Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks to the Security Council on the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Security Council, 06 November 2007

Mr. President,


I pay tribute to the delegation of Indonesia, in particular to Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, for convening this open debate on the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security.

The fact that the Security Council is holding its second open debate this year on this issue demonstrates the importance that you rightly attach to it, as reflected in Resolution 1631.

Since taking office 10 months ago, I have noted the important contributions of a number of regional and sub-regional organizations, and participated in the deliberations of some of their Summits. These interactions have been useful occasions to build a common forum and agenda for cooperation. They will also help to inform the report which the Council has asked me to prepare on ways the United Nations can advance coordination with regional organizations on Chapter VIII arrangements.

Today, our partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations are stronger and more active than ever. This year alone, we have established a joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force and political mediation in Darfur, and are consulting on the situation in Somalia. We have cooperated with the European Union in the protection of civilians in Chad and the Central African Republic. We have worked with ASEAN on Myanmar. We have partnered with ECOWAS in elections and political situations in West Africa. We have worked with NATO in Afghanistan and Kosovo. We have collaborated with the Organization of American States in support of the electoral process in Haiti. We have held regular consultations with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the League of Arab States on conflict resolution in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. And we have worked with OSCE and the EU in addressing peace and security concerns in Europe and elsewhere.

These policy and operational activities, spanning conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building, are delivering results on the ground as well as lessons for the future. They provide us with a better understanding of our respective strengths and advantages. They have made it possible to respond more quickly at the outset of a crisis, and more effectively in post-conflict peace-building. We need to build on these strengths and together, find better and more efficient ways of tackling global challenges.

The United Nations is committed to helping build up the capacity of regional and sub-regional organizations to undertake conflict-prevention, peacemaking and peacekeeping tasks in their respective regions. My proposals to the General Assembly to strengthen the Department of Peacekeeping Operations have already reinforced its capacity to work with peacekeeping partners. Similarly, I have presented proposals to the General Assembly for strengthening our Department of Political Affairs. Both illustrate my commitment to enhance the Organization's ability to work with regional partners. By the same token, we are enhancing the mediation capacity within the Secretariat, and providing resources for initiatives such as the 10-year capacity-building programme for the African Union.

We are determined to work more closely and more efficiently together, for the mutual benefit of our organizations and the Member States, and above all, for the peoples of every region in the world.

Thank you very much.