Japan and the United Nations
Prime Minister Abe Attends the 72nd United Nations General Assembly
September 22, 2017
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
- Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, visited New York from Monday, September 18 (local time) to Thursday, September 21 (local time) for the fifth consecutive year to attend the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
- Considering fact that North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, and launched ballistic missiles that flew over Japan twice during the last three weeks, Prime Minister Abe used the fora such as various multilateral and bilateral meetings and an address to the UN to convey the need for the international community to work in solidarity against the threat posed by North Korea. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe emphasized the need to apply an unprecedented and new level of pressure on North Korea to urge it change its policy by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, including the new resolution.
- In his address to the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Abe pointed out that the North Korea nuclear and missile problem constitutes an unprecedented, grave and imminent threat, and explained that North Korea must be made to abandon all its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Prime Minister Abe stated that in order to achieve that, what is needed is pressure, not dialogue, and he called for the international community's solidarity. Prime Minister Abe also explained that he would do all possible efforts to repatriate the victims of the abductions as quickly as possible.
- Prime Minister Abe held summit meetings with Israel, Jordan, Iran, France, Turkey, Croatia, the Republic of Korea, and the United States, as well as meetings with H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, and H.E. Dr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Abe also held a meeting with the leaders of African countries, and a summit meeting with Pacific island countries' leaders. Furthermore, he received a courtesy call by Mr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- Prime Minister Abe gave a speech at a side event on promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and stressed the importance of UHC and shared the contributions Japan is making. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe has been selected as one of 10 Heads of State for promoting UN Women's HeForShe Campaign, and he gave a speech at the announcement ceremony for the HeForShe IMPACT10×10×10 Parity Report.
- Additionally, Prime Minister Abe presented a speech at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in order to convey Japan's economic and fiscal policies, beginning with Abenomics, and he also conveyed Japan's appeal and called for investment in Japan by holding a food and tourism reception and an informal discussion with CEOs in the U.S. Prime Minister Abe also participated in a social gathering to encourage Japanese staff working at UN organizations.
1 Overview of results from major events
(a) List of things that I would have liked to raise is long, but I have no choice but to focus my remarks on North KoreaI had intended to emphasize Japan's implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), its support for women, UHC, the rule of law, the Paris Agreement, quality infrastructure investments, the free, liberal and open international order, preservation of multilateral frameworks and UNSC reform, and its determination to play an active role for world peace as a permanent member of the Security Council. However, I have no choice but to focus my remarks on North Korea.
(b) Gravity of North Korea's nuclear and missile threat unprecedented, and indisputably a matter of urgencyNorth Korea conducted a nuclear test, and launched missiles that flew over Japan twice. The gravity of this threat is unprecedented. It is indisputably a matter of urgency. It represents a serious blow to disarmament efforts and the non-proliferation regime. This crisis is of an altogether different dimension to previous crises.
(c) What is needed to do is not dialogue, but pressureIt was absolutely not a lack of dialogue that gave rise to this situation. Attempts to resolve issues through dialogue, such as the "Agreed Framework" between the United States and North Korea (1994) and the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks (2005), have all come to naught. We must make North Korea abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.
(d) Determination to resolve the abductions issueMany Japanese remain abducted in North Korea even to this day. I will continue to do all possible efforts so they can set foot on Japan's soil as soon as possible, until the day when they will be in the arms of their parents, and their family members.
(e) What is necessary is action, and the solidarity of the international communityJapan will face up to North Korea's nuclear and missile threat through the Japan-U.S. Alliance and through Japan, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK) acting in unity. Japan consistently supports the United States' stance that "all options are on the table." I appreciate the unanimous adoption of the UNSC Resolution 2375, but it is nothing more than the beginning. We must prevent the goods, funds, people, and technology necessary for nuclear and missile development from heading to North Korea. We must make North Korea comply fully with the repeated UNSC resolutions. We must ensure the strict and full implementation of the series of UNSC resolutions by all UN member nations. What is necessary is action, and the solidarity of the international community.
North Korea's bright future lies in growing its economy and improving public welfare. By failing to resolve the abductions, nuclear weapons and missiles issues, and by becoming a threat to all humanity, there is absolutely no future that North Korea can open up for itself. In order to change North Korea's policies, we must strengthen our unity.
(3) Bilateral meetings etc.
(a) Japan-Israel Summit Meeting (September 18 (Monday))Prime Minister Abe explained that he intends to continue to pursue cooperation in a broad range of fields including the economy, advanced technologies and cyberspace, and the two leaders confirmed that with the two countries celebrating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, they will promote further cooperation going forward. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan's position with regard to North Korea and obtained the understanding and support of H.E. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. In addition, Prime Minister Abe expressed gratitude for Israel's cooperation with Japan's unique efforts for peace in the Middle East, including the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative, and the two sides confirmed that the two countries will cooperate further in the future.
Furthermore, with regard to UN reform, Prime Minister Abe stated that he intends to support and cooperate with Secretary General Guterres' efforts to reform the UN, but UN reform will not be completed without UNSC reform, and he hopes to achieve visible progress during this UN General Assembly session. The two sides confirmed that they will continue to work closely on UN reform.
(d) Japan-Jordan Summit Meeting (September 19 (Tuesday))Prime Minister Abe stated that he intends to further advance the bilateral relationship with Jordan, which Japan has traditionally enjoyed friendly relations with, in a broad range of fields including diplomacy, the economy and security. Prime Minister Abe also expressed gratitude and respect for Jordan's acceptance of Syrian refugees, along with conveying Japan's intention to continue to provide all possible support for Jordan's economic and social stability. The two leaders also exchanged views on regional affairs, including the Middle East peace process, and confirmed that they will continue to cooperate in order to promote the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative.
