Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that reform within the UN and strengthening its functions are a must to restore its credibility in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Urging the world body to reaffirm the importance of the rules-based international order, Kishida also criticized Russia for threatening the possible use of nuclear weapons in the conflict in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Kishida also said that Japan is ready normalize relations with North Korea and he is ready to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un without any preconditions.
The two countries have been struggling to resolve issues born out of the wartime era, including the abduction of Japanese citizens and Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Calling for reform of the world body, the Japanese prime minister said “specific actions will be vital in restoring the credibility of the (UN) Security Council.”
“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is an act that tramples on the vision and principles of the UN Charter. What is crucial for any and all countries is to be under the rule of law and not rule by force, which we absolutely cannot allow,” said Kishida, referring to Moscow’s position among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“The credibility of the UN is at stake due to the aggression by Russia against Ukraine,” he said. “Debates about the dysfunctionality of the Security Council have been pointed out.”
Calling for “actions towards reform,” Kishida said there can be no reforms without negotiations.”
“The time has come to start text-based reforms at the UNSC,” he stressed.
Kishida called Russia’s threat of using nuclear weapons a “serious threat to the international community’s peace and safety.”
“It is totally unacceptable.”
It marked the first time since 2019 that any Japanese leader has attended the UN General Assembly in person to deliver a statement during the annual general debate session.
“Now is the time to go back to the ideas and principles of the charter and to mobilize our power and wisdom to ensure the rules-based international order,” Kishida said.
The Japanese premier also said that attempts to change the status quo by force and coercion will never be forgiven.