General Assembly Adopts 10 Consensus Texts on Cooperation Between United Nations, Regional Organizations

19 November 2012
GA/11314

General Assembly Adopts 10 Consensus Texts on Cooperation Between United Nations, Regional Organizations

19 November 2012
General Assembly
GA/11314
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

General Assembly Plenary

40th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Adopts 10 Consensus Texts on Cooperation

 

Between United Nations, Regional Organizations

 

Enhanced alliances between the United Nations and regional and treaty bodies were needed to address current and emerging global challenges, as well as to achieve several longstanding — and as yet unmet — international goals, said delegates today as the General Assembly adopted consensus texts reaffirming cooperation with a number of such organizations.

The 10 approved resolutions called for joint action, respectively, on goals that ranged from bringing an end to longstanding conflict in the Middle East, to enacting a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons testing.  Other texts stressed the value of regional and sub-regional efforts aimed at responding to the global economic and financial crisis, and others urged strengthened cooperation in key areas such as bolstering the United Nations Global Terrorism Strategy, removing trade barriers and combating illicit drug trafficking.

“Regional organizations need to be in tune with the global agenda,” said Gerhard Pfanzelter, Secretary-General of the Central European Initiative, adding that their successful work contributed to that of the United Nations and the wider international community.  Regional organizations could serve as powerful catalysis for advancing global cooperation, he stressed, noting his organization’s success driving collaboration within the Central European region as well as with other regional bodies.

The Central European Initiative also had an “impressive” track record of cooperation with the United Nations, in particular with its specialized agencies, he said, and it worked closely with all major regional organizations and forums.  It firmly believed that ways to enhance cooperation among regional organizations, and in partnership with the United Nations, should be further explored.  In that regard, he proposed the creation of a global network under the umbrella of the United Nations, which would facilitate the exchange of know-how and best practices, and would help organizations to share their experiences.

The representative of Ethiopia said that cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union at both the strategic and operational levels were part of an emerging trend in cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.  He was also pleased at the positive evolution between the Organization and sub-regional organizations in Africa.

Significant strides had been made in joint preventive diplomacy and peacemaking activities, which had continued to grow since 2010 when the Joint Task Force on Peace and Security was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General and the African Union Commission Chairperson.  Though more needed to be done, particularly regarding Somalia, much had been accomplished by their joint efforts in that country, as well as in Sudan and other conflict situations.

Noting the importance of cooperation with sub-regional entities, he said flexibility in applying the underlying principles governing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was critical - in particular in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

“In today’s globalized world, [the organization] needs to be responsive to the challenges of the evolving international environment,” said Victor Tvircun, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, referring to that body.  New threats had arisen including the global financial and economic crisis, climate change, terrorism, transnational organized crime and others; the work and mechanisms of the organization addressed many of those new threats and challenges to security, he stressed.

The representative of Costa Rica, as President of the Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, introduced a draft resolution on cooperation with that body.  Fifteen years following the opening of the Treaty for ratification, he said, 183 states had signed it and 157 had ratified it, making it a “true success” compared to the majority of international treaties.

However, the instrument had still not entered into force as eight Annex 2 nuclear weapons States had not yet ratified it.  In that regard, he underscored his hope that the legally binding provisions of the Treaty would soon become a reality, and stressed that cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission was essential to achieving that end.

“We live under the legacy of some 2,000 nuclear weapons tests”, agreed Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, who briefed the Assembly on the organization’s work.  He emphasized that cooperation between his organization and the United Nations was necessary in order to realize peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons.

Indeed, while the Treaty and its organization had managed to “push the genie of nuclear explosions back in the bottle” by enacting a near-universal moratorium of tests in the past decade, “the bottle is not yet sealed”.  “We have to draw the irrevocable line in the sand”, he stressed in that respect, emphasizing that a return to nuclear weapons testing could potentially trigger a new arms race.

Other speakers during the morning’s joint debate spotlighted both longstanding and relatively new conflicts in the Middle East as major sources of concern.  Raising the issue of the Palestinian Occupied Territory, the Observer of the League of Arab States, said, among other things, that the League’s Council of Ministers had been forced to condemn the Security Council for its inability to adopt a resolution on Israel’s most recent onslaught [of the Gaza Strip], which continued unabated.

