Statement of the President of the Security Council to the Sixth High-Level Meeting of the Secretary General with Heads of Regional and other Intergovernmental Organizations.

 

Mr President,  today’s meeting is extremely timely given the new threats and challenges to international peace and security that the world community is faced with, which require concerted global action and a more coordinated and active engagement of international regional and sub-regional organizations.

 

The debate is even more important since it takes place in a ‘’critical’’ year as the Secretary General himself has characterized 2005, and we are just a few weeks away from the Summit where expectations to reach agreement on the United Nation reform are high.  The Security Council itself plans to follow on its previous consideration of ways to strengthen cooperation with regional organizations in the field of maintenance of international peace and security. The Romanian Presidency for the month of October 2005 intends to carry on this debate, again with the participation of leaders of regional organizations active in this field.

 

Today more than ever regional and sub-regional organizations play a crucial role in facing new threats and challenges and in promoting peace and stability within their respective areas. Geographic proximity and close historic and cultural ties among its members gives regional organizations the advantage of better understanding the root causes of regional conflicts and of finding peaceful solutions to these problems. Some of them have developed regional conflict prevention and peacekeeping capacities and are actively involved in stabilizing processes.

 

Recent experience shows that the UN has made many efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation with regional organizations, particularly in the area of prevention, management and resolution of conflicts as well as in the peacebuilding process in post conflict societies.

 

The Security Council that has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has long ago recognized the vital role of regional organizations in consolidating peace agreements and enhancing peace and stability. Peace support operations in many parts of the world, such as in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Sudan, Cote d’ Ivoire, Haiti, Kosovo and Afghanistan are carried out with the collaborative efforts between regional organizations and the UN.

 

The Council has repeatedly underscored the need for a clear regional perspective as most conflicts have interlocking political, security, humanitarian and economic dynamics across borders. It has also pointed to the need for a close regional cooperation to address cross boarder problems, such as disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and rehabilitation, movement of refugees and combatants, human trafficking, illicit flow of arms and illegal exploitation of natural resources. The protection of civilians in armed conflict, is another area where the Council has called for a close cooperation with regional organizations. Recent presidential statements encourage regional and sub-regional organizations to develop a regional protection strategy and to provide for a coherent and strong framework for addressing protection issues. In this respect the Council has requested the United Nations system and other international organizations to provide them with the necessary support, and to consider means for the reinforcement of their national capacities.

 

The proposal to strengthen the coordination between the UN and regional and other organizations in natural disaster response and information exchange is an interesting one and the meeting should further consider it.

 

Likewise, the Council has recognized the important contribution of regional organizations in post conflict peacebuilding, and has stressed the need for a more integrated approach, with the aim of maximizing the use of available resources and capabilities. In this regard the Security Council considers that the Peacebuilding Commission the establishment of which has been proposed by the Secretary General could play an important role in coordinating peacebuilidng activities between the UN and regional organizations.

 

I also like to stress that the Security Council attaches great importance to the efforts of the African Union to bring peace and stability in the African continent. The Council supports the active engagement of the African Union into crisis management and the mediation efforts it has assumed as for example in Sudan and in Cote d’Ivoire. The Council has also called for a closer partnership between the African Union, the African sub-regional organizations and the UN in post conflict peacebuiling efforts.

 

The fight against international terrorism is another area where cooperation and coordination with regional and sub-regional organizations is needed. The four meetings that the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) has organized with international, regional and sub-regional organizations brought them together to share their expertise and help them raise their capacities in order to more effectively address the continuing challenge of international terrorism. We stand ready to implement the action plan agreed at those meetings.

 

Non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is another area where cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations is crucial. The Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), has established close interaction and cooperation with such organizations to get the necessary support for the implementation of this resolution.

 

The Security Council only a few days ago adopted a presidential statement emphasizing the crucial role that international regional and sub-regional organizations can play in supporting the goals of the CTC, the Al/Qaeda Taliban Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Committee. Emphasis is put to awareness raising, helping their members to implement them and providing technical assistance.

 

It remains, however, of utmost importance that all Member States do provide these Committees, in a timely and complete manner, with information related to the status of national implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. Regional and intergovernmental organizations represented at today’s meeting could play a highly valuable role in that regard, within their permanent membership.    

 

The Security Council is of the view that today more than ever there is a pressing and urgent need to enhance cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in the global fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  The severity of these global threats requires a more coordinated approach, in particular through exchange of information and sharing experience and best practices.  This fight against terrorism however should be consistent with basic human rights standards and freedoms.

 

In conclusion Mr. President we hope that this meeting will be a useful and productive one and will help us to establish a more effective framework for future cooperation and interaction with our regional counterparts. This is rather imperative given the need to confront more effectively today’s serious threats and challenges. In this respect we believe that a more coordinated and consistent approach as regards such cooperation is needed, notably through exchange of information and dialogue and possibly by increasing the number of these meetings, as the Secretary General himself has suggested.

 

Thank you Mr. President