From 8 to 11 October 2018, the United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, visited Tokyo at the invitation of the Government of Japan to participate in the 57th annual session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO). The Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat has a long-standing relationship of close cooperation with AALCO and, whenever possible, the Legal Counsel or the Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs participate in the annual session.
The family photo of the 57th session of AALCO showing the United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, with the Minister of Justice of Japan, Mr. Yamashita, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Kono, the Secretary-General of AALCO, Mr. Gastorn, and the Heads of Delegation of the participating Member States and Observers of AALCO
In his keynote address during the inaugural session on 9 October 2018, Mr. Serpa Soares focused on the critical importance of establishing and fostering the rule of law featuring concrete projects in Asia and Africa. He called AALCO an essential partner for the United Nations in promoting development of, and respect for, international law, which is the foundation for peaceful relations among States.
The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, addresses the 57th annual session of AALCO at its inaugural meeting
On 10 October 2018, Mr. Serpa Soares addressed the third general meeting of the AALCO plenary on the agenda item “peaceful settlement of disputes” . This item had been included at the request of the Government of Japan.
In the margins of the 57th annual meeting, Mr. Serpa Soares, held a number of informal meetings, including with the Director-General of the International Legal Affairs Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Mikami, the Deputy Director-General, Mr. Okano, and the Secretary-General of AALCO, Mr. Gastorn. He further had a meeting with the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Akiba. Together with the Ministerial-level participants of the session, Mr. Serpa Soares was received by the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe.
The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, with the Minister of Justice of Japan, Mr. Takashi Yamashita
While in Tokyo, Mr. Serpa Soares also visited the United Nations University (UNU) where he met with Dr. David Malone, Rector of the UNU. Mr. Serpa Soares further met with Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, to express gratitude for the continued support for the United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme and the Sustainable Ocean Programme.
The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, and the Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Mr. Yohei Sasakawa