6257th Meeting (AM)
Presidential Statement Follows Debate, Which Includes 11 Organizations; Council Also Observes Minute of Silence on Behalf of Haiti Earthquake Victims
Following a two-day retreat of officials from 11 regional organizations with the Secretary-General and a Security Council meeting that heard from them this morning, the Council expressed its intention to consider further steps to promote closer and more operational cooperation between the United Nations and such organizations in the fields of conflict early warning, prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding and to ensure the coherence, synergy and collective effectiveness of their efforts.
Through a Presidential Statement read out by Zhang Yesui of China, which holds the Council Presidency for January, the body welcomed the already existing strong cooperation initiatives between the United Nations and regional organizations and commended the ongoing efforts made by the Secretariat to consolidate partnerships with such organizations, including through the Secretary-General's 11-12 January retreat with the heads of those organizations. Reaffirming its commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes, the Council also acknowledged the important contribution of regional organizations to such settlement, as, it states, "they are well positioned to understand the root causes of many conflicts and other security challenges".
The Council also invited the Secretariat and all regional organizations that have a capacity for peacekeeping to enhance their working relations and to further explore how their collaboration could better contribute to the fulfilment of United Nations mandates and goals, so as to ensure a coherent framework for peacekeeping. It underlined the importance of regional organizations enhancing such capacities and the value of international support to their efforts, in particular to the African Union, in terms of the 2006 United Nations-African Union Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme. Acknowledging also the importance of regional and subregional organizations in post-conflict recovery, reconstruction and development, the Council affirmed the importance of their interaction with the Peacebuilding Commission.
Opening the discussion in the Council this morning, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the current crises faced by the United Nations could only be met through strong partnership at all levels. He said that over the past two days, he and the heads of regional and subregional organizations had had a very fruitful retreat, but were only beginning to realize what cooperation between all of them could accomplish.
"We can and must go farther still", he said, in relation to pursuing more effective peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies, which he maintained should be based on flexibility and making use of each partner's comparative advantages.
Following Mr. Ban's statement, the officials from regional and subregional organizations made presentations, describing their activities in peace and security, their past and current cooperation with the United Nations in that area, and their commitment to enhancing that cooperation.
Following those presentations, Council Members voiced their support for strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and the organizations, as provided for, many noted, in the United Nations Charter, which they also noted gave the Security Council primary responsibility for international peace and security.
While acknowledging that responsibility, Nigeria's representative maintained that regional bodies such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should assume a greater leadership in their respective spheres, with the international community lending the requisite support. She also called for an intensified effort to implement the United Nations-African Union Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme and to operationalize the African Union Standby Force and Continental Early Warning System.
Noting that the organizations had varied capabilities, many speakers urged that a flexible and pragmatic framework for cooperation be developed. The importance of regional and subregional organizations in post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery, as well as in conflict prevention, was also stressed by most representatives.
At the beginning of today's meeting, the Council President also read a statement conveying the condolences of Council Members to the Government and people of Haiti and other victims of the earthquake that struck the island yesterday, among which were United Nations personnel. A minute of silence was held in their honour.
Secretary-General Ban, in his statement, gave his condolences, calling for international assistance and pledging the full support of the United Nations for rescue and recovery efforts. In that context, he announced the release of $10 million from the Central Emergency Release Fund (CERF). Other speakers subsequently expressed their sympathy for victims of the tragedy as well, with many describing aid already being provided by their countries or organizations.
Statements were made on behalf of: the League of Arab States, the African Union Commission, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Collective Security Treat Organization, the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of American States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Also speaking today were Council members Uganda, United Kingdom, Mexico, United States, Austria, Russian Federation, Japan, France, Brazil, Turkey, Gabon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and China, in its national capacity.
The meeting opened at 9:35 a.m. and closed at 1:20 p.m.
The Security Council had before it a letter dated 4 January from the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General conveying a concept paper for today's debate on "Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security", (document S/2010/9), which says that strengthening such cooperation will both promote multilateralism and boost international collective security, in the context of the many challenges currently facing world peace and development.
It notes that the United Nations Charter accords primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security to the Security Council, but that Chapter VIII of the document encourages the development of pacific settlement of local disputes through regional arrangements.
The debate, the paper says, will build on the past discussions to review how best to maximize the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations. It may also analyse the comparative advantages of the world body and regional organizations in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and discuss how their respective roles and responsibilities might be better defined in accordance with the United Nations Charter.
