|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6268th Meeting (AM)
Stronger Role in European Security, Better Cooperation with United Nations among
Key Priorities for Regional Body, Incoming Chair Tells Security Council
Foreign Minister Outlines Agenda as Kazakhstan Starts
Historic Term at Head of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Strengthening the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the European security architecture and improving its partnership with the United Nations in tackling threats to global peace and security would be key priorities for the Government of Kazakhstan in 2010, as the country took over the regional body’s leadership, Foreign Minister and incoming Chairman-in-Office Kanat Saudabayev told the Security Council today.
“The OSCE should become a meaningful platform for common security,” said Mr. Saudabayev, highlighting a vital objective of his term at the head of the organization. Noting that Kazakhstan was the first Central Asian and post-Soviet nation to chair the OSCE as he briefed the Council, he touched on a host of other priorities, including bolstering security in the South Caucasus and Afghanistan, combating terrorism, curbing weapons proliferation, promoting human rights goals, and pressing for broader implementation of United Nations resolutions.
“We believe that a more efficient use of capabilities of such organizations as the OSCE would help the United Nations and its Security Council to more effectively prevent potential security threats and respond to them,” he continued, adding that the OSCE and other regional intergovernmental bodies played an important role in the area of security, with their “unique resources and advantages and good understanding of the situation on the ground”.
Pledging to promote a balance between the three key areas of the OSCE’s work -- political and military; economic and environmental; as well as human -– he stressed that implementation of those priorities would depend on an ability to overcome a crisis of trust created by the dividing lines of the cold war, which still existed in the OSCE’s area of operation. With that in mind, the Kazakh Chairmanship “pinned high hopes” on continuing the “Corfu Process” launched in 2009 following an informal meeting of OSCE ministers on the Greek island aimed at tackling security challenges through concrete steps to restore confidence among OSCE member States.
Further to strengthening the OSCE’s role, there was a need to discuss the Russian Federation’s initiative regarding a proposed Treaty on European Security, Mr. Saudabayev said, pointing out that recently, the political will displayed by a number of OSCE member States had led to some positive trends, including towards the settlement of certain protracted conflicts. Indeed, relations between some countries had been “reset”, and the contours of a promising dialogue on key issues on the OSCE’s agenda had become clearer. Given the importance of preserving and building on such positive trends, he said, the Kazakh Chairmanship had proposed the convening of an OSCE summit later this year.
He went on to say that the agenda for such a summit could include pressing ahead with such matters as further development of the Corfu Process, a common architecture of trans-Atlantic and Eurasian security, rehabilitation and assistance to Afghanistan, and issues of tolerance. Stressing that a relevant dialogue on shared security concerns would provide an opportunity to strengthen relations with the United Nations, he declared: “In view of new threats and challenges, our common mission is to make the OSCE even more relevant, more useful and effective.”
Following the briefing, all 15 members of the Security Council took the floor, generally expressing appreciation for the agenda Mr. Saudabayev had set out, including his intentions to continue the Corfu process and promote wider cooperation with other regional and intergovernmental bodies, including the United Nations. For his part, the representative of the United Kingdom pointed out that protracted conflicts remained a priority issue for the OSCE, and commended the Chair’s efforts to bring together the various parties concerned. The United Kingdom remained committed to an OSCE presence in Georgia, and the organization should study all options for remaining there, including in the region of South Ossetia, he stressed.
Welcoming the OSCE’s engagement in Afghanistan, he said more could be done to strengthen border security between Afghanistan and its OSCE neighbours. While acknowledging the importance of convening an OSCE summit, he stressed that it would require adequate preparation, and that the promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law were at the heart of the agenda, he added.
The Russian Federation’s representative said that, for his country, key issues on the OSCE’s agenda included developing a dialogue on strengthening confidence-building measures, modernizing the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and combating the threat of drugs. The OSCE’s reform agenda should include the adoption of a charter, countering neo-fascism, protecting minorities, and establishing agreed principles on preventing conflict, among other things.
He said the Russian Government had championed cooperation between the Security Council and regional and subregional mechanisms, on the basis of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter and taking into account the comparative advantages of the relevant organizations and respect for the Council’s primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. While the OSCE had established close cooperation with the United Nations, including on security and the settlement of regional conflicts, its main mission was to ensure equal security for all its member States, he stressed.
