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Abe to call for support for UNSC reform

  • 2015-09-24 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: September 24, 2015 – p. 4)


 Attention is now being focused on reform of the United Nations Security Council as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN. Therefore, a surge in momentum for UNSC reform is anticipated. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to expand the number of countries supporting his own reform plan with Japan’s bid for a permanent UNSC seat in mind. There is a difficult hurdle for the UNSC reform, which needs support from more than two-thirds of the 193 UN member countries, including the five permanent members of the UNSC.


 Government-to-government full-fledged negotiations on UNSC reform will start in October or later at the UN headquarters in New York. Ahead of this, Abe will visit the United States on Sept. 26 and emphasize the need for UNSC reform in a speech he will deliver at the UN General Assembly. As it is highly likely that Japan will be elected as a non-permanent member on the UNSC for the 11th time, Abe plans to step up his efforts to call on other countries.


 Japan, Germany, India, and Brazil comprise the G4 nations, which support each other’s bid for permanent UNSC seats. In 2005, the G4 presented a reform proposal for increasing the number of permanent seats (from the current five) to 11 and the number of non-permanent seats (from the ten) to 14, respectively, but their proposal was turned down by China and other countries.


 In light of this failure, the G4 came up with a proposal for reforming the UNSC in May this year. In this proposal, the G4 suggests increasing the number of non-permanent seats to 14 or 15. The future of the proposal is that the increased four or five non-permanent seats go to African countries.


 In order to realize the G4’s proposal, Abe plans to call on the leaders of UN member countries for their support. In a Japan-Uganda summit meeting on Sept. 10, Abe and Ugandan President Museveni agreed to cooperate in realizing UNSC reform.


 Japan plans to use government official development assistance (ODA) programs as “diplomatic cards.” It will actively provide ODA to various Caribbean countries based on the ODA Charter, which was updated in February 2015.


 The problem is how to respond to countries that have strong ties with China. A government source said, “Since Japan is no match for China in financial support, it needs to strengthen ties with partners through the contribution of personnel. (Slightly abridged)

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