proposals of Member States and groups and on that basis, we can negotiate, make the case and engage on substantive negotiations and go in deeper discussion with other countries to search for an agreement.

In this respect, I would like to reiterate the strong request made during the debate at the General Assembly in November by many representatives including myself, that you, Mr. Chairman, who has gained the full trust and confidence from all quarters of Member States for fairness and impartiality, are in the best position to produce such a paper at the earliest possible time. However, if for whatever reason you are not in a position to do so, I believe other Member State-driven ways could be found to proceed to the next stage.

On the basis of such a paper, serious and more focused negotiations could take place and we will be able to narrow differences, broaden areas of convergence by demonstrating flexibility and focus on a reform package which is likely to garner the widest possible support among Member States.

I stress here that the person who judges if there is convergence or not is Member States. Simply to provide such a paper as a basis would be extremely useful in enabling us to search for a convergent view.

I would like to just make very brief comments on the points the distinguished Permanent Representative of Portugal made about working methods, namely interaction between the Security Council, most importantly the Working Group on the Documentation and Other Procedural Matter and the General Assembly. I think he made very good suggestions and I could take them up later.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Related Information (United Nations Reform)
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