Emphasizing that security in the European region was integrally related to that of the Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s representative said it was essential that the OSCE address global threats through close cooperation between Europe and Asia. A significant example of that inter-reliance was the OSCE’s engagement in the stabilization of Afghanistan, for which Japan had contributed €2.72 million in 2009.
The OSCE’s cross-dimensional, comprehensive security agenda could be effectively addressed by emphasizing a perspective centred on human security, he said, adding that his country had organized several initiatives to that end, through its promotion of human security in OSCE activities. Japan also appreciated the close cooperation that the organization had demonstrated in promoting that perspective on issues such as assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, ethnic reconciliation, human trafficking and environmental degradation.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Turkey, United States, Austria, China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Nigeria, Gabon, Mexico, Uganda, Lebanon and France.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 11:30 a.m.
KANAT SAUDABAYEV, Secretary of State/Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, speaking as Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), noted that, for the first time, the regional body was headed by a Central Asian and post-Soviet State as much of the current OSCE’s dynamism came from its emerging Asian segment.
He said the Chair’s main task was to promote full compliance with the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, and to promote a balance between the three OSCE “baskets”: political and military; economic and environmental; as well as human. Implementation of those priorities should depend on an ability to overcome a crisis of trust created by the dividing lines of the cold war, which still existed in the OSCE area.
Emphasizing that the OSCE pinned high hopes on the continuation of the Corfu Process in that regard, he also welcomed the Russian Federation’s proposal on the establishment of a treaty on European security, adding that the OSCE should become a meaningful “platform for common security” in its zone of responsibility. A relevant dialogue would provide an opportunity to strengthen relations with the United Nations, in accordance with the 1999 Platform for Co-operative Security.
Commending the outcome of the Security Council Summit on nuclear non-proliferation, he said he would try to increase OSCE’s contribution to achieving the goals of Council resolution 1540 (2004), welcoming in that regard the talks between the Russian Federation and the United States on a new strategic arms reduction treaty. He also reaffirmed the OSCE’s commitment to preserving the European regime for conventional arms control as well as confidence- and security-building measures.
He pledged that the OSCE would continue to promote among its participating States the ratification of relevant United Nations conventions and implementation of Council resolutions on combating terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of small arms and light weapons. Kazakhstan’s hosting of the October conference on the prevention of terrorism, in Astana, would be a tangible contribution to efforts aimed at addressing transnational threats such as terrorism, religious extremism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime.
Pledging also that his country would make efforts to contribute to the resolution of protracted conflicts, three of which were in the post-Soviet area, he said that would be the purpose of his 15 February visit to the Southern Caucasus region. The OSCE, the United Nations and the European Union co-chaired the relevant Geneva talks, he noted. Furthermore, the OSCE would continue to implement its mandate as an integral part of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and welcomed in that regard the outcome of the 14 December 2009 United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Regional Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had adopted the Regional Strategy on Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation in South-Eastern Europe.
The strengthening of coordination between the Turkmenistan-based United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia and OSCE field presence seemed to be a promising area of interaction in Central Asia, he said. Overall, the monitoring and identification of any positive signals or signs of a potential escalation of protracted conflicts, as well as the use of preventive mechanisms of political consultations within the OSCE framework would become a key tool during Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship. Greater efficiency in using the capabilities of organizations like the OSCE would help the United Nations and the Council more effectively respond to potential security threats. “The OSCE and other regional intergovernmental organizations play an important role in the security area, with their unique resources and advantages and good understanding of the situation on the ground,” he added.
Another top priority would be the OSCE’s further involvement in the stabilization of Afghanistan, he said. To that end, the organization would continue to focus its efforts towards better protection of the country’s borders with its Central Asian neighbours, including through the training of Afghan personnel at the OSCE Border Management Staff College in Tajikistan, and the OSCE Customs Training Centre in Kyrgyzstan. Over the year, Kazakhstan had actively supported the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including by its signing of an agreement on land transit for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) cargo.
At the same time, he warned that it would be impossible to ensure Afghanistan’s transition to a peaceful and constructive nation through military means alone. “The time has come for a major expansion of the human dimension of our common efforts, as confirmed by the outcome of the recent London Conference on Afghanistan,” he said, adding that his own country had allocated some $4 million over the past few years to the reconstruction of Afghan schools, hospitals and roads, in addition to substantial food and other humanitarian assistance.