He further said that the League was cooperating on the situation in Syria, working with Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Arab League and United Nations Envoy, and urged the Security Council to adopt the resolution on the matter of its Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

In other business today, the Assembly, acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), appointed five members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to serve three-year terms of office beginning on 1 January 2013.  They were:  Jasmika Dinić ( Croatia), Conrod Hunte ( Antigua and Barbuda), Mohanad Ali Omran ( Iraq), Babou Sene ( Senegal) and Tesfa Alem Seyoum ( Eritrea).

It further appointed six members of the Committee on Contributions, also to serve three-year terms of office beginning on 1 January 2013.  They were:  Andrzej Abraszewski ( Poland), Syed Yawar Ali ( Pakistan), Ihor Humennyi ( Ukraine), Susan McLurg ( United States), Josiel Motumisi Tawana ( South Africa) and Kazuo Watanabe ( Japan).

Also, the Assembly decided to confirm the reappointment of Linah Mohohlo ( Botswana) as a regular member of the Investments Committee for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2013, as well as the reappointment of Emilio Cárdenas ( Argentina) as a regular member of the Committee for a one-year term beginning on 1 January 2013.

Approving another recommendation of the Fifth Committee, the Assembly decided to reappoint Ivan Pictet ( Switzerland) and to appoint Gumersindo Oliveros ( Spain) and Cecilia Reyes ( Philippines) as ad hoc members of the Investments Committee for a one-year term, also beginning on 1 January 2013.

In addition, the Assembly appointed five members of the International Civil Service Commission for a four-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2013.  They were:  Fatih Bouayad-Agha ( Algeria), Sergei Garmonin ( Russian Federation), Mohamed Mijarul Quayes ( Bangladesh), Wang Xiaochu ( China) and El Hassane Zahid ( Morocco).

Finally, the Assembly appointed eight members of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee for a four-year term beginning on 1 January 2013.  They were:  Dmitry Chumakov ( Russian Federation), Valeria María González Posse ( Argentina), Hitoshi Kozaki ( Japan), Gerhard Küntzle ( Germany), Lovemore Mazemo ( Zimbabwe), Philip Richard Okanda Owade ( Kenya), Mustafizur Rahman ( Bangladesh) and Thomas Repasch, Jr. ( United States).

Also briefing the Assembly was Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Draft resolutions were introduced by the representatives of Kazakhstan (Cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organization); Netherlands (Cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons); Russian Federation (Cooperation the Eurasian Economic Community); Sudan (Cooperation with the League of Arab States); Belize (Cooperation with the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System); Turkey (Cooperation with the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, and the Economic Cooperation Organization); and Kyrgyzstan (Cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization).

Consideration of a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe was postponed to a later date to be announced.

Taking part were the representatives of Mozambique (on behalf of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries) and New Zealand (on behalf of the Pacific Island Forum).

Speaking as observers were the representatives of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, the Council of Europe and the Asia-African Legal Consultative Organization.

The representatives of the United States and Canada spoke in explanation of position on specific resolutions.

Exercising the right of reply was the representative of Syria.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 27 November to take up the situation in Afghanistan.

Background

The General Assembly met today to take up the question of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations.

Delegates had before them a document, Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations (document A/67/280-S/2012/614), which covers the period since the most recent consolidated report of the Secretary-General on the matter was issued in September 2010.  It describes cooperation with 19 regional entities, in partial fulfillment of a request by the Security Council, as well as with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

The activities and achievements described in the report demonstrate the depth of cooperation achieved between the United Nations and its regional partners across the full range of mandate areas, from maintenance of international peace and security and humanitarian assistance to development and the protection of human rights.  Such cooperation shows, in practice, how the arrangements provided for in Chapter VIII of the Charter can be realized, leading to concrete results.  The United Nations remains committed to working closely with regional and subregional organizations to devise common responses to the increasingly complex and transnational challenges facing the international community.

The report further notes that OPCW is a regular participant in events organized by the Office for Disarmament Affairs on weapons of mass destruction-related issues, including the promotion of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004).

In 2010, the report states, that the Office and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization provided support tothe Fifth Ministerial Meeting to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.  In 2011, the Office for Disarmament Affairs and the Preparatory Commission jointly organized the Seventh Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in New York.

Also before the Assembly were a number of draft resolutions relating to United Nations cooperation with specific organizations.  Among those were a text on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (document A/67/L.5); a text on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Central European Initiative (document A/67/L.6); and a text on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/67/L.7).

