United Nations Shares Responsibility for Peace with Regional Organizations, Says Secretary-General, Opening All-Day Security Council Debate

SC/12011
18 August 2015
7505th Meeting (AM & PM)

United Nations Shares Responsibility for Peace with Regional Organizations, Says Secretary-General, Opening All-Day Security Council Debate

Violent extremism, massive population movements, cyber attacks, transnational crime and other evolving threats to global security required strengthened cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, speakers at an all-day debate in the Security Council stressed today.

“The United Nations increasingly shares responsibility for peace and security with regional organizations,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he opened the meeting with a briefing.  “We should do everything possible to help them resolve regional problems and to include the States concerned in solutions.  At the same time, regional organizations should continue contributing to United Nations peace and security efforts.”

Outlining the recently delivered recommendations of the High-level Panel on Peace Operations, Mr. Ban called for stronger global-regional partnership to ensure that the Security Council could draw on a more resilient and capable network of actors.  Existing trilateral cooperation among the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union must be built upon to boost collective ability to manage, plan and execute peace operations in Africa.

Different forms of engagement with other organizations should be considered as well, he said, naming the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Collective Security Organization (CSTO) of the League of Arab States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Noting that the Panel called for more predictable financing for regional organizations to share burdens in peace and security, including through the use of United Nations-assessed contributions, he highlighted other forms of support, including trust funds and access to expertise, systems materials and services.  It was critical, he added, for all cooperative efforts to hold to the principles of the Charter, with human rights at the forefront.  “Our views may diverge at times, but as long as we are committed to peace, security and human rights, we will stay on course to a more secure future,” he said.

Following Mr. Ban’s briefing, some 45 speakers took the floor supporting greater cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations, with most stressing the need to utilize the comparative advantages of each organization involved.

A representative the African Union described efforts to strengthen both long-term and quick-reaction capacity to addressing emerging threats in Africa, including operationalization of the African Standby Force by the end of the year.  He outlined instruments aimed at preventing and combating terrorism that wedded intelligence and security, as well as enhancement of conflict resolution capacity and further support to peace operations.  He called on the Council to urgently find flexible, sustainable and predictable funding to support all such efforts.

The European Union’s representative described European support to such African Union initiatives, as well as its response to conflicts in its own wider neighbourhood and emerging challenges such as foreign terrorist fighters, maritime security, organized crime, irregular migration, climate change, energy issues and cyber and space security.  Preventing conflicts was a primary objective.

Support for African initiatives along and for OSCE efforts in Eastern Ukraine showed that coordination among regional organizations was another European priority, he said.  In the face of the deaths of hundreds of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, the Union had launched a naval operation, known as EUNAVFOR MED, to disrupt human smuggling and trafficking networks.

Speakers from other regions outlined the security activities of organizations in their respective areas.  In that regard, Chile’s representative said that the Latin American and Caribbean region had remained a zone of peace, even in the face of illicit trafficking and terrorism, due to the activities of such associations as the Organization of American States (OAS).  Regional arrangements were critical if there was to be “operational multilateralism” in the maintenance of international peace and security, he added.

Japan’s representative said that in the Asia-Pacific region, a number of regional frameworks were being developed in a multi-layered manner that reflected the region’s diversities.  Those included ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting.

Speakers also stressed the advantages of regional organizations in preventing conflict and of enlisting the participation of civil society in that effort.  Many emphasized that cooperation with regional organizations must be done in strict accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.  Presenting that view, India’s representative stressed the Charter requirement of geographical proximity for operations of regional organizations, as well as the primacy of the United Nations in peace efforts to ensure adherence to Charter principles.

Also speaking in the debate were the representatives of China, Jordan, Russian Federation, Lithuania, Spain, Angola, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chad, United States, Venezuela, France, Nigeria, Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic Countries), Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Pakistan, Viet Nam (on behalf of ASEAN), Indonesia, South Africa, Uruguay, Republic of Korea, Panama, Morocco, Brazil, Turkey, Georgia, Kuwait (on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)), Botswana, Egypt, Cuba, Ukraine, Armenia, Netherlands, Haiti, Uganda and Benin.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m., was suspended at 1:05 p.m., resumed at 3:06 p.m. and adjourned at 5:51 p.m.

Statements

LIU JIEYI (China) said the United Nations was at the core of the international security mechanism; the Council had the primary responsibility of maintaining peace and security.  However, terrorism, natural disasters, epidemics and other non-traditional threats had necessitated greater cooperation among nations at regional and subregional levels.  The United Nations should encourage regional organizations to resolve conflicts and promote peace and security based on the United Nations Charter, particularly respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Regional organizations themselves should learn from each other, he said, lauding efforts by the African Union and others in maintaining peace and security.  While pursuing self-development, countries should also work towards ensuring the interests of others, keeping in mind regional contexts and history.  As the biggest regional organization, the African Union had been playing a major role, and China’s initiative to support the Union’s capacity to promote peacekeeping had yielded progress in the past three years.  China attached great importance to regional and subregional organizations in preventing and settling conflict, as well as responding to non-traditional security threats and stood ready to expand cooperation for a more peaceful world.