He called on all international donors to use his country’s significant potential to help Afghanistan in areas such as the provision of fertilizer as well as agricultural and construction equipment. In general, Kazakhstan intended to put to full use its own capabilities as well as the potential of the OSCE, he said. Close interaction between the OSCE and the United Nations, which was the main coordinator of the international effort in Afghanistan, was in everyone’s interest, and all OSCE initiatives would be pursued in full coordination with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
On other matters, he said the Chairmanship attached great importance to the development of the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension, and would emphasize the achievement of tangible added value in that area. Kazakhstan intended to focus on the development of Eurasian transit-transport potential and continental transport corridors, which would undoubtedly contribute to efforts by OSCE participating States to overcome the current global economic and financial crisis.
The environmental security of OSCE States also remained an important challenge, with the Aral Sea tragedy being one of the most critical problems in that area. There was still room for cooperation between the OSCE and the United Nations in such new arenas as energy security, he said. In Athens, OSCE States had agreed to intensify a dialogue on energy security issues, which provided for, among other things, consultations with relevant international and regional organizations to define a complementary role for the organization.
The Chairmanship also attached great importance to the human rights dimension of the OSCE’s agenda, he said. Indeed, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, the development of democracy, and the fight against intolerance and discrimination of any kind were integral components of comprehensive security. “Drawing on our highly positive experience in ensuring lasting peace and accord in our multi-ethnic and multi-faith country, we intend to make tolerance and intercultural dialogue a major priority of our Chairmanship,” he said, adding that it was imperative to ensure synergy between the work of the OSCE in the area of human rights and the efforts of other actors, particularly the United Nations and the Human Rights Council. Under the Kazakh Chairmanship, the OSCE would continue to offer a wealth of experience to other regional organizations.
He said that recently, due to the political will displayed by a number of OSCE member States, some positive trends had emerged, including towards the settlement of certain protracted conflicts. Indeed, relations between some countries had been “reset”, and the contours of a promising dialogue on key issues on the OSCE’s agenda had become clearer. Given the importance of preserving and building on such positive trends, the Kazakh Chairmanship-in-Office had proposed the convening of an OSCE summit later this year.
Pointing out that 2010 marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Helsinki Act, the sixty-fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and the twentieth anniversary of the Charter of Paris, he said they would provide good opportunities to analyse seriously the OSCE’s role in the area of security arrangements “from Vancouver to Vladivostok”. The agenda of such a summit could include pressing ahead with such matters as further development of the Corfu Process, a common architecture of trans-Atlantic and Eurasian security, rehabilitation and assistance to Afghanistan, and issues of tolerance.
In conclusion, he noted that after more than 35 years in operation, the OSCE had established an unparalleled system of collective, comprehensive and indivisible security. At the same time, however, the organization’s positive historical resources were limited and today it was not permissible to carry on endlessly drawing so-called “red lines” and playing “zero-sum” games. The need to improve the effectiveness of international organizations in meeting new global challenges was more urgent than ever. “In view of new threats and challenges, our common mission is to make the OSCE even more relevant, more useful and effective,” he declared. The President of Kazakhstan had come up with a fitting definition of the country’s focus during its Chairmanship-in-Office: “the four Ts” -- trust, traditions, transparency and tolerance.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the priorities of the current Chair formed a sound basis for implementation of the organization’s objectives and could bring it to a new level of effectiveness. He welcomed in that regard the initiative to convene an OSCE summit, noting that, for his country, key issues on the OSCE’s agenda included developing a dialogue on strengthening confidence-building measures, modernizing the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and combating the threat of drugs.
He said the OSCE’s reform agenda should include the adoption of a Charter, countering neo-fascism, protecting minorities, and establishing agreed principles on preventing conflict, among other things. The Russian Federation had championed cooperation between the Council and regional and subregional mechanisms, on the basis of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter and taking into account the comparative advantages of the relevant organizations and respect for the Council’s primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. While the OSCE had established close cooperation with the United Nations, including on security and the settlement of regional conflicts, its main mission was to ensure equal security for all its member States.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) welcomed the Chair’s priorities, saying that the election of Kazakhstan was a result of that country’s efforts to build a stable and modern State and its contributions to regional stability. The OSCE’s current activities demonstrated that the conflict between East and West was fading away, as 56 countries now shared similar perspectives. Its comprehensive concept of security would contribute to defusing conflicts in Eurasia on the basis of cooperative security.