In addition, the paper suggests, the debate may address appropriate approaches to enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and a wider variety of regional organizations. It may also discuss how the capabilities of some organizations to provide early warning of impending conflicts could be best utilized to enable early responses to disputes and emerging crises, and to encourage the countries concerned in the region to resolve differences and problems peacefully through dialogue, reconciliation, negotiation, good offices and mediation.
Other possible topics include further cooperation in deploying peacekeepers and ways that regional and subregional organizations could be more closely involved in peacebuilding, post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction processes, through the framework of the Peacebuilding Commission and other means.
Recent action on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in matters of peace and security included a day-long debate on 18 March 2009, after which the Council issued a Presidential Statement calling on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report on practical ways to implement recommendations on building the African Union's capacity in relevant areas.
In response to the subsequent report, through another Presidential Statement on 26 October 2009, the Council called on the Union to develop a long-term capacity-building road map in consultation with the United Nations. It also stressed the need for predictable, flexible and sustainable resources for African Union-led peacekeeping operations and pledged to consider all options to strengthen funding, while at the same time reiterating that regional organizations had a responsibility to secure their own resources through contributions by their members and support from donors.
Minute of Silence
The council began the meeting with a statement by Security Council President ZHANG YESUI (China) expressing the Council's condolences for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and by observing a minute of silence.
Statement by Secretary General
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, stressed that the current crises faced by the United Nations could only be met through partnership at all levels. Over the past two days, he and the heads of regional and subregional organizations had had a very fruitful retreat, but were only beginning to realize what cooperation between all of them could accomplish. "We can and must go farther still", he said, in pursuing more effective peacekeeping and Peacebuilding strategies.
Mr. Ban briefly summed up current cooperation with the African Union and subregional organizations in Africa, as well as the wide-ranging partnerships in Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific. On all those many fronts, he said, the aim was flexibility and making use of each partner's comparative advantage.
At the retreat, he said, it was agreed that, in particular, coordination and communication between respective Secretariats needed to be strengthened and that peacekeeping deployments needed to strike the right balance between flexibility and efficiency, among other conclusions. Recognizing that the test of better coordination would be an improvement of the situation for people on the ground, he looked forward to building the ties between organizations as part of the search for a better world.
AMR MOUSSA, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, said the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations worked within Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, but more effective cooperation between United Nations programmes, agencies and funds with regional organizations was also required. Chapter VIII cooperation could benefit from lessons learned to remedy shortfalls. In that regard, it was also important to focus on training and to increase advocacy. Chapter VIII interpretation should be reviewed, in that regard. The concept of international actions changed throughout the years and the Council should, therefore, address new questions that threatened the world, such as climate change. The international system needed a leader -- the Council -- to ensure respect for the Charter and the principles of international law.
He said that multilateral actions should focus on conflict resolution in a more frank and transparent way. That could lighten the load of the regional and subregional organizations, so that they could focus more on development and growth. Multilateral action required the inclusion of regional organizations in an agreed, open way in order to establish joint actions to face crises. Describing cooperation between the Arab League and such organizations as the African Union, European Union, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), he said the League also played an important role in addressing crises in the Middle East.
He called for the creation of a group that brought together the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General to launch multilateral coordination. That mechanism should have some 20 to 25 members and could meet annually.
RAMTANE LAMAMRA, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, noting that the African Union had a growing relationship with the United Nations, said that today's meeting should open new possibilities of partnerships and synergies across a whole range of activities. He said that the retreat was particularly promising and its success paved the way for plans for future work.
The African Union had made security a priority in its efforts, he said, and the Union had developed many partnerships with subregional organizations, including the League of Arab States and the European Union, which was funding a number of the African Union's activities, as well as many other organizations around the world.
The partnership with the United Nations, he said, already counted many achievements, which took into account the comparative advantage of both organizations. He described coordination in Sudan, Somalia and in structural factors. Questions such as reliable funding and support have been answered in the Prodi report, the recommendations of which should now be implemented.
There were many shortcomings and weaknesses in the partnership arrangements that must be addressed, he said. As there were many developments in world affairs that could not have been envisioned when the United Nations Charter was written, creativity should be encouraged and stimulated in bolstering the effectiveness of partnerships with regional organizations. His organization would continue to strive with all its partners to assure that there would be follow-up to the current discussions for the benefit of world peace.
LE LUONG MINH (Viet Nam), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that, in the more complex world of today marked by interdependence, cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations was crucial and beneficial to peace and security, as well as to development. A stronger partnership was, therefore, necessary. Since the 2005 Summit, the Council had been engaged in enhancing cooperation, culminating in adoption of resolution 1809 (2008), which focused on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union under Chapter VIII of the Charter. To further strengthen cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, the comparative advantages of all organizations should be leveraged.
