United Nations Forum for the Transition

SI  VIS  PACEM  PARA  PACEM!   If you want peace, prepare for peace! 平和を望むなら平和に備えよ









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The Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mrs. Yoriko Kawaguchi

Shiba Koen 2-11-1

Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8519

Nakakayama, 11 June 2003

Dear Madam:

In a statement not long ago, very understandably, you expressed hope that Japan would in the future be able to execute her responsibilities in the international community as a permanent member” of the UN Security Council (UNSC). As a peace researcher, historian, and former chairman of the (West-)German World Federalist Organization (1980-1992), I have studied with much interest Japanese history and geopolitics. Because of Japan’s and the Japanese peoples’ adherence to Article IX of the Constitution – not to forget Japan’s financial and other contributions to the UN and the world community –, I believe your claim is well-founded and justified. There can be no doubt about this. However there may be several ways to achieve this, some more efficient and promising than others. A simple and logical way would be to reduce the European seats in the UNSC and give the seat thus gained to a prominent member of the South, like India.

In order to make a valid judgment, many factors – geopolitical, historical, political and psychological – have to be taken into account. At present the UN is apparently being reduced from an organization in charge of maintaining international peace and security to one mostly concerned with humanitarian aid and rebuilding. Motivated by a deep concern for the future of the United Nations and peace in Asia and the world, I put before you twenty arguments for advancing a new, promising approach to UNSC reform, which I would like to ask you to consider:

(1)           To illustrate what I have in mind, the following episode may be helpful: Professor Kimitada Miwa, an eminent historian of Sophia University, Tokyo, recounts his visit to India in spring 1997. Before a lecture at Chennai, in South India, he, the Japanese Consul General and the editor of the well-known English daily The Hindu, had a private chat over a cup of tea. The patriotic Hindu editor impressed the two Japanese gentlemen with his opinion on India becoming a ‘leader’ among nations, and obtaining a permanent seat in the UNSC. “But to be a leader you have to have followers!” countered the Japanese Consul General, to Professor Miwa’s embarrassment. To this the Hindu editor might have answered: “Well, what about your leadership with respect to abolishing war? How many followers do you have, of your Article 9?” This is where the thinking starts. Japan would support India to obtain a permanent seat in the Council, while India would ‘second’ and support Japan’s abolition of the institution of war, stipulated in Article 9 of Japan’s constitution; this should lead to implementing the provisions of the U.N. Charter on collective security not yet in force.

(2)    It is unlikely that UN Security Council Reform will be accomplished in a single comprehensive step or in the near future. What may be possible, is a reform process through a decisive “TWO-STAGEAPPROACH, comprising STAGES I and II, and based on a minimum consensus, which should expand horizontally with growing international coordination.

(3)    With the expected coming into being of a proper European constitution, and establishment of an EU foreign ministry to represent a unified European foreign policy, a single European representation among the permanent members of the Security Council becomes more and more likely and feasible. It is consistent with common sense and essential if the Europeans together want to ‘empower’ the UN. In this way also, we would obtain an ‘empty’ seat!

(4)    Scholars, defense analysts and politicians are currently looking for a solution to the problem of the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), including nuclear weapons. Especially after September 11, in the United States and elsewhere, there is “anxiety among policy makers … about a crisis of compliance” concerning the CTBT and NPT, and other treaties banning ABC weapons. “The issue is simply one of finding sufficiently sharp teeththat can ensure compliance by others with the agreements that already exist.” “There are two options. The first … calls for an enhanced role for the United Nations.” However, the learned author concludes, “past behavior of the Security Council offers little basis for hope.”[1] In such a situation, and before trying to initiate large-scale UN Reform, Japan should consider the option of supporting a permanent representation on the Council by a prominent member from the South, who would for the time-being represent the interests of the developing world.

(5)    Most people agree that India is a ‘natural candidate,’ because of its population, geo-strategic importance, traditional culture of peace, impressive economic performance, and rapid advancement in science and technology, and because it is a prominent member of the South, with an intriguing history of civilization.

(6)    Above all, Japan could make sure that India would pursue and take up with the other permanent members, as soon as it has joined the “Permanent Five”, its policy of implementing Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) of 1968, which stipulates: ‘Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.’[2] In this way, eventually, India should also follow Japan’s lead by adopting her ‘three non-nuclear principles’.

(7)    It is evident that STAGE I would not require any change in the number of permanent members or doing away with the veto power. This might make the present proposal acceptable to the major powers as an interim solution – if they are at all interested in the future peace and disarmament.