The OSCE was relevant to the prevailing global conditions, he said, adding that close cooperation with the United Nations was crucial in that regard. Sharing the Chair’s concern that there had been no OSCE Summit since the one hosted by Turkey in 1999, welcomed the proposal to hold a summit in 2010. Turkey also agreed with the Chair’s intention to strengthen the OSCE’s role in the European security structure, including through the Corfu Process. It also welcomed the focus on combating terrorism, including the initiative to convene a conference on that issue as well as human trafficking, illicit drug trafficking and the resolution of protracted conflicts. Turkey also welcomed the Chair’s intention to increase OSCE’s involvement in Afghanistan.
ROSEMARY DICARLO (United States), assuring the OSCE of her country’s full cooperation in the coming year, welcomed the important partnership between the regional body and the United Nations, which allowed both organizations to exploit their respective comparative advantages in order to strengthen international peace and security. She pointed out the exemplary OSCE-United Nations cooperation in the Balkans, noting that, in Kosovo, the OSCE served as a critical pillar of UNMIK in promoting democracy and good governance.
Just as the United Nations had reconfigured its Mission and refocused its efforts in Kosovo, the OSCE has adjusted its own role as part of the overall international effort, she continued. The successful 2009 municipal elections in Kosovo had been the first democratic elections held there without the assistance of the OSCE. Local and international observers had confirmed their adherence to democratic standards. They were a testament to the OSCE’s excellent work in helping the people of Kosovo build up their own democratic institutions, she said.
The OSCE had also played an important role in Georgia, alongside the United Nations and the European Union, in supporting dialogue through the Geneva Process, she said. The United States urged all parties to participate actively and pragmatically in that process and to make full use of agreed-upon measures to prevent and respond to incidents that could increase tensions. “We must continue to work towards the re-establishment of an OSCE presence in Georgia and a long-term peaceful resolution of the conflict,” she added, expressing once again her Government’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
She went on to welcome and encourage the OSCE’s continuing close cooperation with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), saying that the organization had drawn on its vast experience in securing and managing borders, training police, and promoting democratic elections to help the Government and people of Afghanistan strengthen the rule of law. The commitment by the Chairman-in-Office to promoting the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) as part of the global effort to address nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation was also commendable.
The Chairman had also stressed the importance of addressing environmental threats, she noted, stressing that her country remained committed to working with all participating States on those challenges, including climate change and energy security. Diverse and reliable energy supplies were important for the security of Europe, and the OSCE, with its comprehensive approach to security, was well-placed to highlight the links between energy and security. Finally, she expressed support for continuing efforts, under OSCE auspices, to resolve the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh and to bring all the parties concerned to a consensus on the future of the Transnistria region of the Republic of Moldova.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING ( Austria) recalled that in January the Council had once again underlined the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter. Over the years, the OSCE had played an active role in supporting the implementation of various United Nations principles in fields such as counter-terrorism, the fight against trafficking in drug, weapons and people, and in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
He went on to say that the OSCE and its field missions contributed significantly to narrowing the security gaps in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions. The election observation missions carried out by its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as its field missions, fostered democratic stability and security in close cooperation with relevant United Nations agencies and missions. In view of Kazakhstan’s geographic and historical proximity, Austria deemed that country particularly well-placed to bring protracted conflicts in the region closer to peaceful resolution.
