5 December 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed the vital partnership between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), stressing in particular the regional body’s role in averting conflict and advancing peace and development.
“Your contributions to security, development and human rights in the region are indispensable to prevent conflict, enhance democratic governance, accelerate disarmament and economic development, ensure women’s empowerment and counter transnational threats,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the OSCE’s 20th Ministerial Council, held in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Based in Vienna, Austria, the OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization, embracing 57 States stretching from the United States across Europe and Central Asia to the borders of China.
“Both the OSCE and the UN are convinced that security has to put people at the centre of our efforts – only where people are safe and secure can nations and regions coexist peacefully,” said Mr. Ban’s message, delivered on his behalf by UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
“In its history, the OSCE has demonstrated that putting people first means listening to their needs and aspirations. As enshrined in your three security dimensions, the politico-military, the economic and environmental, and the human dimension all need to be respected to allow for human dignity and prosperity. Again, the UN and the OSCE share this conviction and approach.”
Mr. Ban noted that given the fact that today’s challenges transcend borders and regions, it is more critical than ever that security and cooperation be pursued at a global scale.
“The international community needs to work together more often and more effectively. That is why I attach such high priority to strengthening UN cooperation with regional partners, building on our respective roles, responsibilities and strengths.”
Regional and sub-regional organizations, he said, have first-hand knowledge of disputes in their area, as well as strong networks with local actors that are critical for preventive diplomacy. The UN, for its part, has access to the widest membership and longstanding experience and operational capacity in the area of international peace and security.
The Secretary-General pointed out that the UN and OSCE already cooperate “intensively,” from Central Asia to the South Caucasus and South-eastern Europe.
“The OSCE is a vital partner for the United Nations. I look forward to our continued cooperation, from immediate crises to longer-term issues such as combating climate change, eradicating poverty and shaping an ambitious sustainable development agenda for the post-2015 period,” he stated.
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