NEW YORK — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed Tuesday on the need to reform the world body to make it more effective.
During talks on the fringes of the General Assembly, Guterres expressed willingness to work closely with Japan to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals that cover 17 areas from poverty reduction to climate change, Japan’s Foreign Ministry added.
Abe and Guterres last met in August when the U.N. chief visited Japan. He became the first sitting chief to attend an annual memorial ceremony in Nagasaki, one of Japan’s two atomic-bombed cities.
To allow more voices to be heard in the United Nations, Japan has long said it wants to become a permanent member of the Security Council.
On Tuesday, foreign ministers from Japan, Brazil, India and Germany, which have formed a group to support each other’s bids for permanent membership of the council, also met in New York and agreed to call for intergovernmental negotiations over U.N. reform.
“Reform is necessary in terms of decision-making and membership to the Security Council,” Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters after the meeting of the four countries.
In addition, Kono met separately with his counterparts from Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, and Pakistan to discuss bilateral and international affairs.