Activities of Secretary-General in Japan, 6-9 July

10 July 2012

Activities of Secretary-General in Japan, 6-9 July

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon left New York on the afternoon of Friday, 6 July, on a flight to Japan, and arrived in Tokyo on the afternoon of Saturday, 7 July.

On arrival in Tokyo, the Secretary-General attended a reception given by Koichiro Gemba, the Foreign Minister of Japan, whose country was hosting the next day's Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan.

On Sunday morning, the Secretary-General took part in the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, a major meeting on Afghanistan's future development bringing together donor countries and Afghan leaders.

In his remarks to the conference, the Secretary-General said that under the leadership of President Hamid Karzai and his Government, real progress had been made on the path to security and broad-based development.

But he said these gains remained fragile.  He said a failure to invest in governance, justice, human rights, employment and social development could negate the investments and sacrifices that have been made over the past 10 years.  He said it was important to give the people of Afghanistan a long-term prospect of a better future.

The Secretary-General said he welcomed the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, a mechanism that should give confidence to Afghans and donors that the commitments they made to each other will be monitored and honoured.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14403)

On the sidelines of the conference, the Secretary-General next held a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Germany, Guido Westerwelle before travelling to the Residence of the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihiko Noda, for talks that covered Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan, Haiti, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United Nations Security Council reform and Japan’s contribution to the United Nations.

The Secretary-General next met Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, before meeting the heads of United Nations agencies in Japan and then giving a press conference at the Japan National Press Club.

At the press conference, the Secretary-General said if the parties in Syria continued to flout Security Council resolutions, the Council would have to take the necessary collective action.  He said the Syrian people and the region cannot afford more atrocities, suffering and chaos.  He said President Bashar al-Assad must understand that things cannot continue as they are. Fundamental change was needed, he added.

The Secretary-General later met Sadako Ogata, Adviser to the Foreign Minister of Japan, and then two representatives of an Afghan civil society delegation to the Tokyo Conference.

Next, the Secretary-General held a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar, and then with Aliakbar Salehi, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In the evening, the Secretary-General met separately with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.  The Secretary-General spoke to reporters after his meeting with the Foreign Minister, and they continued their discussions over a working dinner.

On the morning of Monday, 9 July, the Secretary-General left Tokyo for a flight to New York, where he arrived the same day.

For information media. Not an official record.