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Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly

New York, 29 September 2010

Official visit of the President of the General Assembly to Japan

On the last day of his official visit to Japan, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, returned to Tokyo today from Hiroshima. In the morning President Deiss visited the Japanese Parliament where he had meetings with the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President and Vice-President of the House of Councilors and with a group of parliamentarians led by the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Topics discussed included the President's programme in Japan and his visit to Hiroshima in particular, disarmament and nonproliferation, the Biodiversity meeting in Nagoya, the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals High-Level plenary meeting, disaster risk reduction, the need to address global challenges with global governance and Security Council Reform. President Deiss expressed his appreciation for the strong commitment and contribution of Japan to the United Nations.

The President of the General Assembly also had a press conference at the National Press Club and visited the United Nations University where he delivered a speech on reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in global governance. In a meeting with members of the United Nations Country Team, he was briefed on the activities of the various United Nations entities in Japan. He concluded his official visit to Japan with a dinner hosted by the Rector of the United Nations University, the highest-ranking United Nations official in Asia.

Specific messages of President Deiss in Japan

On biodiversity: Biodiversity is life. The whole ecosystem is closely interconnected so with the loss of biodiversity the very foundation of human life becomes threatened. The consequences are even more serious for the poorest. Many biodiversity-rich areas are in developing countries and their people are particularly dependent on agriculture, fishing and forestry for their subsistence. Biodiversity is critical for efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

On disarmament: the President of the General Assembly repeatedly welcomed the leadership of Japan and the United Nations Secretary-General on this issue. President Deiss shares the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Disarmament is among the most important and noble goals of the United Nations. It is a vital contribution to promoting peace, security and prosperity for humanity and building a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.