Japan and the United Nations

Prime Minister Abe’s Participation in the 69th Session of United Nations General Assembly

September 29, 2014
Japanese

  • Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister, visited New York from September 22 (Mon.) to 26 (Fri.) (local time) to attend the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. During his visit, the Prime Minister delivered an address at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and also a speech at the UN Climate Summit.
  • In his address, Prime Minister Abe introduced the history of Japan as a peace loving nation and its contribution to the UN and to international society after World War II, and stressed that Japan would make further international contributions based on the ideas of "proactive contribution to peace" and "human security," while inheriting the pledge made by Japan's previous administrations never to wage war.
  • At the UN Climate Session, Prime Minister Abe described Japan's contribution plan that includes the three pillars of 1) assistance to developing countries, 2) technological innovation and diffusion, and 3) contribution to international frameworks. Moreover, Prime Minister Abe co-chaired the Resilience Session, one of the sessions of the Climate Summit, and communicated to the world the efforts being made by Japan as a disaster risk reduction leading country.
  • During his stay, Prime Minister Abe met with the leaders of Iran, Mongolia, Egypt, France, Panama, Australia, Iraq, and Qatar, and also with H. E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly; Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Mr. Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States.
  • Prime Minister Abe hosted the Japan-African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) Summit Roundtable and a summit meeting with Pacific island nations and attended the United Nations High-level Meeting on the Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak, the Summit Meeting on UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), and the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting.
  • In addition to the above, the Prime Minister delivered an address at the Japan investment seminar, attended the Washoku Style Reception, and met with women leaders in the U.S., professors and students of Columbia University, members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), representatives from the financial sector, and Japanese staff of the United Nations.

1. Outline of outcomes of key events, etc.

(1) Address at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly (September 25 (Thur.))

 On September 25 (Thur.), Prime Minister Abe delivered an address at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. A summary of his address is as follows:
 In his address, Prime Minister Abe introduced the history of Japan as a peace loving nation and its contribution to the U.N. and to international society after World War II, and stressed that Japan would make further international contributions based on the ideas of “proactive contribution to peace” and “human security,” while inheriting the pledge of Japan’s previous administrations never to wage war.

(i) Opening: Response to present crisis

 Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to newly provide 40 million US dollars as a response to the Ebola outbreak and 50 million US dollars as emergency assistance for the Middle East, and also expressed readiness to prepare new assistance for the reconstruction of the eastern part of Ukraine.

(ii) The UN’s and Japan’s past 70 years and its proactive contribution to peace

 Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan’s future lies in a straight extension of its history over the past 70 years of being a peace loving nation and Japan’s pledge never to wage war would be handed down and fostered by the Japanese people for generation upon generation to come, while at the same time Japan would be a force providing momentum for proactive contributions to peace. Prime Minister Abe also stated that Japan aspires to join the Security Council once more as a non-permanent member at the election next year, marking the 70th year of the start of the U.N.; and achieve reforms of the U.N. in a way that reflects the realities of the 21st century. In that context, Japan seeks to become a permanent member of the Security Council and take on an appropriate role that the status requires.

(iii) Commitment to realization of society that places people front and center

 Prime Minister Abe stated that in order to realize a society that places people front and center, particularly to realize a “society in which women shine,” the Government of Japan has been making efforts both inside and outside of Japan including holding international conferences such as WAW! Tokyo 2014. Prime Minister Abe also stated that the Government of Japan intends to make the 21st century a world with no human rights violations against women and at the same time to ensure the fundamental rights of women, such as in the areas of education and health, to improve their ability to be economically self-reliant (Japan has been steadily implementing the assistance in excess of 3 billion US dollars over three years that the Prime Minister pledged last year in his address at the U.N., and in addition has increased its contributions to U.N. Women fivefold).

