Japan's Share of Assessed Contribution to the United Nations (UN)
It is said that Japan bears a substantial part of the burden of assessed contributions to the United Nations. Is this true?
- The share of the assessed contribution to the United Nations (UN) paid by each country (scale of assessments) is reviewed at the UN General Assembly once every 3 years, and the scale of assessments for the period from 2001 to 2003 were determined in December 2000. Japan's scale of assessment will be 19.629% in 2001, 19.669% in 2002 and 19.516% in 2003, which gives it the second largest scale of assessment among member countries, after the United States.
- United Nations scale of assessments are essentially determined on the basis of the economic strength of each country (the proportion of the world-wide economy for which it accounts) with various adjustments. As the Japanese economy has continued to grow in strength since the country joined the UN in 1956, Japan's scale of assessment has also risen overall, exceeding 20% in 2000. The Japanese government has consistently called for a comprehensive review of its contribution rate, insisting that it cannot be fair for the country to shoulder a burden of more than 20% when it is in difficult financial circumstances. As a result, Japan has had a reduction in its scale of assessment accepted in order to reflect the decline in its economic strength, while countries whose economies are buoyant have, on the other hand, had their contributions increased by a certain level (for example, countries with robust economies such as those in Asia or Latin America saw an increase of 50% or more over 2000). The Japanese government feels that, from an overall perspective, the new UN scale of assessments agreed in this way reflect to a considerable degree the Japanese position that the scale of assessments should be made more fair.
- The Japanese government believes that the role of the UN as an organization for dealing with increasingly complex international issues will become even more important in the 21st century, and has always argued for the need to ensure that the financial base of the UN is sound in order to support its work in this sphere. In order to bring stability to the UN' finances, each country must pay its assessed contribution in a consistent manner. The Japanese government believes that, for this to become reality, it is necessary as part of the longer-term challenge to make the UN' finances even more efficient and transparent, such that each countries' scale of assessment is balanced across the board and as satisfactory as it can be to those countries. Japan has in fact led the way in discussing at the UN the question of whether the assessed contributions paid by each country - including Japan - are being put to efficient use, and has also joined the debate on scale of assessments with specific proposals for ensuring increased fairness.
- Japan's approach, that of paying its assessed contributions consistently while demonstrating long-term vision of this sort and taking a leading role in the debate as to how to bring that vision to fruition, has won the admiration of the members of the UN. Buoyed by such recognition, a feeling did indeed emerge among the member countries at the 2000 negotiations on the revision of the scale of assessments that Japan's excessive contribution must to some degree be redressed, and we believe that what Japan says carries considerable weight among other countries, beyond the scope of financial matters and extending to issues concerning the UN and international community in general.
- In order to continue to bring Japanese influence to bear at the UN, we believe that it is essential to make consistent payment of Japan's assessed contributions as is mandatory under the UN Charter while holding active discussions on the United Nation's finances and the modality of each countries' share.
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