|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
From Transnational Threats to Peace, Security across Diverse Agenda of Challenges,
‘UN-OSCE Partnership Indispensable’, Says Secretary-General in Message
Following is UN Secretary-General’s message, as delivered by B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, to the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in Vilnius, Lithuania, 7 December:
I wish to convey my best wishes to the Ministerial Council of the OSCE. Secretary-General [Lamberto] Zannier, it is a pleasure to have a former United Nations Special Representative now leading this vitally important organization. You provided vision, leadership and expertise during your time with the United Nations, and I am confident that these same qualities will allow us to further deepen our partnership with the OSCE.
United Nations-OSCE relations are built on shared principles and values, and on the conviction that security requires a comprehensive international approach. I see two areas where there is promising scope for strengthening our partnership in practical terms.
First, addressing threats to peace and security. Regional actors are often better positioned to detect potential crises early and to mobilize coordinated international responses. They have unique influence on, leverage over and access to crisis situations in their respective regions. That is why, over the past five years, the United Nations has strengthened or established conflict prevention and mediation partnerships with the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of American States, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of Islamic Conference and others — including, of course, the OSCE.
These partnerships have taken different shapes: in some cases, the United Nations plays a lead role; in others, a supporting role. There have been sequential deployments, as well as joint operations. Whatever the form, such cooperation can share burdens, strengthen our responses and reinforce the messages we want to convey to the relevant actors. Our work with the OSCE in Kyrgyzstan was a very good example of the benefits of well-coordinated action.
The United Nations looks forward to exploring what more we can do together, including through our Mediation Support Unit. We have a stand-by team of experts ready to assist Member States, regional and subregional organizations and relevant partners in all critical areas, including process design, power-sharing, constitutions, security arrangements, natural resources and gender and inclusivity.
The second area where we can and must strengthen our cooperation is in confronting transnational threats. Last month, under the presidency of Portugal, the Security Council called for regional and multidisciplinary cooperation to tackle threats such as organized crime, pandemics, terrorism and the effects of climate change.
Just days ago, many of you attended the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, as did I. We are all aware that transnational threats pose a major obstacle to our work with the Afghan people to chart a better future for the country. Today in Vienna, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will launch its “Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries”, which establishes a framework for further cooperation through 2014, and offers a concrete vehicle for pursuing the wider regional political objective of enhanced confidence and trust.
On terrorism, the United Nations system remains committed to furthering our partnership, including through the coordinated efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, to implement measures foreseen under the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, including the support to victims of terrorism and the development of public-private partnerships.
From transnational threats to peace and security and across a diverse agenda of regional and global challenges, the partnership between the United Nations and the OSCE is indispensable. I am very encouraged by your strong commitment to stability and progress in the area under your purview, from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The United Nations will continue to be your close partner in pursuit of a safer, more equitable and more sustainable world for all. Please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting.
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