非常任理事国 国際平和協力に弾みつけたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan should boost contribution to peace as UNSC nonpermanent member
非常任理事国 国際平和協力に弾みつけたい

Becoming a member of the U.N. Security Council is a significant step forward to enhance Japan’s engagement in the peace and stability of the international community and secure its national interests. The government should take full advantage of this opportunity.

Japan was elected a nonpermanent member of the Security Council, gaining a seat for the 11th time, the most among the 193 member countries of the United Nations. Its term will last for two years beginning next January.

U.N. diplomacy is a major pillar of Japan’s foreign policy, along with the Japan-U.S. alliance. Coordination with the United Nations is also essential to embody the “proactive contribution to peace” advocated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. It is the right time for Japan to return to the Security Council after its last service as a nonpermanent member, which ended in 2010.

How can the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria be resolved? How should the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group be dealt with? Security Council members can adopt resolutions that bind all the U.N. member nations, and take other actions after holding unofficial talks among them.

The five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power are strong, but so are the power of information and the voices held by the 10 nonpermanent members. Nonpermanent members can quickly ascertain changing international situations and exercise influence over discussions on resolutions.

For instance, when Pyongyang carried out a nuclear-weapon test in 2009, Japan led the adoption of resolutions, including sanctions, against North Korea in cooperation with the United States and other countries. Japan was a nonpermament member of the Security Council at that time.

To protect own safety

Japan should proactively engage in discussions and the decision-making process at the Security Council to protect its own safety.

It must also actively tackle human rights issues, in a bid to resolve the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents.

Since the end of World War II, Japan has helped developing countries overcome various problems such as poverty and disease. It has consistently participated in U.N. peacekeeping operations. We expect the nation to propose its own ideas and solutions for peace building, and broaden understanding of these ideas among concerned countries.

Discussions on the Security Council reform have shifted into high gear this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

The Group of Four countries — Japan, Germany, India and Brazil — aim to implement a reform plan to increase the permanent members of the Security Council to 11, and the nonpermanent members to 14 or 15.

A nonpermanent member of the Security Council cannot be reelected consecutively, and a country has to win support from more than two-thirds of all U.N. member countries each time it is elected.

Japan pays the largest contributions to the world body following the United States, equivalent to over 10 percent of the U.N. budget. To secure influence matching that amount, Japan should keep trying to become a permanent member of the Security Council.

The G-4 submitted a Security Council reform plan to the United Nations in 2005, but it was not adopted due to opposition from both the United States and China, and unsuccessful coordination with African countries.

U.N. reform is difficult, because it represents an historic attempt to change the international order based on the outcome of WWII.

Learning from the failed attempt in 2005, the G-4 must consolidate forces that are positive about Security Council reform while rebuilding its cooperative relations with the United States and African countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 17, 2015)

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