Japan and the United Nations

December 14, 2017
Photograph of the Prime Minister shaking hands with
the UN Secretary-General
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Photograph of the meeting with the UN Secretary-General
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Photograph of the joint press announcement
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On December 14, commencing at 11:35 a.m. for approximately 80 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN). After the meeting, Prime Minister Abe and UN Secretary-General Guterres held a joint press announcement, followed by a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Abe. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed Secretary-General Guterres’ first visit to Japan as UN Secretary-General.

(2) Prime Minister Abe thanked Secretary-General Guterres for attending the UHC Forum 2017. The Prime Minister stated that the international community was able to send out a unified, strong message about advancing the efforts for universal health coverage (UHC), and that Japan will promote UHC in collaboration with the UN.

2. North Korea

(1) Prime Minister Abe and Secretary-General Guterres were in full agreement that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is essential for peace and stability in the region. Given North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and missile development programs, they shared the view that full implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions is necessary, that dialogue for the sake of dialogue with North Korea is meaningless and that it must be a meaningful one aimed at denuclearization.

(2) Prime Minister Abe expressed his wish to jointly send a strong message that will contribute to strengthening pressure on North Korea at the UNSC ministerial meeting on December 15, and they reaffirmed their close collaboration.

(3) Prime Minister Abe called for understanding and cooperation on the early resolution of the abductions issue and obtained support from the Secretary-General.

3. UN reform

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that he supports Secretary-General Guterres’ reform efforts aimed at creating a UN that can address present-day challenges even more effectively, and that Japan will contribute to those efforts.

(2) Prime Minister Abe also noted that it is vital to proceed UNSC reform in parallel with UN reform, and expressed expectations towards Secretary-General Guterres’ leadership.

4. Global issues

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan is implementing international cooperation in the main areas of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including health, education, disaster risk reduction, and women’s empowerment. The Prime Minister explained about the establishment of the SDGs Promotion Headquarters chaired by himself, and that Japan is further accelerating its efforts on SDGs both at home and abroad.

(2) Secretary-General Guterres highly valued the efforts of Japan. Prime Minister Abe and Secretary-General Guterres agreed that Japan and the UN will work together even more closely for the achievement of the SDGs.

(3) Prime Minister Abe remarked that Japan will continue to address the variety of issues facing the international community in cooperation with the UN, which plays a critical role in the peace and prosperity of the international community.

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