He said regional organizations could play an important role in maintaining peace and security in their region through dispute settlement mechanisms. The ASEAN Treaty of Amity was an example of such a mechanism. Such settlement arrangements should be complemented by international political, financial and physical support. Enhancing information exchange, delineating clear areas of responsibility and respecting local ownership in any arrangements for cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations and ensuring their full implementation were important conditions for fostering effective partnerships.
Describing several mechanisms and activities to strengthen peace, friendship and cooperation in Southeast Asia, he said ASEAN was striving to become a Community by 2015, based on three pillars: political-security; economic; and socio-cultural. The ASEAN Political-Security Community contributed to promoting peace and security in the wider Asia-Pacific region through conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms and peacekeeping activities. The ASEAN Regional Forum was the primary forum in enhancing political and security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia Pacific region. ASEAN had been granted observer status in the General Assembly in 2006.
NIKOLAI BORDYUZHA, Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), said his organization supported all initiatives launched to strengthen the international stability and to improve the security architecture, in particular in Eurasia. The CSTO had been established in 2002 after an outburst of terrorism and an effective anti-crisis potential had been created. The Collective Immediate Response Forces, consisting of elite units of armed forces, law enforcement agencies and emergency ministries, had been formed, in order to localize military and transborder conflicts, counter organized crime and conduct rehabilitation after emergencies. The CSTO might conduct peacekeeping operations individually, and in the context of Council mandates.
He said that countering terrorism, fighting production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and the illegal arms trade, and the prevention of, and rehabilitation after, emergencies were among those components that required intensified cooperation of the United Nations with regional organizations, and the improved interaction between the organizations themselves. In successful cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the CSTO had brought together anti-drug bodies of its member States and 14 other States. CSTO member States had provided assistance to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in transit to Afghanistan. During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference on Afghanistan in March 2009, the CSTO had proposed a special working meeting of all interested parties, including Afghanistan, the main transit countries and countries of destination, as well as international organizations to strengthen the anti-drug and financing security belts around Afghanistan.
The CSTO plan to implement the United Nations Global Counterterrorism Strategy for 2008-2013 included a set of organizational, legislative and practical measures to step up coordination of the member States in their fight against terrorism and political and religious extremism, he said. The organization had also participated in international efforts to reduce tensions through an operation aimed at identifying criminal groups dealing in illegal migration and trafficking in human beings.
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union, said that because collective action was needed on many world problems, the United Nations was at the centre of the Union's international engagement, and that was now enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. Currently the Union was conducting 11 crisis management operations and working together with the United Nations in eight major crisis theatres in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Its operations in the Balkans would be followed ultimately by the integration of the region into the Union.
He described Union cooperation in Africa, including the deployment of two military operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one in Chad, as well as a naval operation off the coast of Somalia and assistance for the African Union operation and the Transitional Federal Government in the country.
He welcomed the New Horizon initiative to create a forward-looking agenda for United Nations peacekeeping that reflected the perspectives of all stakeholders, and described the European Union's efforts in peacebuilding, supported by a network of 135 delegations in third countries and multilateral organizations. Expressing awareness of the multidimensional nature of security, he also described efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.
He affirmed the European Union's strong support for the regional integration agenda as a "privileged means" to achieve economic growth and peace, adding that the Union had developed regional strategies in partnership with all world regions, in full respect of the principle of ownership. In that context, regional organizations played a leading role in the implementation of the substantial funds allocated by the Union. He made special mention of the African-European Union Strategic Partnership, saying that a genuine trilateral United Nations-African Union-European Union relationship was already in the making.
The Lisbon Treaty, he said, had simplified the Union's international representation, and the creation of an External Action Service would help to enhance the strategic direction, coherence and effectiveness of its foreign policy. He looked forward to working with United Nations members and the United Nations Secretariat to ensure that the new structures worked efficiently within the world Organization.
CLAUDIO BISOGNIERO, Deputy Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said there was an increasing awareness that institutions could no longer work in isolation from each other and that the key to meeting today's security challenges lay in building new ties. NATO was actively promoting such closer ties, as bringing military and civilian means closer together was absolutely vital to preventing, addressing and resolving crises and conflict, such as in Afghanistan.