The Assembly also considered draft resolutions on:  Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (document A/67/L.8); Cooperation between the United Nations and the Eurasian Economic Community (document A/67/L.9/Rev.1); and Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (document A/67/L.10).

It next took up draft texts of resolutions on:  Cooperation between the United Nations and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (document A/67/L.11) and Cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.12).

The final set of draft resolutions before the Assembly today were on:  Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.13); and Cooperation between the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.15).

The Assembly was also expected to fill vacancies to subsidiary organs on the recommendations contained in the following reports of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary):  Appointment of members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (document A/67/559); Appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions (document A/67/560); Confirmation of the appointment of members of the Investments Committee (document A/67/561); Appointment of members of the International Civil Service Commission (document A/67/562); and Appointment of members and alternate members of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee (document A/67/563).

Introduction of Reports

TIBOR TÓTH, Executive Secretary of Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, opened the session by saying that Member States had believed in silencing nuclear explosions “from the very beginning”.  “You are marathon runners for this cause,” he said, reviewing the history of nuclear weapons testing over the past decades.  Member States had preserved and prevailed even when the moratorium on nuclear testing has periodically been shattered by “a frenzy of nuclear testing,” leading to the Cuban missile crisis.  Member States had persevered and had expressed “unshakable faith” in 1998 with a major ratification failure, and in the early part of the new century when the Organization had faced political and financial challenges.  While previous periods had witnessed some 500 explosions a year, the last 10 years had seen two such events – “which is two too many”.

So, while the genie of nuclear explosions had been pushed back into the bottle, it “must now be sealed”.  That could happen with the ratification by the eight remaining countries whose signature would bring the Treaty into force.  He said that Member States had created a near-universal membership around the norm of no testing.  They had built an “around the globe” monitoring system, the world’s biggest venture into joint verification.  “It is one-for-all, all-for-one” verification, he said, noting that even small States with no armies had equal access to information under the system.  By example, he noted that Costa Rica could sit equally with other nations and discuss the breach of global testing norms by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  “You have created this norm and this system to be used as a clear line between what is peaceful and what is not peaceful”, as a catalyst to generate deeper cuts in the world’s nuclear arsenals, glue for the global non-proliferation regime - a much-needed insurance policy.

“We need more than a hammer in this toolbox,” he said, calling on States to remember the lessons of the Cuban missile crisis and that, even today, the hands clock on the famous “doomsday clock” were set to just minutes before midnight.  “Cooperative security is missing from the toolbox,” he said, noting that the one and only force to undo the gravity of the current state of affairs – to cross the last hurdle to the Treaty’s entry into force - was statesmanship.  Quoting former United States president John F. Kennedy, he said that great things must be done “not because they are easy, but because they are hard”.  It was time for statesmanship to overcome gravity once again.

AHMET UZUMCU, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, presented the 2010 annual report and a 2011 draft report on the activities and programmes of his entity and the implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and of Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention).  

Fifteen years ago, a new chapter had been opened in the history of disarmament, with the first-ever treaty to establish a complete ban on an entire category of weapons of mass destruction under international verification coming into effect, he recalled.  As a legal document, the Convention had been a remarkable achievement.  The complex machinery and mechanics of verification included in the Convention had been transformed into an operational regime.  With the hard work of scores of men and women supported by the political will consistently shown by States Parties, his organization stood poised to realize the vision of a world free from the threat of chemical weapons.

Of the roughly 69,430 metric tonnes of Category I chemical weapons declared by the possessor States, 54,258 metric tonnes, or 78 per cent, had been destroyed as of 31 October 2012 under strict verification by the Secretariat.  Given the large quantity of toxic agents, high costs and the human and environmental considerations, the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles had proved to be very challenging.

The two major possessor States, namely the Russian Federation and the United States, had continued to make progress towards completing the destruction of their respective stockpiles.  Libya, which had stopped its destruction in early 2011, was likely to resume it in 2013.  Those States had not been able to meet the final deadline for the destruction of their chemical weapons.  During the sixteenth Session of the Conference of States Parties held last year, they had agreed on a constructive and forward-looking solution to enable them to continue their destruction activities under conditions of increased transparency measures and enhanced reporting. 

