Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Assembly Debate on “Use of the Veto”

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September 11, 2023

Thank you, Mr. President.

I also wish to join other colleagues in expressing heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the victims of the terrible earthquake that hit Morocco.

We are assembled here today following a veto casted on 30 August in the Security Council. Unfortunately, this is the second meeting under the so-called “veto initiative” this year.

The Mali sanctions regime, including its Panel of Experts, has been critically important for peace and stability not just in Mali but across the whole region, all the more so given the departure of MINUSMA. It is therefore deeply regrettable that a single Council member, Russia, blocked a resolution to extend the regime that had overwhelming support from other members, including the A3.

Russia did not engage in good faith in the negotiations despite the penholders’ strenuous efforts to seek common ground. It then introduced its own draft resolution at the last minute without any prior consultation and threatened that if its draft was not passed, then the issue would never be considered again in the Council.

Even with this threat, not a single other Council member supported the Russian draft. Such behaviour as wielding the veto towards any text other than its own is unacceptable. Thus, we voted against Russia’s draft resolution.

Mr. President,

We are at a critical juncture for the peace and stability of Mali and the Sahel and West Africa region. Increasing numbers of terrorist attacks, heightened tensions especially in northern Mali, and worsening humanitarian conditions are major concerns. Russia’s veto does not change the fact that the situation on the ground is deteriorating. It is imperative that the Security Council and the wider international community continue to pay close attention to Mali and engage with its authorities and regional actors.

Japan, as a responsible member of the Security Council, reaffirms our commitment to actively and constructively participate in the Council’s discussions and to contribute to sustainable peace in Mali and beyond.

I thank you.

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