(8)    Even within the Heritage Foundation, quite recently, it was considered whether the USA should support ‘giving India a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.’ Although it was then (in December 2000) felt that it was ‘not in America’s best interest at this time,’ the US administration might quickly change its view if Japan were to support India’s accession. The Heritage Foundation authors recommended ‘consulting with India on matters of mutual interest’ and bringing India ‘into a closer strategic alignment with the United States.’[3]

(9)    The Indian record of her engagement in disarmament negotiations shows that ‘India was in the vanguard of nations which ushered in the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963.’ In fact, ‘India remains committed to a speedy process of nuclear disarmament leading to total and global elimination of nuclear weapons.’[4] While India insists that, a ‘global nuclear disarmament … regime” must be brought about “in a non-discriminatory manner within a definite time frame,’ for which her ‘proposals made … at the United Nations to eliminate all nuclear weapons by the year 2010 provide the basis,’[5] it is obvious that UN member states cannot disarm, nor the United States fulfill its obligations under the NPT Treaty, unless the world is brought under the ‘rule of law’, completely and irrevocably.[6] For this, UN Security Council reform is necessary.

(10)  With a common European representation becoming a realistic option, and India a natural candidate for permanent membership, Japan and India together might act to remove the ‘enemy clause’ in the UN Charter, and amend Article 107. This could be accomplished at an early date, if some of the countries most concerned with disarmament impress on Great Britain, France Germany, and Russia the necessity for such a step.

(11)  While this ‘minimalist’ approach is implemented, and diplomatic efforts are on the way towards its realization, two additional measures should be applied to ensure implementation of STAGE II.  

        (i) A definite time frame should be set and a date fixed for future comprehensive U.N. reforms, e.g. enlargement of the Security Council to represent other regions (including pacifist Japan), etc., in accordance with the criteria already agreed upon by the majority of UN member states.

        (ii) Member states should start ‘developing … a parliamentary dimension’ of the UNO, as stated in Recommendation 1476 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on 27 September 2000, to democratize the UN; i.e. a Peoples’ Parliamentary Assembly should be established as an advisory body under Article 22 of the UN Charter that would later, in STAGE II, become a a principal organ under Article 7 of the U.N. Charter. (Discussions on this issue have been progressing steadily, as the above statement of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe clearly shows. The United Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and various NGOs are working to implement a democratic, parliamentary advisory body. Several models are being discussed; from a body of democratically appointed NGO representatives to a properly elected parliament, following various weighted voting formulas, e.g. based on population and a health/education index (see Hanna Newcombe, Design for a Better World, University of America Press, 1983).

(12)  With the new developments in weapons technology, especially the much talked-about RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs),[7] wars between democracies are thought to have become a viable option once more. A considerable number of peace researchers have voiced concern that it may be ‘too late’ to opt for peace. Action by Japan, urging her European partners and proposing a reshuffling of the UNSC as I have suggested, can only be beneficial and enhance Japan’s role as a power selflessly pursuing peace and disarmament.

(13)  Japan could aim at strengthening and transforming the United Nations through the Japan-India Global Partnership for ‘broadening and deepening the development of bilateral relations and meeting global challenges,’ including Defense Cooperation (Japan-India Comprehensive Security Dialogue and Japan-India Military-to-Military Consultation).

(14)  Peace pays! As Japan knows best, from own experience, her pacifist disposition has secured her economic benefits in Asia and around the world, allowing her to develop and prosper free from the constraints of militarism In this way Japan has greatly contributed to international peace in the region. Others should learn from that experience!

(15)  Japanese cooperation, including her role in the context of the US-Japan Security Treaty, has been vital for maintaining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region; cooperation with India on the issue of UN Security Council reform and disarmament could further boost Japan’s role, with economic benefits as a side effect. That is to say, by introducing a greater sense of strategic and economic balance in its relation with Asia, and further opening up of the sea lanes, Japan would enhance its economic security.

(16)  If Japan is truly interested in disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament, including on the Indian subcontinent, and wishes to “take the initiative in building a new international order”, as you have yourself declared (変化する安全保障環境と日本外交, 論座, 三月, 2003, p. 189), it should consider this option.

(17)  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi considered Japanese ‘ambition’ in a letter ‘to every Japanese’ in 1942. While he thought Japan’s “aggression against China and … alliance with the Axis powers was surely an unwarranted excess”, he said that in 1905 he had been “thrilled when in South Africa” he learnt of Japan’s “brilliant victory over Russian arms.” Gandhi further wrote: “It was a worthy ambition of yours to take equal rank with the great powers of the world.” However, he feared that the Japanese through their action, having “descended to imperial ambition”, and failing “to realize that ambition … may become the authors of the dismemberment of Asia, thus unwittingly preventing World Federation and brotherhood without which there can be no hope for humanity.” (The letter, dated 18 July 1942, was apparently published by three Japanese newspapers at the time, i.e. the Nichi Nichi, the Yomiuri, and the Miyako.)