(f) Courtesy call from IOC President Bach (September 20 (Wednesday))Prime Minister Abe and President Bach confirmed that they will continue to work closely together for the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. President Bach expressed gratitude for the superb work of the individuals concerned and Japan's consistent support for the Olympics. Prime Minister Abe explained that the Tokyo Olympics are also a "Recovery Olympics," and from that perspective he is promoting "host town" initiatives for grassroots exchanges between Japanese municipalities and the countries and regions participating in the games from around the world, so that visitors from a large number of countries get to see the recovery from the earthquake. Prime Minister Abe also stated that he hopes to have the affected regions utilized for pre-training camps and other activities. President Bach explained that he will continue to support Japan's efforts.
(g) Japan-Turkey Summit Meeting (September 20 (Wednesday))Prime Minister Abe expressed that he is encouraged by H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, who is overcoming numerous difficulties engaged in the reform. Prime Minister Abe also stated that he hopes to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries as strategic partners. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe explained the Japanese situation regarding North Korea and confirmed both sides' strong cooperation. With regard to bilateral relations, Prime Minister Abe stated that he hopes to collaborate more closely in order to build a multilayered and cooperative relationship for the two countries' strategic partnership. The two leaders confirmed that the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University will provide an important base for cooperation between the two countries for the future, and that they will continue to cooperate in order to open the university promptly. The two leaders also discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries in the economic field, including trade, investment and tourism, and shared the view on accelerating the negotiations on the Japan-Turkey EPA.
(4) Multilateral meetings etc.
(c) Announcement ceremony for the HeForShe IMPACT10×10×10 Gender Parity Report (September 20 (Wednesday))As one of the Heads of State IMPACT Champions selected by UN Women, Prime Minister Abe attended the announcement ceremony for the HeForShe (a UN Women campaign calling on men and boys to contribute to promoting gender equality) IMPACT10×10×10 Parity Report. Along with explaining Japan's initiatives for realizing "A Society Where Women Shine" and the outcomes of those efforts, Prime Minister Abe introduced the "The World Assembly for Women: WAW! 2017," which is scheduled to be held in Tokyo in November, and called on HeForShe supporters to link up at the WAW! and work together to realize societies in which women shine worldwide.
(a) Greeting at a food and tourism reception (September 18 (Monday))Prime Minister Abe attended a reception whose theme was the appeal of Japanese regions and their foods. The reception was attended by over 200 people, among them various countries' VIPs, including the presidents of Comoros, Macedonia, Switzerland and Libya, as well as representatives from the food and tourism industries in Japan and the United States. In his greeting, Prime Minister Abe encouraged participants to "actually look at, eat and experience Japan."
(b) Informal discussion with U.S. CEOs (September 19 (Tuesday))Prime Minister Abe held an informal discussion with well-known businesspeople, investors and others from around the world. In the informal discussion, Prime Minister Abe talked about Abenomics' achievements thus far, the change in Japan's course that he hopes to instigate from here on, and the expectations that he holds for foreign investors, along with actively exchanging views with participants on measures that the Government of Japan should take to promote investment in Japan.
(c) Speech on Japan's economy at the NYSE (September 20 (Wednesday))With the goal of increasing investment in Japan, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan's economic outlook and Abenomics' future developments directly to around 200 people, including the representatives of U.S. financial institutions that wield considerable influence domestically and overseas. Prime Minister Abe stated that he has continued to single-mindedly take action in order to reform the structure of the Japanese economy from the base up, as he mentioned in a speech he gave at the NYSE four years ago. Prime Minister Abe explained that from here on also, he will invest the entirety of his political resources to open up the future of Japan.
(d) Social gathering to encourage Japanese staff working at UN organizations (September 21 (Thursday))Prime Minister Abe held an informal discussion with around 100 Japanese staff who work at various organizations such as the UN Secretariat, the UNDP and UNICEF. Prime Minister Abe mentioned that he focused on North Korea as the theme of his address to the UN at this year's UN General Assembly, and then explained that threat of the North Korea is grave and imminent for Japan, and it is important to fully implement the UN resolutions which all of those present contributed their valuable efforts to get adopted. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe pointed out that the UN is tackling challenges facing the world such as sustainable development, immigration and refugees, and climate change, and stated that he hopes to build a better world through cooperating with the UN. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe stated that the contributions of the Japanese staff at the UN are heartening and he feels proud of them, and he offered words of encouragement by explaining that he is praying they will continue to play active roles.
September 18 (Monday)
AfternoonArrival in New York
Side event on promoting UHC
Meeting with the leaders of African countries
Japan-Israel Summit Meeting
Food and culture reception
September 19 (Tuesday)
MorningInformal discussion with U.S. CEOs
Japan-Iran Summit Meeting
AfternoonMeeting with UN Secretary General Guterres
Japan-Jordan Summit Meeting
Lunch meeting hosted by UN Secretary General Guterres
Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders' Meeting
September 20 (Wednesday)
MorningSpeech on the Japanese economy
Announcement ceremony for the HeForShe IMPACT10×10×10 Gender Parity Report
Japan-France Summit Meeting
AfternoonCourtesy call by IOC President Bach
Address to the UN
Japan-Turkey Summit Meeting
September 21 (Thursday)
MorningJapan-Croatia Summit Meeting
Meeting with 72nd UN General Assembly President Lajčák
AfternoonJapan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting
Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting
Social Gathering to encourage Japanese staff working at UN organizations