The destruction of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan on the territory of China had continued.  The two nations had reported that the mobile destruction facility in Nanjing completed the destruction of all the 35,681 items.  China and Japan continued to work together to facilitate the redeployment of the mobile destruction facility from Nanjing to Wuhan and were preparing for test operations in Shijiazhuang.  Preparations were also under way for the start of the evacuation and recovery operations in Haerbaling.

His organization had completed more than 2,300 industry inspections.  Over 98 per cent of the world’s chemical industry was located on the territory of States Parties to the Convention, he noted.  Apart from the two pillars of disarmament and non-proliferation, States Parties agreed to provide each other with assistance and protection against chemical weapons and were committed to the promotion of the peaceful uses of chemistry under the umbrella of international cooperation activities.

There were, however, organizational and strategic challenges.  Thus far, a major part of resources had been dedicated to verifying the destruction of chemical weapons.  But as progress was made, that activity would phase out, which in turn would impact human resource requirements and oblige internal changes in the Secretariat.  The task ahead was to ensure operational effectiveness and ability to respond to contingencies, including the responsibility to conduct “challenge inspections” at short notice, as well as investigations of alleged use of chemical weapons when required.  The Convention had been negotiated nearly two decades ago, and it was therefore crucial to take stock of the current state of science and production technologies covered by the treaty and adapt its industry verification regime accordingly.

Another key issue was universality, he said.  With 188 members, the Convention had come close to but not yet attained full universality.  He and the Secretary-General had jointly addressed letters to the heads of the eight non-member countries.  In five years, it was expected that 99 per cent of all declared chemical weapons stockpiles would have been destroyed.  That required a refocus of resources and efforts to ensure that the Convention would remain a bulwark against the re-emergence of chemical weapons.

Introduction of Drafts

BYRGANYM AITIMOVA (Kazakhstan) introduced a draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (document A/67/L.5) and called for adoption of the text, which was aimed at further strengthening and developing of cooperation between the two institutions.  The United Nations had the universal legitimacy and necessary powers to adequately respond to the diversity of contemporary challenges and threats, he said, adding that an integral feature of that presently evolving stage of international relations was the growing influence of regional organizations. 

Having been established as a political and legal foundation for mutual assistance to address external aggression 20 years ago, the Collective Security Treaty Organization had qualitatively changed, he noted.  It had become a critical factor in the formation of the system of collective security in Europe and Asia.  Today, it was a multifunctional structure with the potential for an adequate response to a wide range of threats and challenges encountered in present society.  The body made a significant contribution to the combat against terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crimes and irregular migration, including with a view to consolidate security and stability in Central Asia.  Those activities were in line with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Introducing draft resolution Cooperation between the United Nations and the Central European Initiative (document A/67/L.6), YURIY SERGEYEV( Ukraine), said that in 2012, his country had held the Presidency of the Initiative.  The organization underlined the importance of cooperation with its member States, regional groups and all international organizations.  To that end, it had established ties with more that 15 global bodies and intended to maintain its current momentum and collaborate with the United Nations on all major initiatives, among them on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  He urged the Assembly, on behalf of the Initiative, to support the draft resolution and adopt it by consensus.

ALLE DORHOUT( Netherlands) then took the floor to introduce a draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/67/L.7).  He said that the Organization worked, among other things, to conduct industry inspections and to promote the peaceful use of materials not prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention.  The resolution noted that, this year, OPCW was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.  It also referred to the third review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was slated to take place in April 2013.  He hoped that, as in previous occasions, the resolution would be adopted by consensus.

EDUARDO ULIBARRI( Costa Rica) introduced the draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (document A/67/L.8).  As the current president of the Preparatory Commission, Costa Rica recalled the leading role that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization had played in the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.  Fifteen years following the opening of the Treaty for ratification, 183 states had signed it and 157 had ratified it.  That support could be considered a “true success” compared to the majority of treaties, he stressed.  However, the Treaty still had not entered into force as eight Annex 2 States had not yet ratified it.  In that regard, he hoped that the legally binding provisions of the Treaty would soon become a reality, and stressed that cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission was essential to achieving that end.

VITALY I. CHURKIN( Russian Federation), speaking on behalf of the Eurasian Economic Community, introduced the draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Eurasian Economic Community, (document A/67/L.9/Rev.1).  The draft was based on relevant General Assembly resolutions of the sixty-third and sixty-fifth sessions.  Detailing recent developments within the Eurasian space, he noted, among other things, that since 1 July 2011 there had been a fully operational customs union between the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan and on 1 January 2012, 17 agreements had entered into force establishing a single economic space.  Members of the Community aimed at establishing a Eurasian Economic Union by 2015.  The Members of the Community attached great importance to economic integration in order to address key issues dealt with by the Community.  He expressed the hope that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.