(18)  Japan and India both are in favor of world federation – if only this could somehow be achieved.

(19)  Eventually the number of permanent members could be nine, including Japan, the Arab League and regional representations for Africa and South America;[8] another possibility would be for STAGE II to turn into a World Constitutional Convention.[9] In accordance with some of the objectives pursued by Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Mann, Yukio Ozaki, Hideki Yukawa, and US foreign policy in 1949, among others, the world community may want to recreate the United Nations by seeking its development into “a world federation open to all nations with defined and limited powers adequate to preserve peace and prevent aggression through the enactment, interpretation, and enforcement of world law” (see enclosed copies of H.CON.RES.64 and S.CON.RES.56, of 7 June 1949 and 26 July 1949, respectively).

(20)  In other words, today “it is becoming impossible to protect people through state security alone. It is important to combine the bottom-up approach, meaning the empowerment of people, and the top-down approach, meaning the establishment of judicial and other systems, to realize human security.”[10] Calling on India to serve as a permanent member in the United Nations Security Council would amount to implementing such a bottom-up approach.

Along with this letter – apart from the above-mentioned US Resolutions of 1949 – I am sending you a copy of my paper, ‘India and the Quest for an effective United Nations: The Stakes, 1917-1947’, which I presented at the biannual conference of the International Peace Research Association in Seoul last year. It was very well received, and shall be published sometime soon. The paper will throw further light on my argument, which I think is vital to the peace and security in Asia, the Far East and the world. Suffice it to say that my unsolicited advice is timely, and meant to show a realistic way out of a difficult stalemate, at a time when it seems ever more remote and improbable to achieve a turn-about with respect to abolishing the institution of war.

Believe me, dear Mrs. Kawaguchi, respected Minister, this is not the idea of a stranger, or an intruder in Japanese affairs. It is a worthy objective whose time has come, brought forth by the dictates of reason, history, law, experience, and the compelling changes in international relations.


                                                                                          Yours sincerely, (Klaus Schlichtmann, Ph.D.)


[1] Zia Mian, ‘Elementary Aspects of Non-compliance in the World of Arms Control and Nonproliferation’, Program on Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (January 2002), at http://www.princeton.edu/globsec/ publications/pdf/miancomp.pdf (emphasis added).

[2] By stipulating “general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”, the NPT was implementing the 1961 ‘Joint Statement of Agreed Principles for Disarmament Negotiations’ (McCloy-Zorin Agreement), introduced to the UN General Assembly on 25 September 1961 by then President John F. Kennedy with the following words: “The program to be presented to this assembly – for general and complete disarmament under effective international control – would achieve under the eyes of an international disarmament organization, a steady reduction in force, both nuclear and conventional, until it has abolished all armies and all weapons except those needed for internal order and a new United Nations Peace Force.” The agreement was subsequently unanimously adopted by the UNGA on 20 December 1961. See Zia Mian (previous note).

[3] Larry M. Wortzel and Dana R. Dillon, “Improving Relations with India without Compromising U.S. Security,” Backgrounder, No. 1402, 11 December 2000.

[4] Press Statement, Ministry of External Affairs, External Publicity Division, New Delhi, May 11, 1998.

[5] Former Foreign Secretary of India, J.N. Dixit, ‘The Rationale of India Going Nuclear’, India Perspectives, Special Issue (August/September 1998).

[6] In 1996 the International Court of Justice ruled, in a unanimous decision that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” See Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, Communiqué No. 96/23, 8 July 1966, International Court of Justice, The Hague. In the Preamble to the NPT “the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons” and “the liquidation of all existing stockpiles” are stipulated.

[7] See for example the recent issue of “Die Friedens-Warte” (Journal of International Peace and Organization), vol. 77, no. 4 (2002) on the subject of ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’, giving a comprehensive and representative overview.

[8] In that case the number of non-permanent members should also be increased, making it altogether between 21 to 24. See my publication ‘A Draft on Security Council Reform’, PEACE & CHANGE, vol. 24, no. 4 (October 1999), pp. 505-535.

[9] Considering the increasing number of ‘world order treaties’, including the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the two International Covenants on Human Rights of 1966, the Genocide Convention of 1948, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1961, and the Law of the Sea Convention of 1982, as well as the treaties concerning the environment, disarmament and the laws against war, this might indeed be a practical and realistic option to streamline, strengthen and bring together the whole body of binding international law into a constitutional compact. 

[10] Former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs.. Sadako Ogata, International Symposium on Human Security “Human Security – Its Role in an Era of Various Threats to the International Community” (Summary), organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 25 February 2003 in Tokyo, at http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human_secu/ sympo0302_s.html