Finally, he welcomed the Kazakh Chairmanship’s intention to advance the OSCE’s contribution to non-proliferation in connection with the sanctions regime set out in Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), and to the protection of Afghanistan’s borders. “Both issues are crucial for the region’s security and deserve our full commitment,” he said. In addition, the OSCE’s role in Kosovo continued to be an important example of coordination in crisis management by the OSCE, United Nations and European Union. In addition, he had listened very “carefully and sympathetically” to Mr. Saudabayev’s suggestions regarding the preparations for an OSCE summit later this year. He recalled that Austria’s Foreign Minster had said earlier that the Government stood ready to contribute to the necessary preparations in order to produce substantive progress on issues such as the protracted conflicts, the CFE regime, energy security and non-proliferation, as well as the promotion of human rights, which would be very important.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said that, while the Council had primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, it needed to strengthen its cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter. It had held a thematic debate on the issue last month which had resulted in a presidential statement which reaffirmed the importance and necessity of mutually reinforcing and complementary cooperation. Today’s briefing on the activities of the OSCE would contribute to strengthening communication and cooperation between the regional body and the Council. China hoped the OSCE would be able to use fully its advantages and resources in contributing to a more effective role in the maintenance of regional peace, stability and security.
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said 2010 marked a milestone for Kazakhstan, as the Chair would promote the principles of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law in the region. It was an opportunity for the country to show itself as a regional leader. Key issues for 2010 included discussions on the future of European security, protracted conflicts and promoting democracy. Welcoming the Chair’s focus on the Corfu Process, he underlined the importance of including such issues as energy, human rights and the rule of law in the security concept. The process must cover all three, he stressed.
Protracted conflicts remained a priority issue for the OSCE, he said, commending the Chair’s efforts to bring the various parties together. The United Kingdom remained committed to an OSCE presence in Georgia, and the organization should study all options for remaining there, including in the region of South Ossetia. Welcoming OSCE’s engagement in Afghanistan, he said more could be done to strengthen border security between Afghanistan and its OSCE neighbours. While acknowledging the importance of convening an OSCE summit, he stressed that it would require adequate preparation and that the promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law were at the heart of the agenda.
IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) welcomed the OSCE’s core objectives for 2010, saying he was particularly encouraged by the Chair’s call for increased cooperation between the regional body and the United Nations. He also welcomed the Chairman’s intention to continue dealing with conflicts in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was aware of the challenges and complexities of such cooperation, including the maintenance of surplus weapons, he said. The OSCE’s efforts under Chapter VII should and must lead to detecting and combating terrorism, and to addressing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It was also noteworthy that the Corfu Process would continue in 2010, he stressed, adding that those informal meetings should further strengthen regional dialogue.
Finally, he said that, since many OSCE education projects had been underway in his country since 2002, and since it was clear that education was important for enhancing security, Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed retaining such education initiatives as an important aspect of the OSCE’s agenda in 2010.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil), recalling that the Council had reiterated in January the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, said the collaboration between the world body and the OSCE was a concrete example that had helped strengthen international peace and security, including through the Geneva discussions on Georgia. The OSCE’s activities in promoting political dialogue and strengthening national capacities in South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia were also to be commended.
Expressing also her appreciation for the close coordination between the OSCE and UNAMA in Afghanistan, she also acknowledged the role played by the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre in early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. In that regard, it was critical that the cooperation between the United Nations and organizations such as the OSCE extend to all phases of conflict and also address the root causes.
U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) said the OSCE had great responsibility for international peace and security within the scope of Chapter VIII of the Charter. Welcoming the consistent efforts to transform the OSCE into a credible platform for common security, she noted the organization’s contributions on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and in combating terrorism and transnational crimes. Nigeria also welcomed its contribution in efforts to resolve protracted conflicts and the use of mediation and political mechanisms to that end. The OSCE could serve as a model for other regional and subregional organizations, she said.
However, several daunting challenges required intense engagement and dialogue, including protracted conflicts and issues of border management and illicit trafficking, she cautioned. To achieve its goals, the OSCE must continue to generate confidence-building measures while addressing transnational threats, as well as other threats to peace and security, such as conflicts over energy and water. The OSCE should also continue to strengthen its conflict-prevention capacity, seek enhanced cooperation with the Security Council and always give equal attention to the three elements of its “basket”.
ALFRED MOUNGARA MOUSSOTSI (Gabon), welcoming the cooperation between the OSCE and the United Nations in the areas of peace and conflict prevention, also supported the regional body’s efforts to ensure broader implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions in its areas of operation. Gabon supported the organization’s ongoing support for Afghanistan, especially in areas such as human rights and the rule of law. Hopefully, the ongoing cooperation between the OSCE and the United Nations would serve as a model for enhanced cooperation between the world body and other regional actors, especially the African Union.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said Chapter VIII of the Charter set out the appropriate framework for the work of regional organizations, and indeed, the Security Council had turned more frequently in recent years to such organizations as it sought solutions to conflicts on specific continents. During the Council’s recent open debate on cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, several delegations had noted that intervention by such bodies in the early stages of a conflict could be decisive in preventing the rise in tensions that could lead to fighting. Speakers had made clear that first-hand knowledge of on-the-ground realities was essential in heading off conflict.