MAHMOUD DAIFALLAH MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan) said transformations in the international and regional systems had led to a change in the nature of security threats.  Terrorism in one region posed an international threat, which required collective action.  Similarly, cyber threats necessitated a new focus based on creativity and comprehensive action.  Regional and world organizations should forge ahead in unity, he said, adding that such cooperation had become a prerequisite to the maintenance of international peace and security.  The League of Arab States and other regional organizations had been adopting effective models in responding to local crises and should share experiences.  While regional organizations had comparative advantages that made them important partners, those lacked capacities and tools.  The United Nations could play an important role in strengthening regional and subregional organizations on the basis of a new mechanism for dialogue and exchanges.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) reiterated his country’s call to expand the partnership between the United Nations and regional organization.  However, he said, such partnership should be based on the principles and purposes of the Charter, in order to strengthen the legitimacy of collective action.  Noting successes on the ground attained through cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, as well as with subregional organizations, he said that cooperation should be strengthened to prevent crises.  Voicing concern at the threat posed by Boko Haram, he said assistance should be based on the support of the countries concerned.  Regional organizations in Asia, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, had the potential to play a greater role in building international peace and security.  Double standards and selective approaches threatened to undermine security, he said, citing the Ukraine crisis and stressing the need to ensure the indivisibility of security.  Swift and full implementation of the Minsk Agreements was central to reaching a final settlement.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), associating with the European Union, stated that her country belonged to three regional organizations, the first of which was the European Union, an “anchor of peace and security on the continent”.  The Union, as the largest humanitarian and development donor worldwide, had cooperated with the United Nations in all major conflict and post-conflict areas, from Syria to South Sudan.  Lithuania also belonged to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had developed considerable mediation and conflict-prevention capacities and continued to play a role in tackling the protracted conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria and Georgia.  The Council of Europe had developed an “impressive inventory of 200 international treaties”, whose recent adoption of a protocol on foreign terrorist fighters was an excellent example of close cooperation between regional organizations and United Nations entities, in this case the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.  She called for strengthening the Council of Europe’s partnership with the United Nations.

FRANCISCO JAVIER GASSO MATOSES (Spain) said that the current era was characterized by what he called “partnership peacekeeping”, due to the complexity of conflicts.  Subregional organizations, such as Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had become particularly valuable in that light.  In the fight against terrorism, major regional organizations had met in July on the problem of foreign terrorist fighters.  Transnational crime and human trafficking were under their purview as well.  Prevention and mediation, with the participation of civil society, was particularly relevant, he stressed, noting recent initiatives.  Sustainability through predictable financing, trilateral arrangements and greater interaction between the Security Council and regional bodies could improve effectiveness in all such areas.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) said that regional actors must be strengthened to help meet emerging threats.  The Latin American and Caribbean region had remained a zone of peace, even in the face of illicit trafficking and terrorism, due to the activities of such associations as the Organization of American States (OAS).  Extreme poverty and other root causes were acknowledged by such organizations as security threats.  The Council could promote a more effective partnership with regions, with such support as more predictable and flexible financing and standardized procedures for equipping and training missions.  Regional organizations were crucial as well in encouraging the participation of civil society in security issues, including concerning women, and in that way, assist the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).  In sum, regional arrangements were critical if there was to be “operational multilateralism” in the maintenance of international peace and security.

ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) stressed the importance of the United Nations partnership with the African Union Peace and Security Council and other regional organizations.  Threats to peace and security in Africa had recently changed in nature with the appearance of Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram and growth of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which further threatened stability.  Support for an African Union rapid reaction force was a major step forward in facing such threats.  Recognizing that the primary responsibility for peace and security lay with national Governments, he commended a range of African organizations for their work in assisting Governments in that light.

PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) said that the relationship with regional organizations was an important structural challenge for the United Nations, as security issues could not be tackled by one organization alone, particularly in Africa.  Somalia represented an example of fruitful collaboration, while in South Sudan, much more had to be done.  With all regional organizations, comparative advantages must be harnessed, substantive and early dialogue on any situation must be conducted between the Council and regional organizations, and sustainable ways of funding operations and the provision of other support must be developed.  Briefings from those on the ground were invaluable.  The ability of the Council to meet its heavy responsibilities would be greatly enhanced with improved arrangements with regional organizations, he stressed.

GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) said that, in addition to issues of finance and capacity, there were significant challenges to effective cooperation with regional and subregional entities.  In too many situations, regional action had not proven sufficient to prevent or resolve crises.  Cooperation with the Council, notably concerning entities such as the African Union, was largely reactive and ad hoc.  Interventions, such as the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), had been highly challenging in terms of resourcing, vision and shared understanding.  Citing a “failure of approach” on both sides, he said there was not enough political energy going into cooperation to produce partnership.  Cooperation should begin when crises emerged, and both the Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council must be less concerned with sequencing and more so with collaboration.  Capacity was a major issue for the Union and he advocated a sustained focus on building regional conflict management frameworks.

RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia), aligning with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Non-Aligned Movement and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said threats to international peace and security had become increasingly complex and challenging with transborder elements and other multi-layered dimensions.  Over the years, regional organizations had embarked on pragmatic steps to more effectively address changing global dynamics.  At the same time, the Council had taken steps to enhance its engagement with regional organizations through joint regular consultative meetings on many important strategic areas.  That strategic partnership was vital to addressing contemporary challenges, he said, stressing the need to strengthen the foundation of the future global security agenda.  The level and degree of intraregional cooperation varied significantly based on the unique historical and political background of each region.  Without sufficient financial and capacity-building support, the aspiration and determination of regional organizations could outstrip their ability to deliver, particularly in challenging parts of the world.  Although significant progress had been made in improving cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, more could be done.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad), associating with the African Union, said the changing nature of current threats such as terrorism, proliferation, transborder crimes and pandemics necessitated growing cooperation among States and regions.  Regional organizations were the only bodies to provide solutions to insecurity in its various forms, a reality recognized by the United Nations Charter.  The United Nations alone could not expect to work everywhere all the time, he said, stressing that the African Union was a key partner, which deserved support.  Furthermore, cooperation among subregional organizations had facilitated swift responses to crises.  The United Nations should strengthen its strategic partnership with the African Union by, among other things, ensuring predictable and reliable availability and disbursement of resources for African peacekeepers.  Given the transcontinental nature of current security challenges, capacity-building support for rapid-deployment forces assumed greater importance.  Civil society, including women and youth groups, should be supported as part of the overarching objective of bolstering peace and security.

DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) said the partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations had become all the more important amid the growing complexity of international threats.  Regional and subregional organizations as neighbours were better positioned to identify and address challenges.  However, peacekeeping was also premised on the principle that those farther removed were more effective in addressing challenges.  There appeared to be an increasing bifurcation of political and peacekeeping processes, he said, stressing that division of labour had positive and negative aspects.  On South Sudan, the United Nations had deferred to the regional political process, which had failed.  The Council needed to step in to advance the process there and hold perpetrators accountable.  Where the Council had authorized regional organizations to act, it needed to ensure proper resourcing, as well as accountability on the basis of common standards.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the end of the cold war had led to a strengthening of regional and subregional organizations.  The further consolidation of a multipolar system was conducive to international peace and security where regional organizations had an important role play.  Such organizations must fully respect all the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.  The clear progressive trend unfolding in Latin America had led to the emergence of an architecture more closely attuned to the needs and aspirations of the people.  Subregional organizations were also active in bolstering constitutional and political processes and ensuring the self-determination of the poorest and most marginalized communities.  Latin America and the Caribbean professed firm commitment to peace and disarmament, which allowed it to focus on needs and aspirations based on pluralism and multilateralism.

ALEXIS LAMEK (France) said that regional organizations played an increasingly important role in managing emerging crises, conflict prevention and peacebuilding.  Such efforts were most effective when done in conjunction with other organizations, he stressed, welcoming the growing cooperation among the European Union, the Africa Union and the United Nations, which he described in detail.  He endorsed the recommendations of the Secretary-General and the High-level Panel for improving such cooperation, and added that the examples of Mali and the Central African Republic showed the importance of early arrangements to deal with emerging crises.  In addition, he maintained that sustainable mechanisms for support of regional efforts must be developed.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria), Council President, speaking in her national capacity, pointed to emerging threats including environmental hazards, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and terrorism to demonstrate the need for collective action to maintain global peace and security.  Regional organizations were now often the “first responders” to crises, and brought a deeper understanding of the dynamics on the ground.  ECOWAS was particularly active in security matters, among other organizations in her subregion, dealing with a range of issues from Ebola to Boko Haram.  Regional organizations also addressed forced displacement, food insecurity, the demobilization of child soldiers and other burdens on national Governments.  In meeting such challenges, those arrangements were also able to enlist the partnership of non-governmental organizations.  It was critical to ensure that comparative advantages of organizations were harnessed, as shown by the triangular cooperation among the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union.  Such bridges must continue to be built, in a world that was ravaged by crises.