NATO was leading the United Nations-mandated ISAF operation. There were 16 troop contributing nations who were not NATO members, which made ISAF a true joint commitment by the international community. There was, however, no purely military solution to the problems in Afghanistan. The key would be an increased interaction between military efforts, civilian interventions and improved governance. That would require the alliance's increased cooperation with the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union and other international actors, as well as with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector. That could only be achieved if all actors actively coordinated, and the main coordinating role lay with the United Nations. NATO had made some encouraging progress in contributing to such international coordination.
More had to be done, however, he said. International actors engaged in peace operations still did not train or plan together and did not join up in the field. Ending such fragmentation would require a profound "cultural change" among regional organizations. Innovative steps should be considered to implement a comprehensive approach. One could imagine a pool of liaison officers from various institutions at United Nations Headquarters, or staff exchanges. In the past, a lack of strategic dialogue had often prevented the examination of common challenges and the formulation of common responses, leaving that to the working level to sort out. That was why the United Nations retreat and today's discussion were welcome initiatives, to pursue the strategic dialogue that so far had been missing.
VICTOR RICO FRONTAURA, Secretary for Political Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS), noted that his organization was already meeting on assistance to Haiti, a Member State. He said that cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations had certainly broadened in the past few years.
He described the legal instruments that allowed the OAS to act in instances of conflict and human rights violations, and said those instruments had frequently been used and had also shown their limitations, arising from such provisions as those requiring the agreement of conflicting States for certain kinds of involvement. In many cases, however, it was able to prevent armed conflict, or get parties into mediation.
The experience gained over recent years had provided many lessons that could benefit the United Nations and other regional and subregional organizations. In Haiti, Honduras and other areas, cooperation with the world organization had already been very fruitful and more effective cooperation, which avoided redundancy, should by all means be pursued.
EKMELEDDIN IHSANOGLU, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the fact was that many of the issues on the Security Council's agenda related to the Islamic world and the OIC demonstrated the importance of having strong links of cooperation and coordination between the Council and the OIC. That was conducive to benefit being derived from both global and local approaches of addressing those issues.
Pointing out that some of the top contributors to the United Nations peacekeeping operations were OIC member states, he said that fact was an asset from which the OIC could benefit in appropriate situations in the future. Further, the emphasis on peacekeeping was pertinent and important for the organization, because it was unfortunate that many "hot-bed" conflicts in the world today fell within the borders of the Islamic world.
He said that in the past decade the OIC had focused its activities on eradicating the root causes of terrorism that had plagued some areas in the Muslim world. The organization had to use local methods to destroy the doctrinal infrastructure of terrorism, which had been based on a totally erroneous and falsely manipulated interpretation of the teaching of Islam. That effort had helped in alerting youth to the fallacy of the pretensions of the extremists and had consequently dealt "a hard blow" to their activities and largely reduced their heinous crimes.
Also, he said, past experiences had shown that combating terrorism through military means only had not yielded convincing results, explaining that resorting to such methods meant attacking the symptom, rather than curing the disease. In that context, he emphasized that the best way to tackle the phenomenon of terrorism lay in eliminating its root causes. Similarly, the OIC believed that tackling conflicts solely from the angle of security could not lead to lasting peace and a comprehensive solution. Short-term solutions needed to give way to long-term approaches that required proper understanding of the root causes of the conflicts, which often lay in political grievances, backwardness, underdevelopment, lack of good governance and human rights and concerns related to preservation of national, ethnic, cultural and religious identities.
Concluding, he said, as a mark of its commitment to addressing socio-economic problems that often served as the root causes of conflicts, his organization had established a special fund for poverty alleviation in Member States and a special programme for the development of Africa.
OLEKSANDR PAVLYUK, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said that with 56 participating States, the OSCE was the most inclusive security organization in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions and had been a long-standing partner of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security. The OSCE actively promoted, among its participating States, the ratification of United Nations conventions and implementation of Council resolutions. It also complemented the work of the United Nations in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, taking the lead in some cases to facilitate settlement of unresolved conflict, such as the Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistrian conflicts.
He said that over the past two years, three issues had tested the OSCE-United Nations partnership. In Georgia, both organizations had withdrawn their field presence after August 2008. The OSCE, the United Nations and the European Union worked together as co-chairs of the Geneva Discussions. Progress was being made, due in large part to close cooperation. In Kosovo, the OSCE Mission had continued to implement its mandate, based on Council resolution 1244 (1999). The OSCE had also deployed an Election Support Team to Afghanistan. In 2010, the OSCE would continue to work closely with the United Nations on those and other challenges, such as arms control, terrorism and the environment.