DAFFA-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN( Sudan) introducing a resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (document A/67/L.10), said that the General Assembly emphasized strengthening the relationship between the League and its agencies and the United Nations.  Among other things, the draft contains a request to review the current cooperation mechanisms and the strengthening of their modus operandi.  He called on the General Assembly to adopt the draft resolution without a vote.

JANINE ELIZABETH COYE-FELSON( Belize) introduced the draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) (document A.67/L.11).  Making a brief oral correction to that draft, she said that SELA fostered international dialogue and cooperation between the States of her region, and noted that, since its inception in 1975, the body had benefited from cooperation with a number of United Nations institutions.  By the formalization of that relationship, both organizations agreed to strengthen and expand their cooperation in matters of common interest, she added.

In that vein, the draft resolution before the Assembly today – which covered the period 2008-2012 – reflected the status of that cooperation and described the various types of cooperation between the two bodies.  Indeed, she said, over the last four years, United Nations agencies had participated in 78 regional meetings organized by SELA on issues ranging from information technology to regional cooperation in the area of food security.

LEVENT ELER( Turkey) then introduced a draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.12).  That organization represented some 350 million people with a foreign trade capacity of over $300 billion annually, he said, adding that there were ample opportunities for cooperation between the organization and the United Nations, most notably in areas such as transport, sustainable energy, trade and investment, education, science and technology, and others.  The organization pursued the United Nations goals by removing trade barriers, promoting intra-regional trade, cooperating in the combating of narcotics and other key areas.  He emphasized his hope that the resolution currently before the Assembly would be adopted by consensus.

TALAIBEK KYDYROV(Kyrgyzstan), introducing the draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.15), said that the text was based on General Assembly resolution 65/124, and contained several new elements, reflecting the Organization’s recent activities as well as the development of its cooperation with the United Nations.  He highlighted a number of those new elements, among them, efforts and aspirations to promote stability and security and to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security; to build a world free of nuclear weapons, including in Central Asia, to promote counter-terrorism cooperation and to support the Afghan people in their reconstruction of Afghanistan, as well as promoting cooperation with other regional organizations.  He expressed the hope that the draft resolution would be adopted unanimously.

Statements

ANTONIO GUMENDE ( Mozambique), speaking for the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, recalled the relevance of that language in international affairs due to its power to unify 240 million people in eight countries and four continents.  He also highlighted the Community’s commitment to promote the language in international and regional organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies, funds and programmes.  Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General, he underscored the positive effects of the cooperation between the United Nations and the Community over the past two years.

Such cooperation was visible in several vital areas, including health, education, agriculture, public administration and technology, contributing greatly to the development of the Portuguese-speaking countries, he noted.  Politically, the Community and its member States closely worked with the United Nations and other international partners to restore respect for human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law in Guinea-Bissau.  Given the importance of cooperation with the United Nations, the Community’s member States would submit a draft resolution on the matter in the near future, during the current session of the General Assembly.

JIM MCLAY ( New Zealand), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said that the Forum had celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011, and had made a profound contribution to regional integration and cooperation.  It had helped to develop a common vision and coordinated action towards achieving sustainable development, poverty alleviation and the maintenance of peace and security in the Pacific.  The United Nations had been an important partner in those endeavours.  He expressed gratitude for the visit of the Secretary-General at the anniversary.

It was impossible, he continued, to convey the reality of the challenges posed by size and isolation, and the profound vulnerability faced by the small island developing States of the region, or to explain the grave and imminent threat already posed by climate change to many Pacific communities.  The Secretary-General’s visit had allowed him to personally bear witness and take those experiences with him back to New York.  Among areas needing enhanced cooperation were:  ensuring an adequate and effective United Nations presence on the ground and promoting coordinated action across the United Nations system with national and regional needs and priorities; the difficulties for small States to meet onerous international reporting obligations; and the importance of adequate data collection and statistics for all Member States.

