Security Council Issues Presidential Statement Applauding European Union’s Partnership with United Nations in Resolving Global Challenges

14 February 2014
SC/11279

Security Council Issues Presidential Statement Applauding European Union’s Partnership with United Nations in Resolving Global Challenges

14 February 2014
Security Council
SC/11279
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7112th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Issues Presidential Statement Applauding European Union’s

Partnership with United Nations in Resolving Global Challenges

Relations Must Be Based on Charter,

Russian Federation Stresses during Meeting on Cooperation with Regional Bodies

The Security Council today commended the European Union’s involvement in international negotiation and mediation processes, as well as its commitment to international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and financial and logistical support.

In its first-ever presidential statement (document S/PRST/2014/4) on cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union, the 15-member body commended, in particular, the bloc’s coordinating role in reaching agreement on the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as its contribution to the economic development and stabilization of the Western Balkans.

Also by that statement, the Council welcomed the bloc’s comprehensive approach to the maintenance of international peace and security, in particular, its role in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia, as well as its strong engagement in the Central African Republic through its humanitarian assistance, financial contributions and temporary operation to assist the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA).

Further by the text, the Council welcomed the European Union’s humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected people in Syria and neighbouring countries, and its timely in-kind support for the rapid establishment of the Joint Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, citing Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, told the Council that “the principle of establishing stronger partnerships with regional organizations is embedded in the very DNA” of the Organization.  Emphasizing the complexity of conflict prevention, mediation, crisis management, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, he added that “no single country or organization can possibly meet these challenges alone”.  Throughout its history, the European Union had taken pioneering, forward-looking steps in promoting cooperation among nations, both within and, increasingly, beyond its borders.  Its many generous contributions to the United Nations embodied the kind of multidimensional approach needed to foster sustainable peace and development, he said.

Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, said the bloc’s commitment to supporting multilateralism was three-fold:  direct involvement in international negotiations on behalf of the international community; ensuring the capacity to implement a comprehensive approach to resolving crises; and working closely with international and regional partners where only collective efforts could deliver results.  The bloc was also addressing the crisis in the Central African Republic by sending a crisis management mission to help stabilize the situation on the ground and protect civilians in the area of Bangui, the capital.  As for the crisis in Syria, it continued to support neighbouring countries in which nearly 3 million refugees had sought shelter.

Linas Linkevičius, Foreign Minister of Lithuania and Council President for February, highlighted the four areas in which cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union had grown — humanitarian action, crisis management and early peacebuilding, mediation and the rule of law.

The Russian Federation’s representative said relations between the European Union and the United Nations must be based on the Charter, stressing that, while the bloc’s contributions in various areas were commendable, his delegation opposed its unilateral imposition of sanctions on Syria without the Security Council’s approval.

France’s representative, however, argued that the measures were necessary and commendable, given the deadlock over Syria within the Council.  Citing General Assembly resolution 65/276, he described the European Union as a partner and friend of the United Nations, not only as a regional organization, but also as “a pillar of a coherent and effective international system”.

Also participating in the debate were representatives of Argentina, Australia, Nigeria, Jordan, Rwanda, Chile, United States, Chad, China, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea.

The meeting began at 11:05 a.m. and ended at 1:20 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met this morning to discuss the cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly the European Union.  It was also expected to hear briefings by the world body’s Secretary-General and by the regional bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and to issue a presidential statement.

Briefings

BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that “the principle of establishing stronger partnerships with regional organizations is embedded in the very DNA of the United Nations”.  With great vision and foresight, Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter laid out the critical role of regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, and today, more than ever before, “the effectiveness of the United Nations rests in large measure on our cooperation with regional bodies”.  Conflict prevention, mediation, crisis management, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding were complex endeavours, and “no single country or organization can possibly meet these challenges alone”, he emphasized.

Important progress had been made through liaison offices, joint envoys and cooperation agreements, he said.  Joint mediation deployments had become more common, allowing the international community to put forward a united front.  Among the regional entities with which the United Nations enjoyed such cooperation were the African Union, Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of American States (OAS) and the League of Arab States, he said.  Cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union stretched across the global agenda and around the world.  Throughout its history, the European Union had taken pioneering, forward-looking steps in promoting cooperation among nations, both within and, increasingly, beyond its borders.  The bloc’s many generous contributions to the United Nations embodied the kind of multidimensional approach needed to foster sustainable peace and development.