Kazakhstan, as the current Chair of OSCE, would take forward the renewed dialogue on the future of European security, the so-called "Corfu Process". That dialogue would also provide an opportunity to review and strengthen existing mechanisms of cooperation with the United Nations and other international regional and subregional organizations on the basis of the 1999 Platform for Co-operative Security. The OSCE remained fully committed to strengthening cooperation with the United Nations and to providing assistance to the Security Council.
GARY QUINLAN (Australia), on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said that the Forum was the pre-eminent intergovernmental organization of a large geographical region encompassing some of the world smallest and most vulnerable nations. It had made an important contribution to peace and security since its formation in 1971, while working to develop strong collective responses to regional issues and promoting good governance.
The Forum's security framework committed States to democratic processes, individual freedoms and responsibility to assist other member States in times of crisis, he said. Under that framework, the Forum had developed an impressive record of action to address threats to regional peace and security in cooperation with the United Nations, in Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Fiji, in particular.
The Forum, he said, had also begun to address non-traditional security challenges, such as climate change, which represented an existential threat to a number of member States. As the United Nations had recognized the link between climate change and security, the Forum stood ready to work with the Security Council to address its challenges.
MURATBEK SANSYZBAYEVICH IMANALIYEV, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, thanked the Secretary-General for the retreat and suggested that, in the future, even more organizations could be included. His organization was dynamically growing as an international forum for Member States to encourage peace, stability and prosperity. Regional security and fighting terrorism, separatism, extremism and organized crime were priorities.
His organization would work to increase its cooperation with the United Nations, he said, assuring the Council that the member States would do their utmost to implement agreements and resolutions that had been adopted to that effect. It was already participating in assistance to Afghanistan, through encouraging bilateral contributions of Member States, and it was also developing relations with other international organizations and interested countries outside its region in a transparent manner.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA (Uganda) said the complexity of threats to peace and security was increasing all over the world, over-stretching the capacity of the United Nations to address them alone. It was, therefore, necessary to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, which would have immense benefits. Regional and subregional organizations had advantages of local knowledge and proximity. The United Nations and international partners must provide effective and predictable support to regional organizations when they undertook peacekeeping operations.
He said the African Union had shown its resolve and capability in conflict prevention, mediation and resolution. Conflict prevention, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding were essential tools in the maintenance of international peace and security. Their effectiveness was enhanced by cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. Last year, cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations had been strengthened. The Council must continue to engage with regional and subregional organizations on strengthening partnerships. He called, in that regard, for enhancement of consultations between the Secretariat and its counterparts in regional and subregional organizations, which would enhance complementarity and minimize duplication of efforts.
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said the United Nations and regional organizations shared many common goals. Close cooperation could, therefore, maximize impact. The Council should retain its pre-eminence in the maintenance of international peace and security. Although cooperation with regional organizations was already good, more could be done in areas such as mediation, prevention and resolution of conflicts.
He said the European Union was already making a major contribution to peace and security around the world, such as in the Balkans, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Gulf of Aden. It was also working with the United Nations in eight theatres. The Lisbon Treaty would further enhance its international contribution. NATO commanded the United Nations mandated ISAF in Afghanistan. The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union was of vital strategic importance and should be enhanced. Much of the discussion had focused on peacekeeping, but there should also be focus on prevention and peacebuilding. Afghanistan was a key test for international partnerships and he hoped the upcoming London Conference would reinvigorate international support there.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) welcomed the development of a consistent format for cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional bodies. He said that the countries of Latin American had played a significant role in promoting such cooperation early in the Organization's history. That cooperation had been fruitful but had still not reached its full potential and should constantly be strengthened.
More work was needed, in particular, to strengthen the input of regional organizations in decision-making and early pacific settlement of disputes. Such organizations also had a comparative advantage in conflict prevention and in better directing development to strengthen stability. Their involvement in initiatives on the rule of law, human rights, protection of civilians, and the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons should also be enhanced.
Different regional and subregional organizations had different capacities, so it would be difficult to prescribe one manner of cooperation with all of them, he said. A number of common principles could be developed, however, to guide the relationships under international law.
ROSEMARY DICARLO ( United States) said her country shared the goal of promoting greater cooperation with regional and subregional organizations in preventing and resolving local conflicts. It worked closely with the OAS, the OSCE and NATO, all of which it was a member. Welcoming the Lisbon Treaty, she said that the European Union was also a close partner.
