Developments and trends, 2004
On 20 July 2004, the Security Council met to consider the item "Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Organizations in Stabilization Processes". A number of regional organizations participated in the meeting - the African Union, League of Arab States, Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Participants stressed their interest in enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security. They also considered that regular dialogue on specific issues between the Council and regional organizations would bring significant added value in this respect. It was stressed that common and coordinated efforts undertaken by the United Nations and regional organizations in stabilization processes should be based on complementarity and their comparative advantages, making full use of their experience, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the relevant Statutes of the regional organizations. 1
During the year, several United Nations bodies, especially the Security Council, remained active 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. In the conventional weapons field, much effort at the regional level was devoted to combating the proliferation of illicit small arms and promoting the 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).
Security Council Presidential statement S/PRST/2004/27, available from http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_pres_statements04.html.