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UN2K: Japanese PM Yoshiro Mori


7 September 2000

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General,

Madam President,

Distinguished Delegates,

Fifty-five years have passed since the United Nations was established. Throughout this period and particularly since the end of the Cold War, progress has been made in the efforts to achieve peace and prosperity. On the other hand, there continue to be tensions and conflicts, and concerns over the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are even growing. While progress in science and technology as well as advancement of globalization are making possible a greater prosperity for humankind, the gap between the haves and the have-nots in the international community is widening. Moreover, common challenges in such areas as the environment and health also demand our attention.

These are the conditions that prevail as we enter the new century. Today, in the limited time available, I would like to emphasize two points in particular. First is the importance of dealing with issues confronting the international community from a human-centered point of view, and second is the need to strengthen the functions of the United Nations in the new century.

Madam President and Mr. President

At the dawn of a new century, we are faced with various problems such as conflicts, human rights violations, poverty, infectious diseases, crime, and environmental destruction that threaten the existence and dignity of each and every person. We must deal with these problems from the standpoint of the importance of each individual. This is the concept of "human security." With "human security" as one of the pillars of its diplomacy, Japan will spare no effort to make the twenty-first century a human-centered century.

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The United Nations must play, and indeed is expected to play, a more active role in promoting such a human-centered approach. Based upon this recognition, Japan has to date contributed more than 9 billion yen (or well over US$80 million) to the "Human Security Fund" which was established at the United Nations in March 1999. In the near future, Japan intends to make a further contribution to this fund of approximately 10 billion yen (or roughly US$100 million). Japan also intends to establish an international committee on human security, with the participation of world renowned opinion leaders, and to further develop and deepen the concept of this human-centered approach.

Madam President and Mr. President,

Next, it is essential that functions of the United Nations be strengthened and, in particular, that the Security Council be reformed, to further maintain the peace and security of the international community, which may well be a prerequisite for ensuring human security in the twenty-first century as well. It is clear that the Security Council of today does not fully reflect the realities of the international community as it enters the twenty-first century. In order to enhance the legitimacy of the United Nations, it is urgently necessary to reform the Security Council so that it can effectively fulfill its expected role through its activities for the prevention of conflicts and the maintenance of the peace and security.

From this podium, I strongly appeal to the representatives of all Member States present here today: Let us create a groundswell of support for the early realization of the Security Council reform, through our discussions at this Millennium Summit and the following Millennium Assembly. I am convinced that a large majority of Member States already support the expansion of the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Council, as well as the inclusion of both developing and developed countries in the expanded permanent membership. Let us confirm this as a starting point, and accumulate agreements, one by one, on those issues of the Security Council reform on which we can agree.

Madam President and Mr. President,

I must also emphasize that in order to strengthen the functioning of the United Nations, it is necessary to urgently secure a more sound financial base. Toward that end, let us cooperate to realize an effective yet efficient use of financial resources and a fairer and more equitable sharing of the financial burden among Member States.

Madam President and Mr. President,

The issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation must not be forgotten as we think about the twenty-first century. At the 2000 NPT Review Conference held this spring, a great step-forward toward realizing the elimination of nuclear weapons was made, with the unanimous agreement among participating states, including nuclear-weapon States, on practical steps toward nuclear disarmament, including "an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination" of their nuclear arsenals. Japan, as the only country to have suffered nuclear devastation, earnestly desires that all countries join hands to free the twenty-first century from the fear and danger of nuclear weapons, and to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In accordance with that desire, Japan will submit at the
Millennium Assembly a new draft resolution on the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Madam President and Mr. President,

In order to ensure that the twenty-first century is a more peaceful century in which each person on this earth can be free from fear and want, and enjoy lasting prosperity, all countries must work together in cooperation. Strengthening the United Nations is essential in this regard. Based upon this recognition, Japan is resolved to redouble its efforts to more actively fulfil its responsibility and its role in the international community.

Thank you for your kind attention.


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