(iv) Commitment to prosperity

 The Prime Minister stated that Japan would be strongly involved in drawing up the post-2015 development agenda and it would emphasize the protection and empowerment of the vulnerable to achieve inclusiveness, sustainability, and resilience. Prime Minister Abe also said that Japan would establish new guiding principles for ODA this year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of its ODA.

(v) Commitment to peace

 Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would contribute to the UN peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding: particularly, that it would cultivate its human resources in the area of peacebuilding; it would lead discussions at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to be convened next year, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings; and it would work in coordination with the relevant countries toward the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues related to North Korea, including the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues.

(vi) Conclusion

 Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would work even harder than ever to bring about the realization of the principles that the U.N. has set forth, and that Japan is a nation that implements its pledges without fail.

(2) Speech in the UN Climate Summit (September 23 (Tue.))

(i) On September 23 (Tue.), Prime Minister Abe delivered a speech at the UN Climate Summit and described the following three pillars as Japan’s contribution plan.

  • Assistance to developing countries
  •  Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan achieved its target, of providing assistance totaling about 16 billion US dollars in three years from 2013 to 2015, within a year and a half, and newly pledged to assist the human resources development of 14,000 people over the next three years in the area of climate change. He also stated that he would launch an “Adaptation Initiative” to support the adaptive capacity of developing countries in a holistic manner. In addition, with regard to disaster risk reduction, which is deeply related to climate change, Prime Minister Abe called for the cooperation of other countries for the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in the city of Sendai in March next year.
  • Technological innovation and diffusion
  •  Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would further promote technological innovation in the future and would host the first conference of the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) in Tokyo next month. He also stated that Japan would contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by establishing an energy efficiency facilitating hub for global action in Tokyo and by steadily implementing the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe said that Japan would launch a satellite that would monitor and verify GHG emissions, and mutually utilize its data at the global level.
  • Contribution to the future international framework
  •  Prime Minister Abe stated that in light of the COP 19 decision, Japan aims to submit its intended nationally determined contribution as early as possible. As for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), he commented that Japan was considering the possibility of making an appropriate contribution after the necessary environment, including receiving arrangements of the GCF, is in place.

(ii) Resilience Session

 Prime Minister Abe attended the Resilience Session of the Climate Summit as a co-chair with H.E. Mr. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados. Prime Minister Abe stated that it is necessary to address disaster risk reduction in order to construct a resilient world that can adapt to climate change and that Japan had been leading international society in this area as a disaster risk reduction advanced country. Moreover, while explaining the “Adaptation Initiative” to support developing countries, including island countries, Prime Minister Abe called for cooperation for the success of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in the city of Sendai in March next year. The session was attended by representatives from various countries, such as H.E. Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, and Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, as well as representatives from international organizations and regional organizations, representatives from civil society, and representatives from private enterprises.

(3) Multilateral meeting, etc.

(i) Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting (September 24 (Wed.))

 Prime Minister Abe attended the opening of the “Equality for Girls and Women” Plenary Session of the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting, and talked with Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State. Ms. Clinton stated that she highly appreciated Prime Minister Abe’s strong leadership on the issue of women and that she would work on this issue together with him in the future. Prime Minister Abe expressed his determination to implement initiatives to expand the “society in which women shine” to the entire world in the future.

(ii) Japan-African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) Summit Roundtable (September 24 (Wed.))

 Prime Minister Abe hosted the Second Japan-African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) Summit Roundtable and held discussions on the theme of infrastructure development in Africa as part of follow-up to the TICAD V summit held last year and also Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Africa last January. In the meeting, Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan intended to accommodate Africa’s request that the next TICAD summit be held in Africa. The meeting was attended by H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana (chair country of the Economic Community of West African States); H. E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (chair country of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development); and leaders and ministers from RECs member countries.

(iii) Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (September 25 (Thur.))

 Prime Minister Abe hosted the Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting and confirmed cooperation with the Pacific Island countries' leaders toward the success of the Seventh Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 7). The meeting was attended by leaders and ministers from Pacific Island countries, including H.E. Mr. Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati; H.E. Mr. Emanuel Mori, President of the Federated States of Micronesia; H.E. Mr. Christopher J. Loeak, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; and H.E. Mr. Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau.

