Address by Prime Minister Kishida at the Seventy-Eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Summary)

September 19, 2023
[Provisional translation]

On September 19, commencing at 9:28 p.m. (local time, 10:28 a.m. on September 20, Japan time), for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting New York, U.S. for attending the United Nations General Assembly, addressed at the General Debate of the 78th Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly. The overview of the statement is as follows:

  1. At the outset, Prime Minister Kishida pointed out that the world is at a historical inflection point, with the SDGs facing mounting obstacles and the aggression against Ukraine continuing. He called for a renewed commitment to strong and effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, aiming at a world filled with cooperation rather than division and confrontation.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida then proposed that as the international community faces multiple crises and increasingly being divided, we can overcome differences in national regimes and values and steadily advance "human-centered international cooperation", by shedding a new light on "human dignity " as a common language which resonates to all of us. In this regard, Prime Minister Kishida stated that our goal should be a world where vulnerable people can live safely and securely (A World Caring for Human Dignity).
  3. Prime Minister Kishida referred to nuclear disarmament as such international cooperation to protect and strengthen 'human dignity', (1) consolidating the trend of nuclear disarmament, (2) regaining political momentum to a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices (FMCT), (3) promoting the dialogue between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States, and (4) establishing 'Japan Chair for a world without nuclear weapons' with a new 3 billion yen contribution.
  4. The Prime Minister also shared Japan's position on issues such as (1) the safety of women and children in conflict situations, (2) taking balance between the progress of digitalization and human dignity, (3) mitigating the possible impact on people which may arise towards the path to achieve net zero, and (4) preparing for the next infectious disease outbreak. He also stressed the importance of the rule of law in protecting the rights of vulnerable nations and peoples to live in peace. He also conveyed Japan's position on Security Council reform and other initiatives to achieve a stronger UN.
  5. In conclusion, Prime Minister Kishida pointed out that "human dignity" deserves to be a core principle that illuminates the future of the international community, including when envisioning the international goals beyond 2030 in coming years, and expressed his determination to join our forces to strengthen "human dignity" and create a "United Nations for cooperation".

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