Address by H.E. Mr. Nobutaka Machimura
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
at the Sixtieth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
"A New United Nations and Japan"
New York, 17 September 2005
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First and foremost, let me convey, once again, my sincere sympathy to the victims of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Allow me to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to the Presidency of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. I would also like to pay high tribute to His Excellency Mr. Jean Ping, your predecessor, for his distinguished leadership.
The sixty-year history of the United Nations has been a pathway towards a peaceful, prosperous and just world. And the path followed by Japan during that time has been, indeed, that of a nation striving for an honored place among peace-loving nations. Building upon the determination that it will never again follow the path to war, Japan has pursued, and will continue to pursue, international peace and stability in partnership with the UN.
Japan needs an effective and efficient UN and strongly endorses the Outcome Document of the Summit. To this end, our leaders' commitments in the Document must be translated into action with the utmost urgency. Japan will spare no effort in this endeavor.
The new United Nations must be equipped with a better peacebuilding capacity. We expect the proposed Peacebuilding Commission will help to fulfill this objective. To this end, Japan will continue to play a constructive role, making full use of its experience and resources.
In the Gaza Strip, the reconstruction effort after the Israeli withdrawal has been crucial. Japan has implemented more than 110 million dollars in assistance since the beginning of this year, in the fervent hope that we will now see the resumption of the Roadmap.
As the largest donor to the Trust Fund for Iraqi Reconstruction, Japan has devoted its energies to bringing together the international community for the reconstruction. Humanitarian and reconstruction assistance by Japan's Self-Defense Forces and ODA (Official Development Assistance) are contributing in tandem to the progress toward a peaceful and prosperous Iraq. Japan has pledged ODA amounting to 5 billion dollars, of which 1.5 billion dollars in grant assistance has already been implemented.
Japan has taken the lead in assisting the Afghan efforts for DDR (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration), in conjunction with UNAMA (the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan). As a result, about 63,000 ex-combatants are to complete the reintegration program by the end of next June. Japanese Self-Defense Forces vessels are engaged in activities in the Indian Ocean in support of the countries fighting against terrorism. Japan has announced that its contribution will total 1 billion dollars by the end of March 2006, including assistance in the security field.
Ensuring a sense of justice in a society struggling to recover from its suffering in the aftermath of conflict is essential. In establishing the rule of law, in cooperation with the Government of Cambodia, Japan has taken the lead in setting up a tribunal to try the members of the Khmer Rouge, with a contribution over 20 million dollars.
Sixty summers have passed since Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered the indescribable horrors of nuclear devastation. Japan again calls upon all Member States to renew their determination to realize a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons.
To this end, Japan will submit a General Assembly resolution, presenting a concrete agenda to strengthen the disarmament and nonproliferation regime, including a call for an early entry into force of the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty). In this regard, it is extremely regrettable that the 2005 NPT Review Conference concluded without adopting a consensus document on substantive issues, and that the Outcome Document found no consensus on disarmament and nonproliferation.
The DPRK's nuclear programs pose a serious challenge to the international nonproliferation regime centering on the NPT, as well as constitute a direct threat to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia.
Japan is committed to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue through the Six-Party Talks and strongly hopes the DPRK will accept the prompt and verifiable dismantlement of all its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs at the current round of the talks in Beijing. Japan will continue to make its utmost efforts so that the nuclear issue, along with the missile and abduction issues, will be comprehensively resolved in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration.
With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, Japan believes that this issue should be resolved through negotiations by diplomatic means. To this end, Japan strongly urges Iran to sincerely implement all the requirements of the relevant IAEA Board of Governors resolutions, including the full suspension of uranium conversion activities, and to return to the negotiation with EU3.
In recent years, we have witnessed countless tragedies caused by terrorist acts. Japan, for its part, has continued to provide assistance for countries in need of capacity-building for counter-terrorism. To consolidate the international legal framework, Japan calls for Member States to join the international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, including the newly adopted International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Development provides a foundation for peace and stability. The new United Nations must serve as an effective organization for the promotion of development. Having recovered from the devastation of World War II with assistance from all over the world, Japan is better placed than any other country to demonstrate the significance of ownership and partnership, poverty reduction through economic growth and human security in promoting development.
The concept of human security - centering on protection and empowerment of individuals - provides a meaningful approach in a world striving for freedom and dignity. This concept also provides an important viewpoint for the protection of human rights. I look forward to the forthcoming discussion on this concept in the General Assembly, as the leaders committed in the Outcome Document.
Based on its experiences as a recipient, and a donor for more than a half-century, Japan has been keen to make an impact on world development and thus has contributed one-fifth of world ODA for the past ten years. Japan is resolved to continue its support for achieving the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals). To this end, Japan intends to increase its ODA volume by 10 billion dollars over the next five years.
For the achievement of the MDGs, addressing the issues of Africa is critically important. As Prime Minister Koizumi announced during the Asia-Africa Summit, Japan will double its ODA to Africa in the next three years and host the fourth TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) meeting in 2008. In an effort to support Africans' own efforts to bring about peace and stability, Japan has devoted its energies to the consolidation of peace in such countries as the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Liberia. In the Sudan, Japan has decided to disburse more than half of its pledged assistance of 100 million dollars, with a contribution of personnel through UNMIS (UN Mission in the Sudan).
Furthermore, to address the humanitarian crisis in Africa and other regions caused by infectious diseases, Japan has announced 500 million dollars in financial assistance in the coming years for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Japan will contribute 5 billion dollars over the next five years for the "Health and Development" Initiative. Japan has also taken steps to address the "forgotten crises" in Africa, and will continue to maintain a focus on these issues.
At no other time in its history has an effective, efficient and credible United Nations been more needed than today. The credibility of the UN is at stake. The basic structure of the Security Council continues to reflect the world of 1945. The reform of the Security Council therefore remains key to achieving the overall renewal of the United Nations. The fact that an overwhelming majority of the Member States - 166 countries in all - called for Security Council reform in the previous session of the General Assembly is a testament to the urgent need for reform.
For the first time in the sixty-year history of the UN, during the last General Assembly session, we witnessed the tabling of resolutions calling for fundamental change in the composition of the Security Council. Japan is proud to have taken the lead in promoting Security Council reform. It is encouraging, as well, that a large number of the leaders at the Summit expressed their support for reform.
I believe that Japan's path of striving for international peace speaks for itself, and should serve as the basis for a larger role for Japan as a permanent member of a reformed Security Council. I can assure you, Mr. President, that Japan will continue to make its utmost effort to realize the reform under your leadership. And I call on the Member States to reach an early decision in this session of the General Assembly.
The new United Nations requires an efficient and effective Secretariat, with a strong sense of integrity. Japan is deeply concerned about the recent development, including the failure over the Oil-For-Food Programs. The management and administration of the UN system must be transparent and accountable to Member States and their citizens. In this regard, Japan will promote and conduct more comprehensive performance evaluation of UN activities.
With respect to the "enemy state" clauses, I am pleased to note that the leaders resolved, in the Outcome Document, to delete these obsolete clauses in the Charter at the earliest opportunity.
A comprehensive review is also needed in order to reach agreement on a scale of assessment structure that is more equitable and fair. Japan will actively participate in the negotiations to be concluded by the end of next year. In the upcoming negotiation process, Japan will make its utmost efforts to ensure that the status and responsibilities of a UN Member State are duly taken into account in its scale of assessment.
We have embarked on a mission to renew the United Nations. A great deal of work lies ahead. I call upon all the delegates in this chamber to dedicate themselves to accomplishing this unfinished mission by the close of this commemorative session of the General Assembly.
Thank you very much.
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