She welcomed the work of other regional organizations and their cooperation with the United Nations, and said her country supported initiatives to strengthen the African Union. She further encouraged regional organizations to ensure the implementation of Security Council resolutions such as those on women, peace and security and the protection of children and other civilians in conflict.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria), aligning himself with the European Union, said that in light of the challenges of the present century, the United Nations clearly could not operate in isolation in maintaining international peace and security, but must be complemented by regional organizations with their understanding of conflicts, their root causes as well as their own capacity to respond. Regional ownership was the key to success on the ground. As pointed out by the Secretary-General, the challenges of effective cooperation lay in ensuring a clear division of labour and distribution of roles and tasks between the United Nations and regional organizations.
With its common security and defence policy, the European Union was a major actor in the field of peace and security, he said, adding that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the creation of the office of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy would allow the bloc to speak to its partners with an even stronger and more unified voice. EUFOR Chad showed that the bloc could also play a useful bridging role in crisis theatres until the United Nations and regional or subregional organizations were ready to take over.
Standby arrangements were of particular relevance in the area of peacebuilding, he said. By linking or coordinating United Nations rosters of experts with those of regional organizations, it was possible to increase the pool of available expertise. There was also a need to intensify training activities in order to meet the rising demand for qualified civilian peacekeeping personnel, he said, pointing out that the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution had been conducting regular training programmes on civilian peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said the global nature of threats to international peace and security required enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. The United Nations and regional organizations were to complement each other and use their comparative advantages. The regional organizations had better awareness of situations in their areas and had tailored preventive mechanisms. The leading role of the Council remained invaluable in, among other things, the mandatory authorization of regional peacekeeping operations. He, therefore, favoured regular meetings between the Secretary-General and leaders of regional organizations, in order to consider such issues as the spreading of weapons of mass destruction, trafficking of small arms and countering drug trafficking and organized crime.
He said there was a great potential for cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which was making important contributions to addressing the situation in Afghanistan, among other things, in countering the threat of drugs trafficking. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was also making important contributions and its members stood ready to enhance cooperation in countering terrorism, drug trafficking and post-conflict rehabilitation. Excellent cooperation existed between the United Nations and the African Union, as shown in Darfur. The Council should focus on further development of cooperation with such organizations as the OSCE and NATO. Regional and subregional organizations must more actively propose themselves for operations, and the United Nations should maximize coordination of such cooperation.
YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations constituted an integral part of the United Nations architecture of international peace and security and strengthening such cooperation was important in promoting the objectives of the Charter. In formulating a strategy for cooperation, specific characteristics, situations and capacities of each organization should be taken fully into account. Cooperation should be complementary and not mutually exclusive. High-level dialogue and information sharing was the first and critical step for better cooperation. The regular interaction initiated in 2007 between the African Union and the United Nations could be emulated with other organizations.
He said the United Nations should encourage regional organizations in preventing and resolving conflict peacefully. An active mediation and good offices role by regional leaders and organizations would help to enhance ownership of promoting peace and security in their respective regions. The United Nations and regional organizations might promote peace jointly, or in parallel. Such complementary cooperation would start from peace mediation, as was exemplified by the joint nomination by the United Nations and African Union of the chief mediator for Darfur. Joint or parallel deployment of peacekeeping and other field missions in the same area of operation was also important, as was shown by the hybrid arrangement of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). That type of cooperation was most useful in the area of peacebuilding and was enhanced by the active support from the Peacebuilding Commission.
A sequential approach could be most useful in cases where a regional organization had taken the initiative to a peacekeeping operation, such as in Chad and the Central African Republic, he said. It was important to mobilize international support to those efforts, and the United Nations and regional organizations should collectively help Member States through training and capacity building. Every possible type of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations should be promoted.
GÉRARD ARAUD (France) said that the cooperation with regional and subregional organizations was certainly in the interest of the United Nations; the world Organization benefited from the local expertise of such organizations in many areas of international peace and security. He described the European Union's operational capacity to support the United Nations in that area, which also had the benefit of providing a new way to express the values of Europe throughout the world.
The African Union, he said, had also proven itself an important partner of the United Nations, and was supported, in turn, by the European Union. The relations of cooperation were, therefore, developing, as legitimized under the Charter and presupposing respect for international humanitarian law.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) said she was pleased that the draft presidential statement before the Council dedicated as much attention to conflict prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding as it did to peacekeeping, as the active involvement of regional and subregional organizations in preventing conflicts was often a decisive factor for success. She welcomed the Council's willingness, as expressed in the statement, to seriously look at innovative ways to strengthen United Nations assistance to developing or strengthening the capabilities of regional organizations in that area.