BHAGWANT SINGH BISHNOI (India) supported the role of regional organizations in maintaining peace and security in strict accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, with the peaceful resolution of conflicts the priority.  He stressed, in that light, the Charter’s requirement of vicinity or geographical contiguity for operations of regional organizations, as well as the primacy of the United Nations in peace efforts.  “Talking of Africa, the United Nations cannot disengage with the continent by sub-contracting peacekeeping to regional arrangements,” he stated.  Impartiality of peacekeeping could be called into question, among other problems.  Troop-contributing countries should be invited to participate in relevant Council decisions, and information provided to the Council by regional organizations should be shared with Member States.  Noting that at least two thirds of the work of the Council related to Africa, he said that the lack of African representation among the Council’s permanent membership must be rectified.

MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said that in the Asia-Pacific region, a number of regional frameworks were being developed in a multi-layered manner that reflected the region’s diversities.  Those included ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting.  Japan advocated further strengthening of those frameworks and developing the East Asia Summit as the region’s premier forum.  Responsibility for addressing new challenges should be decided on a case-by-case basis, with United Nations involvement appropriate in some situations, as in Cambodia in the 1990s.  Regional frameworks could be more effective in combating piracy and other regionally scaled threats.  Efforts to ensure nuclear non-proliferation in East Asia were notable examples of a dual approach.  He pledged Japan’s continued endeavours to strengthen multilateral frameworks in a range of ways in the Asia-Pacific region.

JÖREN BJÄLLERSTEDT, Ambassador-at-large for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, said that to build stronger partnerships, a clear strategic vision was needed.  Mechanisms were required to ensure predictable funding for regional peacekeeping arrangements that were aligned with Charter’s Chapter VIII.  He advocated “a new partnership” between the United Nations and African Union that provided reliable support for the Union’s peace operations, while underlining that cooperation should be guided by the principles of burden-sharing and complementarity.  Partnerships must be forged on a common understanding of what each entity could do in a given situation, and on a realistic assessment of comparative advantages.  Conflict prevention and peacebuilding must “walk hand in hand”, characterized by strategic coordination and a robust early action system at global and regional levels.  The United Nations, African Union and subregional organizations should do better in conflict prevention, he said, noting the importance of the full inclusion of women in crisis prevention, management and resolution.

NICK WESTCOTT, Managing Director for Africa, External Action Service, European Union, said conflicts, threats and instability in the Union’s immediate and wider neighbourhood, together with longstanding and newly emerging security challenges, were significantly impacting European countries, as well as international peace and security.  Among the many new challenges, as envisaged in the European Union Security Strategy, there was a need to address in particular terrorism and foreign fighters, maritime security and organized crime, including the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings.  Further challenges were posed by irregular migration, climate change, ensuring energy security, cyber and space security.  Preventing conflicts and relapses, in line with international law, was a primary objective of the Union’s external action.  It had facilitated crucial agreements between Belgrade and Pristina in 2013, and last month, between the “E3+3” and Iran on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action contributing to a comprehensive, long-lasting and peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

Improved cooperation and coordination among regional organizations was a priority, he said.  The Union, in its latest European Union-Africa Summit in Brussels in 2014, had strongly supported the African aspiration and commitment to ensure peace, security and stability on the continent, including through its commitment to operationalize the multidimensional African Standby Force and to recognize the African Capacity for Immediate Responses to Crises.  The European Union also closely cooperated with regional organizations on its own continent.  For example, the focus most recently for the OSCE had been the conflict in Ukraine, where its Special Monitoring Mission was supported financially and materially by the European Union.  Turning finally to the tragic situation in the Mediterranean, where in April more than 800 migrants had died trying to cross into Europe, he said that the Union had decided to launch a naval operation, known as EUNAVFOR MED, with the mandate to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks.

ADONIA AYEBARE, Senior Adviser, Peacebuilding and Development, African Union, speaking on behalf of the Permanent Observer, Téte António, stated that the quest for peace and security remained the most pressing among the many challenges facing Africa.  The African Union had been making sustained efforts to strengthen its long-term capacity, especially since the 2003 Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the Union.  The Union was also working to operationalize the African Standby Force by the end of the year.  The lessons learned in Mali and Central African Republic had led to the establishment of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises, which would strengthen the speed and robustness of emergency response.  Further, various instruments aimed at preventing and combating terrorism had been adopted, in order to strengthen the relationship between intelligence and security services in Africa.

The Union, he added, was also addressing conflict resolution and, since 2002, had deployed a number of peace support operations in response to conflict situations, notably in Burundi, Darfur, Mali, Central African Republic, and Somalia.  The stabilization efforts carried out by those missions and the sacrifices made by their personnel had greatly paved the way for the United Nations missions that eventually took over.  The Union and its regional mechanisms had developed comprehensive architectures covering the whole range of security challenges facing the continent, including those related to governance deficits.  As recent experience showed, one of the greatest constraints faced by the Union and those regional mechanisms was the issue of flexible, sustainable, and predictable funding sources. He called on the Security Council to urgently find an appropriate solution for that.

GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighted the synergy between the regional and subregional initiatives to ensure complementarity and the added value of each process towards common goals, such as political stability, economic growth and social and cultural development.  Intensified consultations, cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations could contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Expressing support for efforts to strengthen African peacekeeping capabilities, he stressed the mutually reinforcing nature of peace and development. Recalling international, regional and national efforts aimed at advancing nuclear disarmament, he noted with appreciation the role of subregional organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America in increasing political, economic, social and cultural ties.  The Movement believed that peace and security, as well as economic and social development, could be achieved through effective cooperation among different regions.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy) said regional organizations could at times be better positioned to respond to emergencies or crises.  The Council should thus use its comparative advantage while assuring coherence in the response of the international community and avoiding duplications.  Three pillars made up the scheme of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations on security:  peacekeeping, accountability and peacebuilding.  Laying out several related challenges and concrete solutions, he said the international community must achieve coherence; create a common culture in the field through training and guidance; protect civilians and promote justice; ensure a comprehensive approach through coordinated support for the justice and security sector; and invest financial and political capital in conflict preventions.  In that vein, it was important that regional organizations strengthen the role of civil society, including through the promotion of human rights, support for the role of women, access to health care and justice.  Italy was on the forefront of developing sustainable solutions to deal with migration flows in the Mediterranean Sea.  Humanitarian interventions to save lives must be coupled with a comprehensive approach capable of addressing the root causes of migration.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) said the alarming rise in transnational and global security challenges called for closer cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.  Eighty per cent of blue helmets today were deployed in Africa and collaboration among the United Nations, African Union and European Union was at an all-time high.  While the benefits of United Nations cooperation with the vast range of regional structures were well known, it was important to enhance understanding of root causes of conflicts and draw on the insights of regional structures for prevention and peaceful settlement of local disputes, as well as of security challenges.  Kazakhstan, which was a member, observer or partner of 15 regional organizations, remained committed to greater coherence, complementarity, synergy and dynamism between the United Nations and regional organizations.

MARGARETA KASSANGANA-JAKUBOWSKA (Poland), associating with the European Union, said cooperation at the regional level could be very often the most effective way of addressing many challenges such as irregular migration, human trafficking and smuggling, internal conflicts, energy shortages or cybercrimes.  She stressed the need for developing closer cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in such fields as early warning, conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  Europe had the longest and largest experience in building collective security institutions at the regional level, she noted.  The crisis in Ukraine had brought one of the greatest challenges in the region, during which the OSCE showed a solid degree of efficiency and relevance.  Emphasizing the special role of that body in the de-escalation of conflict, she said not all members adequately supported efforts aimed at the success of the peace process.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) called for political will among global and regional Powers to use financial, scientific and organizational capabilities cooperatively and to “rise above their own narrow interests”.  Regional organizations could help address challenges — especially the economic and social dimensions — as well as promote closer political consultations required for addressing security dimensions.  While they could promote mediation, arbitration and other peaceful means to resolve conflict, the United Nations had primacy, as any enforcement action could only be authorized by the Council.  Each regional organization was unique:  some had proven their worth, such as the European Union, African Union and Arab League, while others, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), had yet to fulfil that promise.  The United Nations should promote cooperation with OIC in such areas as mediation, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and addressing the root causes of conflict.

NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam), speaking on behalf of ASEAN, said conflicts were taking new forms with the rise of extremist groups in control of large swaths of territories.  Comprehensive approaches, which should include a role for regional organizations, were required to achieve tailored and sustainable solutions to such challenges.  ASEAN had made significant progress under its political-security pillar.  For example, it was intensifying ongoing efforts of the States parties to the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and the nuclear-weapon States to resolve all outstanding issues.  Moving forward, regional organizations should work, as a priority, on consensus-building, sustained engagement, respect for the views of all parties and for the fundamental principles of international law.  Second, it should reflect on the role of regional organizations in the reviews of the United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture.  Third, through consultations and dialogue among regional organizations with the United Nations, best practices and expertise could be shared, and fourth, partnerships between the United Nations and a regional organization must build on the accurate understanding of each other’s nature, strengths and limitations.

MUHAMMAD ANSHOR (Indonesia), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement and ASEAN, said his Government had always underlined the value of regional and subregional entities in fostering peace through strong, regionally owned frameworks for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  Contemporary global security challenges demanded a creative approach from those actors, one that prioritized cooperation and incorporated the holistic nature of threats. That was a challenge for the United Nations, which must “sharpen” its responses to dynamic situations by reflecting regional and subregional views.  Indeed, regional groups were uniquely positioned to advise on peacemaking and peacebuilding, as their historic bonds afforded them insight into resolving conflict.  Urging ASEAN to be a “net contributor” to peace, development and prosperity, he said Indonesia had fostered consultations with regional and subregional actors, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and, in April, it had hosted the Asian African Conference.

