Japan and the United Nations
Prime Minister Abe Meets with the Secretary-General of the United Nations
On September 19, commencing at 12:05 p.m. (local time; 1:05 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, Japan time) for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting New York to attend the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly, held a meeting with Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the outset, Secretary-General Guterres expressed gratitude for Japan’s contributions to the UN, explaining that he hopes to cooperate with Japan on various challenges, including the issue of North Korea. In response, Prime Minister Abe expressed his view that the international community is facing multiple challenges and he intends to deal with them firmly through closely coordinating with Secretary-General Guterres. Prime Minister Abe stated that he hopes the Secretary-General will visit Japan soon.
- With regard to North Korea, Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of the full implementation of the UN Secretary Council (UNSC) Resolution 2375, which was unanimously adopted, and extended his appreciation to the Secretary-General for putting forth the same message to the international community. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe said that considering North Korea’s track record, in order to achieve a meaningful dialogue with North Korea, it must first demonstrate its sincere will and action toward denuclearization of the country. Prime Minister Abe explained that it is important to increase pressure on North Korea to create a conducive environment in which North Korea seeks a dialogue.
- Additionally, Prime Minister Abe proceeded further that the abductions issue is the most important issue of his administration, and he hopes for understanding and cooperation. Secretary-General Guterres stressed the importance of Member States’ full implementation of relevant UNSC Resolutions. Furthermore, Secretary-General Guterres expressed his solidarity with Japan with regard to the abductions issue, and stated that the abductions issue trample on fundamental human rights and are unacceptable. The two sides confirmed they will continue to work closely together.
- With regard to UN reform, Prime Minister Abe stated that he intends to support and cooperate with the Secretary-General’s efforts to reform the UN, but UN reform will not be complete without UNSC reform, and he hopes to achieve visible progress during this UN General Assembly session. Prime Minister Abe explained that he hopes Secretary-General Guterres will advocate that realizing prompt UNSC reform is essential to UN reform, and the two sides confirmed that they will cooperate closely on UN reform.