The United Nations and the European Union increasingly worked side by side on the ground in carrying out peacekeeping and civilian crisis management operations, and through preventive diplomacy, he continued.  The regional bloc was also a valuable partner to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, a champion of human rights and a steadfast partner in promoting the Millennium Development Goals, advancing gender equality and tackling climate change.  The topic of today’s debate could not be more timely as the United Nations and its regional partners faced an urgent task, with the dark clouds of mass atrocities and sectarian cleansing looming over the Central African Republic, he said.  Their responsibility was clear:  “We must stand with the people of the Central African Republic,” he stressed, adding that he intended to return to the Council on Tuesday with recommendations for containing and then ending the crisis.

CATHERINE ASHTON, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, said that her delegation’s commitment to supporting multilateralism was three-fold:  direct involvement in international negotiations on behalf of the international community; capacity to implement a comprehensive approach to resolving crises; and close work with international and regional partners where only collective efforts could deliver results.  On the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme, the European Union had engaged in intensive diplomacy to seek a negotiated solution that met the global community’s concerns about that issue, she said.  Together with the “E3+3” (France, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Russian Federation, United States), it was implementing the Geneva Plan of Action aimed at building confidence and addressing the most urgent concerns.  That was a “first step”, since discussions on a comprehensive agreement would start next week.

Turning to the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, she said the European Union had facilitated 22 meetings between their leaders.  The First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations, reached last April, marked a turning point in relations, and the European Union had responded by opening accession negotiations with Serbia and launching talks for a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Kosovo.  Generally, the bloc was able to use a broad toolbox of instruments and policies to engage in all phases of conflict, from prevention and early warning to conflict management, post-conflict transition and sustainable development.  In Somalia, the European Union was supporting stability, security and development throughout the Horn of Africa, she said.  In the Sahel-Sahara region, it had provided €550 million in humanitarian assistance to Mali in 2013 and 2014, having pledged €1.28 billion in development aid.

She went on to state that the European Union was addressing the crisis in the Central African Republic by sending a crisis management mission to help stabilize the situation on the ground and protect civilians in the area of Bangui, the capital.  As for the crisis in Syria, it continued to support neighbouring countries in which nearly 3 million refugees had sought shelter, she said, adding that it had pledged €550 million for relief efforts.  In the wider Middle East, the bloc had offered an “unprecedented” package of political, economic and security support to Palestinians and Israelis in the context of a final status agreement, including special privileged partnership.  On other issues, she expressed hope that a negotiated solution to the political crisis in Ukraine could be found soon.  On Egypt, she condemned all violence, disproportionate use of force and terrorist attacks in that country and welcomed the announcement of elections, saying they lead to a democratically elected President and fair political representation in the future Parliament.

Statements

LINAS LINKEVIČIUS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Council President, spoke in his national capacity, noting that cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union had grown considerably over recent years, in terms of both focus and scope.  Humanitarian action remained one of the key areas of their cooperation, he said, pointing out that he bloc was the world’s largest humanitarian donor, making contributions in such places as the Central African Republic, the Sahel and Syria.  Lithuania had been a consistent participant in humanitarian efforts, both bilaterally and through joint European Union funding, he said.  Their cooperation continued to make a difference on the ground in crisis management and early peacebuilding, he said.

The European Union was preparing to deploy an operation in support of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and the French forces there, he continued, adding that Lithuania planned to contribute air assets.  The bloc also played a key role in the area of mediation, he added, commending the High Representative’s tireless efforts and deep understanding of the situation in the Balkan region, which had led to a breakthrough in relations between Serbia and Kosovo.  The bloc’s mediation had also been instrumental in addressing the situation in Georgia and in the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme.  He also stressed the importance of the partnership between the European Union and the United Nations on strengthening the rule of law, which had tremendous potential to facilitate post-conflict peacebuilding, prevent armed conflict and promote progress towards sustainable peace and development.  The European Union’s voice should continue to be well heard at the United Nations, he said.

MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina) the efforts of regional and subregional organizations complemented those of the United Nations, incorporating knowledge of a region and an understanding of the root causes of conflicts — an irreplaceable comparative advantage.  Regional entities could also play an important role in preventing and resolving conflicts, as well as in peacebuilding, reconstruction and post-conflict development.  Cooperation with the European Union was characterized by its scope, geographically and in terms of content.  Asymmetric negotiations, such as those between Israel and the Palestinians, required international support.  The European Union, through the Middle East Quartet, supported those talks, reaffirming the principles of a two-State solution.  Argentina also recognized the bloc’s contribution in the efforts to alleviate the crisis in Syria, she said, urging all United Nations bodies to adopt preventive strategies to help regional and subregional efforts to eradicate poverty and promote respect for human rights.

GARY QUINLAN ( Australia) said that Chapter VIII, drafted before the emergence of “transformative” regional organizations, such as the European Union and the African Union, had proven to be remarkably prescient.  The European Union was actively engaged within its own region, and beyond, in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and combating terrorism, all of which were key objectives of the Council.  Welcoming the bloc’s support for MISCA, he also commended the High Representative for having brokered the historic 19 April agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, and facilitating the interim agreement with Iran.  Australia also welcomed its support for the establishment of the joint mission between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, he added.

USMAN SARKI ( Nigeria) said many regional groups had strategies for engaging in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, drawn from their own experiences, adding that cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security was a “win-win” partnership.  The European Union was a committed partner that had made significant contributions, including to the economy and stability of the Western Balkans.  The bloc was also a partner in Africa as the African Union continued to develop its peace and security architecture, including in Somalia.  The European Union had worked to stabilize Mali and the Central African Republic, and had been “strident” in supporting international action to protect civilians in other situations of armed conflict, he said.

ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) said the European Union’s complementary role had been seen in efforts to find a lasting two-State solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict.  It had responded skilfully to the crisis in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries hosting refugees.  Jordan also recognized the bloc’s role in the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme and in supporting stability and development in the West Balkans, he said, particularly its mediation efforts that had led to the First Agreement on Principles Governing Normalization of Relations between Serbia and Kosovo.  Jordan also noted the European Union’s contributions in Africa, including Somalia and the Central African Republic.

OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE ( Rwanda) said the European Union played a vital role in Africa, whether in conflict resolution, peacebuilding or development, and particularly in its cooperation with the African Union.  Rwanda acknowledged its key role in maintaining peace and security in Somalia, fighting piracy off the coast of that country and in its donation pledges.  The bloc could also play a civilian protection role in the Central African Republic through deployment in support of MISCA, which included Rwandan troops, and by sharing the financial burden.  It was also helping Mali rebuild State institutions, he added.  The European Union Rule of Law Mission had helped Serbia and Kosovo reach the historic First Agreement on Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations.

OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ ( Chile) said that collective action to resolve crises could only be strengthened by the involvement of regional and subregional organizations.  Interaction between the United Nations and such entities must be coordinated on a case-by-case basis.  Voicing support for today’s presidential statement, he said it outlined Charter principles and highlighted cross-cutting issues that aligned with Chile’s foreign policy:  protection of human rights; protection of civilians; women’s participation; and peacebuilding and peacekeeping.  Chile agreed that regional and subregional entities were in the best position to understand causes of conflict.

