National / Politics

Abe and U.N. chief agree on need to reform international body

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres agreed Tuesday on the need to reform the international body, including the Security Council, ahead of the 75th anniversary of its founding next year.

Abe, in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, also shared with Guterres recognition of the importance of fully implementing U.N. resolutions on North Korea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

During the meeting, Abe secured support from Guterres for Japan’s efforts to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, the ministry said.

Heightened tensions in the Middle East amid a U.S.-Iran standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program and global efforts to fight climate change are among the main agenda items of the annual U.N. gathering. The Japanese leader vowed to continue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the region, according to the ministry.

Abe explained Japan’s commitment to attaining a set of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030, telling Guterres that the country will play its role to fulfill responsibility under the 2015 Paris climate accord aimed at curbing global warming.

Youth environmental activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, who became famous for boycotting school to call for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, was among those urging world leaders gathering for the annual U.N. gathering to take action.

Climate change is among the 17 SDGs, which also include reducing poverty and providing high-quality education.

Speaking at the U.N. SDG Summit, Abe pledged to enable 4 million women in developing countries to receive high-quality education during a three-year period.

With its goal to promote universal health care coverage, Japan will also seek to have about 1.3 million children vaccinated in the world.

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