EPHRAIM LESHALA MMINELE (South Africa) said that, despite the challenges faced by the African Union and subregional organizations such as the lack of predictable funding, they remained a “reservoir of critical knowledge” about the nature of conflicts in the continent, had distinctive comparative advantages in addressing conflicts in complex environments and often had the ability to deploy troops to conflict areas without delay.  Regional and subregional groups also had the distinct advantage of responding rapidly to conflicts, as was evident in various African-led support missions.  At the operational level, the United Nations Secretariat had supported the African Union’s Peace and Security Architecture through the implementation of the Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme.  Both organizations also benefited from the deployment of Joint Technical Assessment Missions.  An example of that cooperation was the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).  However, he said, it was crucial to be aware that central to the sustainability of peace initiatives were the principles of national ownership and the sovereignty of States that must be respected.

ÁLVARO CERIANI (Uruguay) said the international reality had seen profound and accelerated changes, which called for the world to act in a new and more coordinated manner.  The increase in threats and their transnational character meant that States must act together, because they did not have the capacity to face up to those threats individually.  Uruguay was a member of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which provided a platform for regional cooperation on the challenges facing the South American region.  The world was far from meeting the purposes and principles necessary for peace and development; it must work on conflict prevention, seeking to be innovative and to ensure democratic governance, constitutionality, the defence of territorial integrity of States and their right to development, among other things.  The work of UNASUR was based on the principle of democracy as a beacon guiding its efforts when dealing with intra- and inter-State conflicts.  It did not seek to create South American defence forces or a common defence policy, but had created a region of peace.

OH JOON (Republic of Korea) joined those speakers who had praised the “courageous insight” embedded in Chapter VIII of the Charter, which foretold the need for the organization to establish deeper cooperation with regional organizations.  Compared to 70 years ago, the international community was facing a vastly different set of security challenges and threats.  In coping with those challenges, regional organizations were increasingly playing an important role, including in such places as Somalia, Mali, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Burundi.  Furthermore, the successful response of the African Union to counter the Ebola epidemic in West Africa highlighted the convening power, political leverage and regional outreach of a regional organization that could swiftly bring together expertise from around the affected region.  The Republic of Korea was one of the co-sponsors of Council resolution 2167 (2014) and maintained the belief that it should serve as the guide for future relationships between the Council and the various organs of regional organizations.  In its own region, the country had put forward the idea of the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative, which sought to build consensus on softer, yet critical issues such as climate change, environment, disaster relief and nuclear safety, and to develop a habit of cooperation among regional players.

PAULINA MARÍA FRANCESCHI NAVARRO (Panama) recalled that in 2005, the number of migrants was an estimated 191 million, while remittances in 2012 had reached $406 billion.  In that context, peace and security were prerequisites for prosperity.  Conflict prevention, dialogue, mutual respect and education were the main instruments for fostering peace and security.  She highlighted regional entities’ role in fostering peace, noting that inequality and unmet needs hindered progress in her region.  The OAS had been a robust advocate of democracy, while the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) had supported United Nations’ efforts to stabilize Haiti; UNASUR had offered a platform for coordinating peace and security efforts.  There was no single model for cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional actors.  It was important to strengthen those entities with the tools, funding and expertise needed to implement solutions.  It was time to discuss Security Council reform, as the cost of not doing so was high.  In that context, Panama had proposed the creation of a 24-member Council, each with a three-year tenure and opportunity for consecutive election.

ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL (Morocco) recalled that the authors of the “Charter of San Francisco” had urged cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.  Morocco welcomed enhanced cooperation with such entities, in line with the Charter and Council resolutions.  It supported peaceful dispute settlement as outlined in the Charter’s Chapter VI, with the United Nations as the primary body to rule on issues of peace and security.  Close cooperation based on communication and coordination between the Council and regional and subregional organizations could foster peace and security, as those entities had proven their ability to contribute to those efforts, with their enhanced knowledge of a region’s socio-cultural aspects.  In Africa, subregional organizations were best placed when it came to political and social knowledge, as well as common experience.  Welcoming the scale and diversity of ECOWAS, he said other organizations, such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission, stood out for their efforts to combat terrorism.

GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said the potential for regional arrangements to confront regional security challenges should not be limited to peacekeeping.  Regional and subregional actors had achieved different levels of institutional development.  As such, the United Nations must respect those specificities and avoid the simple replication of practices.  The OAS was tasked with guaranteeing continental peace and security through peaceful means, which in extreme cases could lead to suspension of a member State whose Government had been overthrown by force.  More broadly, he praised the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) for mediating Burundi’s electoral crisis.  While the Council’s authority should not be outsourced to such bodies, contemporary challenges to global security would be better tackled if regional and subregional actors focused on issues in their respective areas.  He disagreed that regional actors should be more engaged as a means to achieving budget savings for the United Nations.  There would be cases, he added, where framing a certain challenge as a regional question would aggravate a situation.

