Cooperation between UN and OSCE stronger than ever, says Ban Ki-moon

29 November 2007 –

Whether it is collaboration on Kosovo or cooperation to address common economic and security challenges, the ties between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are stronger today than ever before, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a high-level gathering of the group in Madrid.

“Whether in the security sector or in the human rights and economic fields, cooperation between our two institutions continues to set the standard that others aspire towards,” Mr. Ban said in a message delivered on his behalf to the 15th Ministerial Council of the OSCE.

Mr. Ban noted that while over the past year some of the most important collaborations between the two institutions centred on Kosovo, they have also come together to tackle a wide range of other security challenges in Central Asia, the Balkans and beyond.

The combined resources and expertise of the UN and OSCE have supported the needs of tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as promoted human rights, good governance and the rule of law, noted the Secretary-General.

In addition, discussions are under way to establish closer ties between the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the OSCE to promote better understanding between different ethnic and religious groups, while growing ties with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have led to progress on crucial issues, including terrorism, drugs and human trafficking.

“Similarly, our economic and environmental cooperation has gone from strength to strength,” Mr. Ban said, noting that the partnership between the OSCE and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), in particular, has become a model for linking conflict prevention to the underlying socio-economic drivers of unrest.

Stressing that cooperation between the two bodies is “grounded in the bedrock of shared values and a common vision,” the Secretary-General highlighted the need to “identify better and more efficient ways to work together, to address existing as well as emerging needs, and to build better lives for people everywhere.”

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