In some cases, she said, prevention of conflicts meant addressing root causes, in particular socio-economic under-development. Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was useful there, as well. That was particularly true in Latin America and the Caribbean, where immediate threats to international peace and security were minimal and the United Nations could make a positive contribution to long-term stability by increasing its cooperation with the OAS in helping countries attain the Millennium Development Goals in a timely manner.
In peacekeeping, cooperation with the OAS and other regional organizations had often proved beneficial as well, she said. She supported increased cooperation with the African Union, especially the acceleration of the 10-year capacity building programme. She maintained that more was needed, however, including "agile and substantial" support to troops in the field, improved operational coordination and political dialogue and more predictable provision of resources.
U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said today's debate was coming at the heels of the commencement of the Year of Peace and Security in Africa, declared by the African Union. She welcomed the depth of cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union. Since that cooperation began, significant strides had been made in conflict resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and economic reconstruction. Regional bodies, such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should assume leadership, however, with the international community lending the requisite support in the maintenance of regional peace and security. The ECOWAS response to the situations in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Niger was illustrative of its potential, in that regard. The United Nations should support such regional initiatives and also intensify its efforts to implement the United Nations-African Union Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union. Efforts were also required to operationalize the African Union Standby Force and Continental Early Warning System.
She said there were competing demands and needs, not only in Africa and with regard to peace and security, but also in other regions and on myriad issues. It was, therefore, important to: prioritize actions; adopt innovative approaches; assess impact and sustainability; and promote complementarity in roles in the promotion of peace and security. That would require closer partnerships, inclusiveness and purposeful leadership. Flexible, adequate and predictable funding was necessary for peacekeeping operations in Africa. Integration of Africa into the international financial and trading system as partner was imperative.
FAZLI ÇORMAN (Turkey) said that today's debate stood out through its broad representation by the regional organizations who had spoken before Council members. Welcoming their keen interest to work with the United Nations, he said the challenge now was to build upon that renewed commitment, explore new and practical schemes of enhanced cooperation and put in place the mechanisms that would effectively reflect the spirit of partnership. Genuine collaboration, including regular consultations and exchange of information, as well as assistance for capacity-building, were required.
The scope of United Nations cooperation with regional and subregional organizations went beyond peacekeeping, he said. Conflict-prevention through early warning, political mediation, cooperative interaction and confidence-building were as important as peacemaking and peacebuilding. That was where regional organizations, with their understanding of the root causes of conflicts, were at their best.
He said that the Executive Director of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building in Asia (CICA) had not been able to attend the debate. As upcoming Chair of the CICA, however, Turkey could assure the Council of CICA's firm dedication to upholding peace and security in Asia, in cooperation with the United Nations. Given its broad membership, covering almost 90 per cent of the continent, as well as its track record in building confidence and cooperation among its members, CICA held great potential for advancing both organizations' common goals.
EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET (Gabon) said that his continent had already shown its commitment to African solutions to African problems through its regional mechanisms, particularly the African Union. That partnership must be pursued further, for even more significant results, and a shortfall of resources must be addressed, particularly in such crises as Somalia. He welcomed the Prodi report's proposals on funding for the peacekeeping capacities of the African Union. In Africa, in addition, countries and regional organizations must be supported in their pursuit of development, which was crucial for stability.
IVAN BARBALIĆ ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) described his own country's experience as one of the most complex examples of regional and international collaboration, stressing that, despite the complexity and difficulty of that cooperative peacemaking and peacebuilding effort, it had ultimately resulted in peace. Moreover, the experience of Bosnia and Herzegovina had contributed to the development of institutional knowledge, strategies and tools subsequently applied to other war-torn regions.
There was an increasing awareness that some peacekeeping operations might need to grow into peacebuilding missions, he said. Such transformations should be supported, because, more often than not, long-term regional peace and security depended upon the internal stability of States. Regional organizations could act as bridges when the ownership of peace processes was transferred from international to domestic authorities.
