A reformed UN should lead response to global challenges, say Japan and Turkmenistan

26 September 2006

The United Nations should stand at the forefront of global efforts to end conflicts, establish peace and promote economic development, but it must also become more efficient and broadly accountable to do so, representatives of Japan and Turkmenistan told the General Assembly today.

Speaking during the annual high-level debate at UN Headquarters in New York, Japanese Ambassador Kenzo Oshima described UN reform, from expanding the Security Council’s membership to obtaining “concrete results in management reform,” as critically important.

“The UN has heavy responsibilities in today’s and tomorrow’s world as an indispensable global instrument for resolving conflicts, building peace, addressing emerging global threats and laying the foundation for prosperity,” he said.

“To fulfil such a mission, it must be efficient and effective, as well as accountable and broadly representative in its decisions and operations.”

Mr. Oshima praised the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission earlier this year, calling it “a significant milestone in the history of the UN” and urging Member States to ensure that its first two cases, Burundi and Sierra Leone, are both successes. He also noted the establishment of the new Human Rights Council.

But the Japanese Ambassador added that the current structure of the Security Council leaves the 15-member body in danger of “waning credibility,” and he said Japan would take the initiative in pursuing a new “creative and persuasive” proposal for expanding Council membership during the current session of the General Assembly.

Aksoltan Ataeva, the Head of Delegation of Turkmenistan, agreed that the setting up of the Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council were constructive moves, and that the Security Council needs an expanded membership.

Mrs. Ataeva said her country considered closer cooperation with the UN to be a top priority of its international relations.

“It is beyond any doubt that the UN has been and continues to be the largest and most prestigious international organization that has been entrusted with the coordinating role in world affairs and on which mankind pins its hopes for peaceful development,” she said.