TEKEDA ALEMU ( Ethiopia) said that cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union at both the strategic and operational levels were part of an emerging trend in cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.  He was pleased at the positive evolution between the Organization and sub-regional organizations in Africa as well.  He noted significant strides in joint preventive diplomacy and peacemaking activities, which had continued to grow since 2010 when the Joint Task Force on Peace and Security was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General and the African Union Commission Chairperson.  Though more needed to be done, particularly regarding Somalia, much had been accomplished by their joint efforts in that country, as well as Sudan and other conflict situations.

Noting the importance of cooperation with sub-regional entities, he said that it was critical to the enhancement of cooperation with regional organizations to be flexible in applying the underlying principles governing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.  That was of special importance to the prevention and resolution of conflicts.  He was pleased at the improved dialogue between the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council.  Much remained to be done to make the United Nations Office to the African Union more effective.  In closing he stressed the importance of cooperation for development focused on the least developed countries, most of which were in Africa.

Taking the floor next, VICTOR TVIRCUN, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, reviewed some of the most important developments since the last adoption of a General Assembly resolution on cooperation, in December 2010.  The organization had celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year, he said.  At its Summit in Istanbul, the Heads of State and Government of its members had adopted a declaration reiterating the conviction that multilateral economic cooperation contributed to enhancing peace, stability and security to the benefit of the Black Sea region.

“In today’s globalized world, [the organization] needs to be responsive to the challenges of the evolving international environment,” he stressed.  New threats had arisen including the global financial and economic crisis, climate change, terrorism, transnational organized crime and others.  The work and mechanisms of the organization addressed many of those new threats and challenges to security; in that way, the Black Sea region had been one of fairly sustainable cooperation.

The organization was committed to promoting fruitful cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies, in particular developing practical and results-oriented projects in areas of common interest.  In that vein, he was pleased with the increased cooperation between his organization and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and a number of other programmes, funds and agencies.  He also emphasized the importance of its intensified cooperation with the European Union, and pledged its readiness to take concrete steps for the development of a mutually beneficial partnership.

GERHARD PFANZELTER, Secretary-General of the Central European Initiative, said that his organization cherished its relationship with the United Nations and was proud of its status as an observer, which had been granted last year.  “Regional organizations need to be in tune with the global agenda,” he said, adding that their successful work contributed to that of the global agenda and of the United Nations.  Regional organizations could serve as powerful catalysis for advancing global cooperation and the international agenda.  The Central European Initiative was the oldest forum of cooperation in its region, established in 1989, and it had become the largest regional initiative, comprising 18 member States.

Moreover, due to a unique blend of multilateral diplomacy and project orientation, the initiative had become an important player in the region.  It also had an “impressive” track record of cooperation with the United Nations, in particular with its specialized agencies, he added.  For example, it cooperated with the Economic Commission for Europe in the area of small and medium-sized enterprise development, and with agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in the areas of science and technology.

The initiative also worked closely with all major regional organization and forums, he said.  It firmly believed that ways to enhance cooperation among regional organizations, and in partnership with the United Nations, should be further explored.  In that regard, he proposed the creation of a global network under the umbrella of the United Nations, which would facilitate the exchange of know-how and best practices, and would help organizations to share their experiences.

AHMED FATHALLA, Observer of the League of Arab States, said that Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter recognized the efficacy of cooperation with regional organizations, especially in maintaining peace.  The Organization began its cooperation with the Arab League in 1950 and since then, relations between the two had progressed in a positive way.  In light of events taking place in the Middle East since 2010, cooperation was being strengthened.  Twenty-eight specialized agencies had worked with specialized Arab organizations to identify areas for cooperation.  He noted that the high-level Security Council meeting of 26 September on the Middle East had resulted in the adoption of a Presidential Declaration which called for cooperation with regional organizations to further enhance security.  The Council had further welcomed cooperation with the League in response to changes in the region.

Raising the issue of the Palestinian Occupied Territory, he said, among other things, that the League’s Council of Ministers had had to condemn the Security Council for its inability to adopt a resolution on Israel’s most recent onslaught [of the Gaza Strip], which was continuing, in fulfilment of its principal function of maintaining peace and security.  He further said that, the League was cooperating on the situation in Syria, working with Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, envoy of both the United Nations and the Arab League, and urged the Security Council to adopt the resolution on the matter of its Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, Yemen required support particularly for economic and legal reform, he said, and the international community must support the Libyan Government, particularly with disarmament.  He urged Sudan and South Sudan to cooperate and for the League and United Nations to help them resolve all issues.  In addition, he noted that cooperation among the African Union, the United Nations and the Arab League had made possible the conclusion of the transitional phase in Somalia and called on the international community for continued support.  He then spoke of numerous other thematic areas of cooperation between the League and the United Nations, ranging from climate change to development and said the Arab League would like to cooperate further with the Organization on legal training and other legal matters.  He urged the Assembly to adopt the relevant resolution by consensus.