One of the key aims of the OSCE, promoting full implementation of United Nations resolutions, could well be followed by other regional organizations, he said. The OSCE should also continue to promote the implementation of Security Council resolutions, especially in the area of protecting women and civilians in armed conflict. Finally, he said United Nations cooperation with the OSCE should serve as a model for cooperation with other regional actors, with a special focus on prevention, early warning, crisis management and mediation towards resolving regional conflicts.
YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan), emphasizing that security in the European region was integrally related to that of the Asia-Pacific region, said it was essential that the OSCE address global threats through close cooperation between Europe and Asia. A significant example of that inter-reliance was the OSCE’s engagement in the stabilization of Afghanistan, for which Japan had contributed €2.72 million in 2009.
The OSCE’s cross-dimensional, comprehensive security agenda could be effectively addressed by emphasizing a perspective centred on human security, he said, adding that his country had organized several initiatives to that end, through its promotion of human security in OSCE activities. Japan also appreciated the close cooperation the organization had demonstrated in promoting that perspective on issues such as assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, ethnic reconciliation, human trafficking and environmental degradation.
Paying tribute to the OSCE’s important role in supporting the democratization process in Eurasian regions, he said the regional body had cooperated actively in assisting free and fair elections in many OSCE member countries, including Ukraine. He emphasized the value of regular, mutually benefiting and supportive dialogue between the Council and the OSCE.
BENEDICT LAWRENCE LUKWIYA ( Uganda) said it was becoming increasingly clear that regional and subregional organizations had a critical role to play in the Council’s responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The United Nations should increase its cooperation with such organizations, taking advantage of their comparative strengths. Uganda welcomed the progress made in the security sector as well as the Chair’s intention to strengthen the role of the OSCE in the European security architecture. The Chair’s efforts to strengthen partnership and cooperation within the OSCE area were also commendable.
He said the OSCE needed to devise strategies to tackle threats such as human trafficking, terrorism and cybercrime, adding that new threats such as energy security and migration had also become potential security problems. Coordination between the OSCE and other bodies would be crucial in avoiding duplication of effort. Uganda therefore welcomed the OSCE initiative to increase its cooperation with UNAMA as well as with other regional and subregional organizations. In that regard, he encouraged the OSCE to build links with the African Union, which was already working on a peace and stability architecture for the continent.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) described today’s meeting as a model for enhancing cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, especially since the Council had underlined only last month the importance of bolstering such cooperation for the achievement of shared objectives. He called for fostering dialogue between the OSCE and its regional and subregional counterparts.
Asserting also the need to improve cooperation among all regional organizations in tackling the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and promoting human rights, tolerance and dialogue among civilizations, he voiced support for the decision by the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office to continue the organization’s focus on education, particularly since it was so important in tackling the root causes of tensions and crises.
Council President GÉRARD ARAUD (France), speaking in his national capacity, said his delegation shared the view that cooperation between the OSCE and the United Nations must be strengthened. France supported the Corfu Process and hoped it would culminate in improved State and individual security throughout Europe. France also supported the proposal to convene an OSCE Summit in order to bolster the common political will to tackle common challenges, promote human rights and address common threats.
The OSCE must work to ensure that other organizations, including NATO and the European Union, participated in the broader effort to enhance regional security, he reiterated, welcoming also the regional body’s efforts in Afghanistan. France appreciated the Chair’s highlighting of the human elements of the OSCE’s work, particularly in matters of protecting and promoting human rights.
Mr. SAUDABAYEV, in closing remarks, thanked Council members for the kind words addressed to his country and for their expressed faith in Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship. He said he was particularly grateful for the members’ support of his proposal to convene an OSCE summit. Hopefully today’s meeting would lend new momentum to cooperation between the Council and the OSCE and make a contribution to the noble objective of strengthening peace and mutual understanding in the huge area covered by the regional body.
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