Y. HALIT ÇEVIK (Turkey), associating with the European Union, said that, as today’s emerging challenges were not solely of a military nature, a broader combination of policies was required.  Regional organizations had a significant contribution to make in that regard.  Turkey had been actively taking part in the activities of regional organizations, including the European Union, OSCE, NATO, OIC, and others.  It had also strengthened its relations with regional organizations around the world.  In Africa, Turkey actively supported United Nations and African Union peace operations by providing funds and personnel.  In Asia, it was establishing more institutional ties with ASEAN and had enhanced its relations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner.  In Latin America, Turkey worked with the OAS, the Association of Caribbean States, the Central American Integration System and the Pacific Alliance, among others.

KAHA IMNADZE (Georgia), associating with the European Union, said that transnational terrorism and its new forms, such as the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, were posing growing asymmetric threats to regional and international organizations.  Still, the more “traditional” threats caused by expansionist and irredentist State actors remained at the core of regional and international instability.  The main problem was the unwillingness of some States to comply with commitments, rather than the imperfection of the regional security system itself.  The security architecture in Europe was being significantly challenged by Russia’s illegal military occupations of integral parts of its sovereign neighbours, Georgia and Ukraine.  OSCE participating States had failed to demonstrate enough resolve and unity at the first signs of erosion of the modern European security system — a lack of willingness to fulfil commitments undertaken during the OSCE Istanbul Summit of 1999.  That dangerous tendency eventually led to the full-scale aggression against Georgia in 2008 and the consequent ethnic cleansing.  Close cooperation between the United Nations and OSCE and other regional organizations and full exploitation of their potential in early warning, prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation was indispensable for maintenance of international peace and security.

MANSOUR AYYAD SH A ALOTAIBI (Kuwait), speaking on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, said terrorism and violent extremism were among the most serious threats to international peace and security.  Every country, regardless of its ethno-religious identity, geographical location, socio-economic conditions or political stance, was “more or less” susceptible to such threats.  Yet, there were differences within the international community on how to handle them.  For its part, OIC continued to work towards de-legitimizing violent extremist ideology, developing counter-narratives and providing appropriate pathways for vulnerable groups, especially young people and women.

He said OIC’s Ministerial Executive Committee had held an emergency session on 15 February to invigorate counter-terrorism actions, while on 5 May its General Secretariat had organized an expert workshop on countering that threat in cyberspace.  The United Nations and OIC continued joint work to counter incitement to terrorism and violent extremism.  The OIC had held a workshop in May 2013 on that topic, pursuant to Council resolution 1624 (2005).  It stood ready to work with the United Nations in conflict prevention, resolution, mediation, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and good governance, as well as in combating terrorism, extremism and religious intolerance and in promoting human rights.

NKOLOI NKOLOI (Botswana) said no single country was immune to or could counter new threats which came in different forms and manifestations.  The United Nations, in particular the Council, as the custodian of international peace and security, must continue to take exemplary leadership in addressing those threats.  It was imperative for the international community to work in unison and make concerted efforts towards maintaining peace and security.  In that context, he called on permanent Council members to refrain from the use of the veto especially in cases of genocide and atrocities.  Botswana, which just assumed the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), pledged to live by the values, traditions and culture of the organization as a cornerstone of regional cooperation.

OSAMA ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt) said the seventieth anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter was a chance to take stock of global efforts to face up to the world’s challenges.  Past experience had shown the comparative advantage of regional organizations, which played an important role in mediation and ending conflicts at an early stage.  In that regard, the African Union and subregional organizations on the continent had shown their commitment to peace and security while advocating for an “African solution” to problems facing the region.  Today’s challenges needed to be dealt with in a global manner, nationally and locally, and their deep-rooted causes must be addressed.  The role of regional and subregional organizations also played a role in economic collective strategies for sustainable development.  The partnership between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations must be strengthened through a joint strategy.

RODOLFO REYES RODRÍGUEZ (Cuba), joining with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that ensuring peace and security was the responsibility of the Security Council and all United Nations Member States.  The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) had established the region as a zone of peace; it was a tangible example of how regional integration could lead to an ongoing dialogue and work towards the mutually inclusive development of its member States.  In regional organizations, consensus must be defended at all costs in order to eliminate the chance of unilateral actions.  In that vein, reform of the Security Council was urgently needed to make it more transparent and democratic.  A common view of the threats facing the world was needed, he said, calling for the total elimination of all nuclear weapons.  Finally, there could be no international peace and security if there was no common understanding of what constituted terrorism.  There was no “good” or “bad” terrorism and double standards must be avoided.