ROY S. LEE, Observer of the Asia-African Legal Consultative Organization, reviewing cooperative activities undertaken by his organization in the last two years, said that the organization’s principal role was to act as a catalyst to ensure the implementation of international law.  Since its establishment, the organization had worked towards the strengthening and the codification of such laws.  As an advisory body to many States, it closely followed and promoted the work of the General Assembly, the International Law Commission, the Commission on International Trade Law and other international agencies.

Among recent activities, he said that the Asia-African Legal Consultative Organization had analyzed the work of International Law Commission and forwarded the view of Member States to the commission.  Both bodies were represented at each others sessions.  At its fiftieth session, the organization had requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to devote more time to the work of the International Law Commission.  Topics of common interest had included the expulsion of aliens, the responsibilities of international organizations and the protection of persons in the event of disasters.

With regard to the law of the sea – which contributed to a large part of the its work – the organization had championed the concept of exclusive economic zones and helped to codify that concept into international laws.  The organization had also undertaken work to stimulate innovative thinking on the combating of piracy and to identify measures against piracy, including by organizing an international meeting on the topic.  In addition, it had established regional arbitration centres, held meetings to evaluate and improve the arbitration process and had organized training programmes in international trade law and humanitarian law.

Action on Drafts

The Assembly then adopted, by consensus, the draft resolutions on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (document A/67/L.5), Cooperation between the United Nations and the Central European Initiative (document A/67/L.6) and Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/67/L.7).

It also adopted, by consensus, the draft resolutions on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (document A/67/L.8), Cooperation between the United Nations and the Eurasian Economic Community (document A/67/L.9/Revision 1) and Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (document A/67/L.10).

The draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System, as orally corrected, was also adopted by consensus, as were the texts on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (document A/67/A.L12), Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.13) and Cooperation between the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (document A/67/L.15).

Speaking in explanation of position after action, the delegate of Cyprus addressed resolution A/67/L.13, on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization.  He noted that the text, among other things, took note of the Baku Declaration.  That Declaration endorsed the Report by the Council of Ministers at the latter’s twentieth meeting and instructed the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization to ensure that report’s implementation.  Further, that report recommended that a “so called ‘ Turkish Cypriot State’ be given the status of observer” to the Economic Cooperation Organization.

Thus, he continued, the Baku Declaration was, in effect, calling on the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization to act against Security Council resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), which stated that the declaration of a purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus was legally invalid, and General Assembly resolutions 3212 (1974) and 37/253 (1983) calling on all States to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.  He reiterated those calls to all member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization and urged them and that body’s Secretary General not to act against the aforementioned resolutions by according observer status to a secessionist entity.

Nonetheless the Cyprus delegation had decided not to break consensus based on the good faith and spirit of cooperation demonstrated by its sponsors during informal negotiations on the text, and he expressed the hope that the Organization and its member States would re-evaluate their position on that issue and act in compliance with the United Nations Charter.

Next, the representative of the United States, explaining his delegation’s position on the draft resolution related to Cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, said that the United States concurred with the establishment of a consensus on appropriate cyber behaviour.  However, in its current form, resolution A/67/L.15 did not meet the United States’ criteria on matters including free trade, economic prosperity and human rights, he said; therefore, the United States wished to disassociate itself with the consensus adoption of that resolution.

Also taking the floor to explain his country’s position on that resolution was the representative of Canada, who reiterated Canada’s concern about “contentious” language in what was supposed to be a procedural resolution on Cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  He therefore disassociated himself from preambular paragraph 16 of the resolution.

Right of Reply

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Syria said that the League of Arab States was “part of the problem, not part of the solution” in Syria, as the League was calling for external intervention to “destroy” both that country and its people.  The League did not respect the results of the report of the Group of Arab Observers, and it had withdrawn them “in order to undermine the Arab solution” in Syria.  Indeed, he stressed, the League was not authorized to speak about the future of Syria on the country’s behalf.  Its efforts should instead focus on mobilizing support to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli aggression.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.