General Assembly President meets with senior Japanese officials

14 November 2011

Security Council reform and disaster risk reduction topped the agenda today as General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser began an official visit to Japan and met with some of the country’s senior officials.

Mr. Al-Nasser told the opening session of the Tokyo Dialogue on Security Council Reform, being held in the Japanese capital, that “real progress” is urgently needed to reform the composition of the Council, which currently has 15 members.

Without genuine reform soon to ensure the Council is more inclusive, efficient and representative, the legitimacy of the United Nations risks being undermined, he warned.

Mr. Al-Nasser stressed that the reform process must be driven by the UN’s Member States themselves so that they can garner the broadest possible support.

Any reform plans “should chart its course between realism and idealism,” he added.

The President of the 193-member Assembly also visited Kobe, which was struck by a devastating earthquake in January 1995 that killed more than 6,000 people. He visited a quake memorial centre and later, while in Tokyo, discussed disaster risk reduction with Japanese officials.

In Tokyo, Mr. Al-Nasser met with Osamu Fujimura, the Chief Cabinet Secretary and Prime Minister ad interim, discussing UN reform and disaster risk reduction. Japan is slated to host a high-level meeting next year on large-scale natural disasters.

Today the Assembly President also visited Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and tomorrow he is expected to meet Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and other leading officials and UN representatives in the country.

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