Developments and trends, 2003
On 11 April, the Security Council held a joint meeting with regional organizations on the theme "The Security Council and regional organizations: Facing New Challenges to International Peace and Security." The Organization of American States (OAS), the African Union (AU), the League of Arab States (LAS), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) participated in the meeting. Participants underlined that, in order to strengthen collective security, the Security Council and regional and subregional organizations needed to adopt a common approach and a comprehensive strategy. That strategy should be based on the principles of a multilateral approach, compliance with international law, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.1
Chaired by the Secretary-General, the Fifth High-Level Meeting between the United Nations and Regional Organizations was held from 29 to 30 July in New York.2
The participating organizations discussed the main challenges to international peace and security facing the world tDDAy, including international terrorism, poverty, as well as intra- and inter-State conflicts, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), organized crime and violations of human rights. Participants reaffirmed support for multilateralism and international institutions and for the international community to provide effective responses to tDDAy's challenges to international peace and security. They stressed that multilateral cooperation was key in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation and in that regard they recognized the importance of strengthening multilateral treaty regimes and of achieving universality both in their membership and in their full implementation. They agreed that regional organizations can make a significant contribution toward achieving and promoting the implementation and strengthening of key instruments in this field. Particular concern was voiced regarding the proliferation of WMD, and the problem of the illicit trade in small arms was also noted.
During the year, several United Nations bodies, especially the Security Council, remained actively involved in resolving a number of inter-State and intra-State conflicts, and in restoring peace, security and stability in conflict or post-conflict situations, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. Efforts continued to consolidate existing NWFZs and to establish new ones. With the assistance of the Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA), the five Central Asian States continued their consultations with the five nuclear-weapon States on the draft treaty to establish a Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ). In the conventional weapons field, much effort at the regional level was devoted to combating the proliferation of illicit small arms and promoting implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA).
See UN Press Release SC/7724, 11 April 2003.
See UN Press Release SC/2084, 30 July 2003.