SAMANTHA POWER (United States), highlighting areas in which the European Union had made important contributions, cited the bloc’s new External Action Service, saying it was already having an impact.  The regional body’s role in promoting European stability had been seen in its facilitation of the high-level dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, which had led to the April agreement.  From its membership in the Middle East Quartet to its engagement with Iran, the bloc was working with partners to foster stability, she said, emphasizing that its role was especially welcome in Africa, where it was fostering peace, security, good governance and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.  Welcoming the bloc’s announcement of another €25 million to support MISCA, she endorsed its efforts to promote peaceful solutions in the Sahel, and its chairmanship of the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF ( Chad) said that given the gravity and complexity of crises around the world, cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was of great importance.  Chad attached particular importance to the European Union because of its weight, assets and growing role.  At the same time, other regional and subregional organizations had made considerable contributions, he said, pointing out that the stabilization of Mali had showcased cooperation among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations.  Regional and subregional entities were the Organization’s best partners because they well understood the causes of conflict.  Emphasizing the importance of regional ownership in capacity-building, he said the world body’s support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) served as a good example of strengthening regional capacity, and urged the European Union to provide the African Union with the technical and financial help develop local skills manage the protection of human rights, among other needs.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that the development of cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations must be based on the Charter.  The Russian Federation objectively acknowledged the bloc’s positive contributions in multilateralism and other areas, he said, adding that its efforts on Iran would help address concerns over that country’s nuclear programme.  However, Iran had the right to develop its own nuclear programmes, he emphasized, adding that his country was open to finding practical cooperation with the bloc.  Turning to the situation in the Central African Republic, he expressed concern that there was no clarity about which European Union countries would contribute troops to support MISCA.  On Syria, the Union had provided humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons, but its unilateral sanctions did not help the situation, he stressed, pointing out that such measures were not approved by the Council and were counterproductive.  On Kosovo, he stressed that Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) remained in force, expressing concern over proposals to transfer authority from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.  The division of labour between the United Nations and the European Union was enshrined in the Charter, which could not be revised, he reiterated.

WANG MIN ( China) said the European Union had played a significant role in regional situations, including the question of Iran’s nuclear programme, and events in Mali and the Central African Republic.  China hoped the international community would take action to help the new Government in the latter country to stop the violence and restore order.  Voicing support for the bloc’s positive role in the maintenance of international peace and security, he said that he hoped its cooperation with the Security Council would be in compliance with the principles of sovereign equality and pacific settlement of disputes.  China also hoped the bloc would use its own resources and comparative advantages to provide affected countries with development aid.

SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) applauded today’s presidential statement, saying that, for the first time, it demonstrated the Council’s recognition of the cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union in the service of international peace and security.  European diplomacy had achieved tangible results in two sensitive areas on the Council’s agenda.  In Kosovo, the Special Representative continued to facilitate high-level dialogue, she noted, saying Luxembourg supported efforts to regularize relations between the two sides.  She also welcomed the Special Representative’s efforts in facilitating negotiations between Iran and the “E3+3” to achieve the “first step” agreement.  In the Central African Republic, the bloc was working to settle the security and humanitarian crisis, while in Mali, it continued to work with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)in support of the new national authorities.  She hailed the European Union’s long-term commitment to protecting children in armed conflict, notably its use of funds from the Nobel Peace Prize for that purpose.

GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) emphasized the European Union’simportant role in Africa , noting that the continent accounted for about 70 per cent of the Security Council’s agenda.  In Mali, the bloc was helping the Government to rebuild its defence forces through training, while the number of European troops in the Central African Republic had risen from 2,000 to 6,000, including 1,600 French soldiers.  The reinforcements promised by the European Union in the 10 February decision should be deployed swiftly, he said, adding that any delay would be difficult to understand.  The situation in the country called for more police as State institutions had collapsed.  Turning to Syria, he welcomed the sanctions imposed by the European Union, citing the deadlock in the Security Council.  France also acknowledged the bloc’s contributions on the Iran talks, the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as relations between Serbia and Kosovo, he said.  Citing General Assembly resolution 65/276, he described the European Union as a partner and friend of the United Nations, not only as a regional organization, but also as “a pillar of a coherent and effective international system”.

DOUGLAS WILSON ( United Kingdom), welcoming the agreement between the “E3+3” and Iran, said the European Union had played a crucial role in the preceding negotiations.  The United Kingdom looked forward to the start of comprehensive talks next week, he said, adding that pressure on Iran should be maintained.  In Kosovo, the regional bloc’s “painstaking” diplomacy had led to the April agreement, which would aid progress that would impact the stability of the Western Balkans.  The European Union had also responded to a number of humanitarian crises, he noted.  In Syria, it was working with the United Nations to provide financial support and humanitarian aid, he said, pointing out that the United Kingdom supported a humanitarian resolution on that issue.  He welcomed the European Union’s training mission in Somalia and its provision of vital support to the Somali National Forces.  The imminent deployment of a European Union mission in the Central African Republic would help the situation in the Bangui area, he added.

