|06USUNNEWYORK1770||2006-09-08 21:14:00||UNCLASSIFIED||USUN New York|
VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUCNDT #1770 2512114 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 082114Z SEP 06 FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0151
UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001770
1. On September 8, Japanese Amb. Toshiro Ozawa demarched
Amb. Wallace on the UN scale of assessment for the period
2007-2009, raising two specific areas of interest: 1) China's
role in scale of assessment and 2) the debate over the length
of the base period to be used in the methodology.
Increasing China's assessment rate
2. Amb. Ozawa relayed information he had received regarding
SYG Annan's recent trip to Beijing, asking Amb. Wallace to
confirm his information with the Secretariat (note: Amb.
Wallace is arranging a meeting with Assistant SYG Bob Orr to
confirm the Japanese accounts). According to Ozawa, Annan
raised the issue of China's assessment rate during the first
30 minutes of their recent bilateral, noting in particular
China's increased engagement in UN activities. Although
Annan did not refer to a specific level of an increase,
President Hu was apparently taken aback by having this issue
raised, and deferred the issue to his State Counselor. While
the Chinese were marginally more flexible than the Russians
during the GA's consideration of the scale methodology last
March in which Japan argued to send its proposal of a P5
floor to the Committee on Contributions for consideration,
the Chinese will not agree to any proposal to increase their
assessment rates if it appears to be the result of Japanese
3. After recalling that the U.S. had proposed a P5 floor for
the regular budget scale in both 1997 and 2000, Amb. Ozawa
stressed the need to create a strategy to approach the
Chinese on this issue. To this end, Amb. Ozawa met with UK
Deputy Permanent Representative Karen Pierce on the issue and
is planning to meet next with the French. Pierce was in
support of a dialogue between the U.S., UK, France and China.
However, it is Japan's view that the UK and France would be
best positioned to initially approach the Chinese on the
possibility of increasing its assessment rate, with the U.S.
being brought in to the discussion at a later stage.
Ultimately, Amb. Ozawa hopes to convene a meeting between the
Japanese, French, UK, and U.S. to craft a strategy. Amb.
Wallace agreed with this approach, noting the need to proceed
carefully to prevent the external appearance of a Japanese,
French, UK, and U.S. collective plan on the scale.
Keeping the base period short
4. Amb. Ozawa emphasized Japan's opposition to lengthening
the base period to 6 years (which is expected to be at the
core of the EU group position on the scale methodology).
Ozawa noted that the historical trend has been to shorten the
length of the base period, and that generally speaking a
shorter base period is advantageous to OECD countries, which
usually have slower rates of economic growth than developing
countries. He stated that Japan will strongly push for a 3
year base period, and it believes that some G-77 countries
will do the same. In his meeting with Pierce, Ozawa appealed
that the EU not take such a myopic approach on the length of
the base period. Ozawa is concerned that if the Japanese and
EU openly disagree on the base period it will create an
opportunity for the G-77 to exploit the differences between
the major financial contributors, and he appealed to Amb.
Wallace for U.S. assistance in resolving this matter. Amb.
Wallace assured Ozawa that the U.S. also believes a shorter
base period is preferable.
Keeping the ceiling at 22 per cent
4. Amb. Wallace concluded the meeting by underscoring the
strong U.S. view that the ceiling must not be raised above
its current 22 percent cap. Amb. Ozawa responded that the
ceiling was not specifically mentioned in the Japanese
proposal but was factored in at its current level. However,
it would be difficult for Japan to take a public position in
support of the ceiling given its proposal to reduce Japan's
current assessment rate. Nevertheless, in answer to Amb.
Wallace's appeal for support on maintaining the level, Amb.
Ozawa said Japan would provide tacit and private support to
the USG position as negotiations occur. Ozawa also conveyed
his belief that the EU would not seriously challenge the
ceiling level and is much more intent on lengthening the base