Secretary-General's remarks at joint press encounter with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan [unofficial transcript of Secretary-General's remarks only]
Tokyo, Japan, 4 August 2010SG: Thank you, Kan Naoto shusho.
Domo arigato gozaimasu.
It is a great pleasure for me to visit Japan at this time, soon after Prime Minister Kan has taken this very important responsibility. And I congratulate you again and I wish you great success. Under your leadership I sincerely hope that Japan will cooperate with the United Nations and also address financial and economic issues, so that Japan can overcome all the challenges.
With regard to Japanese partnership with the United Nations, as one of the important pillars for the United Nations to function successfully,
Japan is the second-largest financial contributor to the UN regular budget and peacekeeping budget. At the same time, we are very much grateful for your very generous support, financial and economic support, for developing countries and particularly for African countries.
And I hope that, despite the economic difficulties, Japan will continue to maintain the current level of ODA [Official Development Assistance] and support to the developing countries. This is my honest appeal to the Japanese Government and Prime Minister Kan for his leadership.
All countries are now experiencing economic difficulties. But as the second largest world economic power, the world is looking to Japanese leadership and commitment. As for detailed matters -- issues which we discussed -- I do not like any other things to add to what the Prime Minister has eloquently briefed. And thank you very much for this very kind briefing.
What I really want to see is that Japan, while they have a very important role, I want to see Japan play an even greater role, even more of a role, in the area of peace and security, development and the promotion of human rights. Japan has been leading many areas, [playing a] champion role in peacekeeping and peace building and human security and in climate change.
You have promised a 25% cut of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. That was quite a significant and an exemplary role to be played by such a developed country like Japan.
And you are also leading a campaign in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We need strong support to make the MDGs a great success. This is a blueprint committed by world leaders, including the Japanese prime minister 10 years ago. We are fighting against time and we have only five years left. That is why I am here.
At the same time, I am very privileged to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, commemorating 65th years [since] the atomic bomb. Japan is the first and last and only country in the world [to have been] attacked by the atomic bomb.
We must work hard to see the whole world free of nuclear weapons We must try hard to eliminate totally all the nuclear weapons on the earth. It may seem to be a very big, ambitious agenda, but this can be achieved, if there is a strong political will.
I hope that my attendance in the Peace Memorial Ceremony on Friday in Hiroshima will send out a strong message to the world and give some opportunity of addressing the suffering and concerns of many hundreds of thousands of “hibakusha” whose dream is to see a world free of nuclear weapons during their limited lifetime. That is our critical and moral responsibility and I am very encouraged by the strong commitment of Prime Minister Kan to work together with world leaders.
And Japan has been leading this champion role in nuclear disarmament. And I hope you will continue to do.
And again, thank you very much for all your leadership and I wish you great success. And Japan's success will be the success of the United Nations.
And thank you again
Domo arigato gozaimasu.