JOON OH ( Republic of Korea) said the European Union’s experience in mediation and conflict management had given it an essential role in the maintenance of international peace and security.  Citing its work in the Balkans in that regard, he said Serbia and Kosovo were at a crucial juncture in the normalization of relations and should consolidate that hard-won progress.  He also commended the bloc’s role in implementing the interim agreement with Iran, saying he looked forward to the latter taking measures to comply with the relevant Council resolutions.  The deployment of European Union troops would contribute to the early stabilization of the Central African Republic, he said, also commending its role in the Sahel region, especially in Mali.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2014/4 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“The Security Council reiterates that cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations and arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, and consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, can improve collective security.

“The Security Council welcomes the briefing of the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and commends the significant contribution that the European Union makes in support of the maintenance of international peace and security.

“The Security Council commends the European Union’s involvement in international negotiations and mediation, in particular:

“(a)The Security Council welcomes the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action agreed by the E3+3 and Iran that entered into force on 20 January 2014 and notes the European Union’s coordinating role in reaching an agreement on the Joint Plan.  The Security Council emphasises the importance of further diplomatic efforts to find a comprehensive negotiated solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

“(b)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s significant contribution to the economic development and stabilization of the Western Balkans region in order to further promote democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and calls on all the parties for further constructive engagement.

“The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s comprehensive approach to the maintenance of international peace and security, and commends the European Union and its Member States for their ongoing commitment to international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and financial, as well as logistical support, in particular:

“(a)The Security Council commends European Union’s role in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia, notably through Operation ATALANTA and through EUCAP Nestor development of sea-going maritime security capacities in the region, and in this regard, the Council commends the European Union’s current chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia.  The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s effort to contribute to the stabilization of Somalia, in particular by training Somali security forces through the European Union Training Mission for Somalia, and its significant contribution to the African Union’s mission in Somalia.

“(b)The Security Council welcomes the strong engagement of the European Union in the Central African Republic, notably its humanitarian assistance, its financial contribution to the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), as well as the decision to establish a temporary operation to support MISCA.  The Council notes the importance of coordination mechanisms between UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) and MISCA and the European Union operation in the Central African Republic.

“(c)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s support for the objectives and missions of the United Nations in Mali and the broader Sahel region, as set out in the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, notably through the work of the European Union Training Mission in cooperation with the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), as well as its broader efforts in the region, through the EU Strategy for Security and Development for the Sahel and the EUCAP SAHEL Niger Mission.

“The Security Council notes the extensive cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations, in particular:

“(a)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s significant humanitarian assistance to the affected people in Syria and in neighbouring countries, and welcomes its timely in-kind support to the rapid establishment of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission for the Elimination of the Chemical Weapons Programme of the Syrian Arab Republic.  The Security Council and the European Union reiterate their shared objectives in promoting and facilitating the political solution to the Syrian conflict based on the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012.

“(b)The Security Council notes the European Union’s role in the Middle East Quartet Principals meeting held in Munich on 1 February 2014 and reiterates its commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

“(c)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s contribution in promoting security, governance and development in Afghanistan, in particular the assistance for the development of the Afghan National Police and rule of law institutions accomplished through the European Union police mission, and the European Gendarmerie Force.

“The Security Council commends the European Union’s role in supporting the United Nations operations in the areas of mutual concern, in particular:

“(a)The Security Council welcomes the ongoing cooperation in strengthening the United Nation’s response in promoting development cooperation, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“(b)The Security Council recognizes the valuable support of the European Union on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, in particular its work on protecting women and children affected by armed conflict, as well as its engagement to the prevention and protection from sexual violence and its support for the critical role that women play in all peace and security efforts, including those to prevent and resolve conflict and mitigate its impact.

“(c)The Security Council recalls that justice and rule of law are of key importance for promoting and maintaining peace, stability and development.  In this regard, the Security Council highlights that the European Union can contribute to accountability through support for enhancing the capacity of the national justice systems, as appropriate, and through cooperation with international mechanisms, courts and tribunals, including the International Criminal Court.

“The Security Council welcomes the close cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union and encourages both organizations to further strengthen their institutional relations and strategic partnership, including through regular briefings by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the Security Council.”

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