(iv) United Nations High-level Meeting on the Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak (September 25 (Thur.))

 Prime Minister Abe attended the United Nations High-level Meeting on the Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak hosted by the Secretary-General of the UN. The Prime Minister expressed his agreement with the establishment of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and stated Japan would do all it could to stop the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. Prime Minister Abe also said that Japan was prepared to extend an additional assistance of a total of 40 million dollars and provide a potential drug treatment developed by Japanese companies and expressed his intention to offer additional personal protective equipment as well as vehicles and also to send additional medical staff. The meeting was attended by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General; Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO); and Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States, and also as representatives of countries affected by the disease, of Mr. Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea; H. E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia (via TV); and H.E. Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone (via TV).

(v) Summit Meeting on UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) (September 26 (Fri.))

 In this meeting held for the purpose of supporting the UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), which on the one hand is facing many issues but on the other hand is becoming more and more important for maintaining peace and security of the international community, Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s specific contributions, such as its proactive participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations; cooperation in activities aimed at capacity building in a wide range of fields, including for civilians and women; and the rapid deployment of PKOs in Africa. Leaders and ministers from 31 countries participated in the meeting. Other than Prime Minister Abe, the co-hosts of the meeting were Mr. Joe Biden, Vice-President of the United States of America; Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN; Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda; Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; and Mr. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

(4) Other

(i) Lunch meeting with women leaders actively working in the U.S. (September 22 (Mon.))

 Prime Minister Abe met with women leaders in the U.S. and they explained to him their roles and activities. In turn, Prime Minister Abe explained the women-related policies that Japan has been implementing.

(ii) Visit to Columbia University and meeting with professors (September 22 (Mon.))

 Prime Minister Abe visited Columbia University and delivered an address to approximately 400 students and instructors, and also answered questions from them. Moreover, he met with Mr. Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University, and other professors of Columbia University and exchanged opinions with them on foreign and economic policies.

(iii) Address at Invest Japan Seminar (September 23 (Tue.))

 In his address, Prime Minister Abe stated that: 1) Abenomics is a challenge being taken to rejuvenate Japan and positive economic growth cycle had been set in motion; 2) Abenomics had entered its second chapter with the reshuffle of the Cabinet in September and the focus of this second chapter is “to create abundant and vital local areas”, His cabinet would implement various deregulation, including electric power liberalization, agriculture reforms, relaxation of requirements for a viza; 3) for the purpose of creating abundant and vital local areas, investment from overseas is necessary and the Government of Japan would make all efforts to build a society in which women shine and for TPP; 4) the Government of Japan would construct a system for supporting investment to Japan through coordination between Japanese embassies abroad and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

(iv) Meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) (September 23 (Tue.))

 Prime Minister Abe met with Mr. Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), other members of the CFR, and representatives from the financial sector. Prime Minister Abe explained his financial policies, fiscal policies, and growth strategies, including deregulation and the empowerment of women. In addition to the above, the attendees exchanged opinions on the fields of agriculture, TPP negotiations, and finance.

(v) Meeting with Japanese staff of the U.N.

 Mr. and Mrs. Abe met with 79 Japanese working for international organizations, including the UN Secretariat. Prime Minister Abe stated that he would emphasize training for human resource so that the number of Japanese able to work for international organizations could increase and encouraged the personnel, stating that the Government of Japan would provide support so that Japanese executives of such international organizations would increase.

(vi) Participation in the Washoku Style Reception (September 24 (Wed.))

 In his address, Prime Minister Abe stated that the spirit of monozukuri (craftsmanship) is alive in washoku (Japan’s traditional dietary culture) and introduced some of its features to the VIPs of other countries attending the reception. He explained that while the history and tradition of washoku is still being passed down, it is also evolving day by day.