Multipronged strategy readied for UNSC seat

Kyodo

Kenzo Oshima, Japan’s chief ambassador to the United Nations, said Wednesday that he will pursue a multipronged approach in trying to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

“Japan’s objective is clear,” Oshima said at his first news conference since presenting his credentials to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. “But the way we approach issues has to be sensible. The question of the Security Council is not the only issue.”

He predicted that U.N. member states will closely follow Japan’s “performance” as a nonpermanent member on the Security Council for two years beginning January as he directs Tokyo’s bid for a permanent seat.

Oshima said there will be an informal meeting on Security Council reform in late January at which Japan and other countries will make their pitches for permanent membership, and another session in February before Annan releases guidelines for U.N. reforms in March.

He predicted that a resolution calling for a revision of the U.N. Charter to realize the proposed Security Council reform will be submitted sometime between March and mid-September.

A former U.N. undersecretary general, Oshima cited Sudan and other African countries as well as the Middle East as places where Japan is prepared to play a larger international role, in addition to Asia, Afghanistan and Iraq.