Press Conference by Security Council President on Programme of Work for March

The Security Council will hold a briefing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and an open debate on conflict prevention and peacebuilding in March, its President for the month told reporters at a Headquarters press conference today.

Yamazaki Kazuyuki (Japan) said that “the very busy” programme will include two signature events.  On 18 March, the Council will hold a briefing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation aimed at promoting dialogue between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon States.  The Secretary-General is expected to brief the Council.  Conducting discussions towards a world without nuclear weapons — with the participation of nuclear weapons States — is “extremely relevant and meaningful,” he asserted. 

On 13 March, the Council will hold an open debate on peacebuilding and conflict prevention through the empowerment of all actors, including women and youth, while highlighting the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in promoting prevention efforts.  Expected briefers are Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs; Sérgio França Danese (Brazil), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission; and a civil society representative.  

The Council will also convene an open debate on the Council’s working methods on 11 March to explore ways to increase the organ’s transparency and effectiveness, including by codifying the rules of procedure.

As well, the Council will seek several adoptions of resolutions, including mandate renewals of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Panel of Experts under the agenda item non-proliferation/the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Responding to a question whether Israel is currently breaching resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023) as well as the provisional measures issued by the International Court of Justice, he acknowledged that country’s right to self-defence while underscoring the obligation of States to abide by international law, including international humanitarian law.  Noting the difficulty of assessing facts on the ground, he said that Tokyo will refrain from providing any legal assessment.

Asked if Japan — given its experience of suffering mass killing, namely the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — feels sympathy for the Palestinian people and classifies what is happening in Gaza as genocide, he expressed sympathy for Palestinians as the tragedy in Gaza unfolds; however, the question of genocide must be decided by the International Court of Justice, he added. 

On a query about conditions under which Japan will resume funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), he described the Agency’s role as “indispensable.”  Voicing concern over allegations that implicate several UNRWA staff in the 7 October attack, he expressed hope that the Agency will regain trust.  Japan is consulting with other donors on this matter.

On a question about nuclear disarmament, he said that Japan — due to its history — is committed to a world without nuclear weapons. In this context, he said he cannot overexaggerate the gravity of the situation concerning Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile activities.

Turning to the situation in Sudan, he pointed to a briefing on 7 March, which will address the issue of assisting the country after the withdrawal of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS).  He called on the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to immediately cease the violence and abide by international humanitarian law. 

On Ukraine, he said that the Council is ready to convene emergency meetings at Member States’ requests.

Asked about the Council’s reform and Japan’s bid for a permanent seat, he said that as far as his country is sits on the 15-nation body, it is determined to contribute to the maintenance and strengthening of multilateralism.  “We want to be the stabilizer of the world,” he stressed.

For information media. Not an official record.