VOLODYMYR MIALKOVSKYI (Ukraine), aligning himself with the European Union, said that it would soon be a year and a half since Ukraine had become subject to aggression by the Russian Federation.  The OSCE contribution had been an important part of the international community’s response to the threats stemming from that aggression.  Indeed, Ukraine fully supported the OSCE Monitoring Mission’s work, especially that which related to monitoring and verification under the Minsk agreements.  He regretted that despite significant international efforts, the situation on the ground remained tense and volatile, with casualties among Ukrainian servicemen and civilians on the rise due to the surge of activity of the Russia-backed militants.  In that context, the capacity of the OSCE Monitoring Mission should be strengthened including by increasing cooperation with the United Nations.  In addition, the European Union Common Security Defence Policy crises management operation could be one solution, allowing not only for the maintenance of peace and security, but also for the facilitation of political processes, the protection of civilians and human rights and assisting in restoring the rule of law.

ZOHRAB MNATSAKANYAN (Armenia) said his country, as a member of numerous regional organizations including the OSCE and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, benefited strongly from the institutional strength and effectiveness of the European regional and subregional landscape of cooperation.  In its national context, peaceful resolution of conflicts on the basis of norms and principles of international law were of specific significance given the ongoing negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the internationally supported format of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship.  That format was by far the most effective one due to its capacity to sustain focus on a compromise solution, defuse tensions and to prevent escalation.  Consolidated support to those negotiations by the international community, including the Security Council and the United Nations Secretary-General, was critical to deflecting attempts to pursue “mediation shopping” and lopsided, often highly biased interpretations of the causes and consequences of the conflict.  He went on to describe Armenia’s commitment to United Nations peacekeeping and to its work within all regional and subregional organization to which it was a member, or with which it had close cooperation.

KAREL J.G. VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), associating with the European Union, urged the United Nations to adopt a more outward-oriented focus in addressing conflicts.  Challenges could only be addressed through stronger partnerships, whether among international, regional and subregional organizations, or Governments and civil society, business communities and development organizations.  Regional and subregional actors were well positioned to understand the root causes of conflict, as they were aware early on about the emergence of crises.  In Africa, the Peace and Security Council had proven to be a key force behind action by the African Union, whose missions had been increasingly deployed ahead of United Nations operations.  In political processes, subregional actors were often best placed to steer countries towards peace.  Peacebuilding must be included in the planning of every mission and part of a vision for peace, justice and sustainable development.

DENIS RÉGIS (Haiti), noting expanding and evolving threats to international peace and security, said that the place of regional organizations in addressing them had often been ambiguous and badly defined.  However, such organizations remained essential.  Due to national interests, the Council was frequently constrained from urgent intervention in emerging conflicts and in such cases regional organizations could often provide early assistance to the peaceful settlement of disputes.  Regional organizations could better integrate peacebuilding with efforts to address root causes of conflict, such as extreme poverty.  International assistance was an essential element of such activities in the case of vulnerable countries.

DUNCAN LAKI MUHUMUZA (Uganda) said that regional and subregional organizations were at the centre of promoting cooperation and integration in such areas as trade and investment and infrastructure development, and, in the case of his country, agriculture, energy, water, security, and fostering of private-sector partnerships.  The concept of a United Nations-supported regional force, like the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), was simply an evolving construct.  Further challenges to global security included the issue of resources for regional organizations.  In the past, the Security Council had hesitated to provide the degree of practical and material support in the peacekeeping context that the African Union Peace and Security Council had requested.  That was a major area where consistency and predictability were required for regional partnerships to be successful.  The peace dividend from joint efforts within the AMISOM family could not be overstated.  Some businesses were flourishing in Mogadishu and investors had confidence to venture into Somalia.  Even though Africa seemed to have the greatest security challenges, it was also the place where a partnership had the highest potential to make an impact.

THOMAS ADOUMASSE (Benin), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said regional organizations were key instruments for confronting contemporary security challenges, with the Charter tasking them with first response in certain situations.  Several regional organizations had acquired competence in that regard.  The role of regional and subregional organizations must be considered when tackling such challenges as terrorism and violent extremism.  Cooperation between the United Nations and African Union had “proven its worth”, allowing AMISOM and UNAMID to register remarkable progress, especially in dealing with Al-Shabaab.  Greater cohesion in action had been achieved through regular consultations between the Security Council and African Union Peace and Security Council, amid more flexible use of the Charter’s Chapter VIII.  It was important to address pending issues.  The European Union was in the forefront of cooperating with regional and subregional organizations, especially in settling conflict and creating the conditions for peace and security.

For information media. Not an official record.