Japan gifts UN members clocks as reminder of punctuality

February 4th, 2009 - 5:00 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Feb 4 (DPA) Japan gifted Seiko clocks to each of the UN Security Council members to ensure punctuality at meetings, a demand that has eluded the organisation responsible for peace and security around the world.As Ambassador Yukio Takasu Tuesday handed the clocks to his 14 colleagues on the council, he assured them that the aim was not to promote Japanese products. The popular Seiko watches and clocks are appreciated for their accuracy and the name Seiko means precision and success.

“It’s for the sake of effectiveness and promptness,” Takasu said, following the first council meeting for February, which was presided over by Japan.

Takasu claimed it was not just Japan that insisted on promptness at the meetings. UN diplomats are notorious for their tardiness.

Gifting is an acceptable practice at the UN, which is not regulated by any law restricting the value of the presents. Takasu would not comment on the price of the clocks.

Britain gave umbrellas to council members when it took over the presidency last year. The United States took the other four permanent members - Russia, China, France and Britain - on a trip to Washington. China provided a lavish breakfast of Chinese food and all council members have hosted a monthly lunch for their colleagues.

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