He said the fight against international terrorism was another area in which cooperation was required, as were efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The timely sharing of information could prove essential in addressing those issues. It was also essential to tackle cross-border problems such as drug trafficking; crime prevention; the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants; and the problems of displacement, refugees and human trafficking. Streamlining efforts between regional organizations and the United Nations was particularly critical in dealing with natural disasters, which required quick and well-managed responses, especially given the link between natural disasters and economic security.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) said the United Nations Charter included an entire chapter -- Chapter VIII -- to regional organizations and their role in maintaining international peace and security. The achievements and successes of regional and subregional organizations in that area lay in the fact that the regional organizations were close to the conflicts and had historical and cultural bonds with the parties involved. Their contribution to peace and security took place at three levels: preventive diplomacy; conflict resolution; and post-conflict reconstruction. He hoped that more memoranda of understanding between the United Nations and regional organizations could be signed, in order to define a clear and effective framework for effective cooperation and coordination, a framework that should also encompass economic and cultural issues in order to address the causes of crises.
He said it was important to hold annual meetings between the Council and representatives of regional organizations. Multilateral cooperation should also include an exchange of information and lessons learned. Regional organizations should receive technical and material support for training and capacity-building, so that they could carry out their missions. He called for greater coordination and cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, because the region was still the theatre of many conflicts and of great suffering, as a result of the Israeli Arab conflict. The Arab Initiative put forward by the League had been essential in efforts to put an end to the occupation and ensure the right to self determination of the Palestinian people. In dealing with Israel's nuclear weapons and preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, the League had been one of the first to call for a nuclear free zone.
ZHANG YESUI (China), speaking in his national capacity, said his country put great emphasis on the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. In order to strengthen such cooperation, it was imperative to adhere to the principles and provisions of the United Nations Charter.
He said that regional organizations had unique advantages in carrying out preventive diplomacy, conflict mediation and good offices. The United Nations and regional organizations had their respective advantages in the maintenance of international peace and security and should form better synergies, adopting a flexible and pragmatic cooperative approach. Furthermore, the United Nations should provide more assistance in capacity-building to regional and subregional organizations, including the African Union.
He then read out the following Presidential Statement, which will be issued as S/PRST/2010/1:
"The Security Council recalls its previous relevant resolutions and statements of its President which underscore the importance of developing effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant statutes of the regional and subregional organizations.
"The Security Council recalls the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, reiterates its primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, and further recalls that cooperation with regional and subregional organizations in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, can improve collective security.
"The Security Council expresses its intention to consider further steps to promote closer and more operational cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in the fields of conflict early warning, prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and to ensure the coherence, synergy and collective effectiveness of their efforts. In this regard, it welcomes the already existing strong cooperation initiatives between the United Nations and regional organizations.
"The Security Council commends the ongoing efforts and contributions made by the Secretariat to consolidate partnerships with regional and subregional organizations and welcomes the convening of the Secretary-General's Retreat with Heads of Regional and other Organizations on 11-12 January 2010. The Council expresses its intention to hold in the future informal interactive dialogues with regional and subregional organizations.
"The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes, acknowledges the important contribution of regional and subregional organizations to the peaceful settlement of local disputes and preventive diplomacy, as they are well positioned to understand the root causes of many conflicts and other security challenges. The Council underlines the importance of utilizing the existing and potential capabilities of regional and subregional organizations in this regard, including through encouraging countries in the region to resolve differences peacefully through dialogue, reconciliation, consultation, negotiation, good offices, mediation and judicial settlement of disputes. The Security Council is resolved to strengthen United Nations support for the peaceful settlement of disputes through improved interaction and cooperation with regional and subregional organizations.
"The Security Council invites the Secretariat and all regional and subregional organizations that have a capacity for peacekeeping to enhance their working relations and to further explore how their collaboration could better contribute to the fulfillment of United Nations mandates and goals, so as to ensure a coherent framework for peacekeeping. The Council underlines the importance of regional and subregional organizations enhancing their peacekeeping capabilities and the value of international support to their efforts, in particular to the African Union, in terms of the 2006 United Nations-African Union Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union.
"The Security Council recognizes the role that regional and subregional organizations can play in post-conflict peacebuilding, recovery, reconstruction and development processes and affirms the importance of interaction and cooperation between Peacebuilding Commission and regional and subregional organizations. The Council encourages the Commission to continue to work in close consultation with regional and subregional organizations, with a view to ensuring more consistent and integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery.
"The Security Council recognizes the need for close cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, as appropriate, for the coherent and effective implementation of its resolutions including those on thematic issues applicable to a wide range of conflict situations.
"The Security Council encourages the Secretariat and regional and subregional organizations to further explore information-sharing on their respective capabilities and lessons-learned in maintaining international peace and security and to continue to compile best practices, in particular in the field of mediation, good offices and peacekeeping. The Council also encourages strengthening of cooperation and dialogue among regional and subregional organizations in this regard."
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