New York

06 August 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at Security Council meeting on Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Sub-Regional Organizations in the Maintenance of Peace and Security

I thank President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and the Government of Argentina for scheduling this important debate.

The architects of the United Nations Charter were visionary in foreseeing a world where the United Nations and regional organizations worked together to prevent, manage and resolve crises.  

However, it is hard to imagine that they could have anticipated the inter-connected nature of the threats we face today, or the range of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations.

Chapter VIII is as relevant today as ever.

Many regional and sub-regional organizations have long histories of engagement in conflict prevention and mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  Others are becoming increasingly active in these fields.

As Secretary-General, I have seen first-hand the value of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations across the globe.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, we have a long history of partnership, including deploying joint missions with the Organization of American States.

Today we work together in a range of areas from mediation and dialogue to combating illicit trafficking.

I welcome the emergence of CELAC and UNASUR, and their contributions to both peace and security and sustainable development on the continent. 

I was pleased to participate in the seventh UN-CARICOM General Meeting last month to discuss ways to address climate change, sustainable development and transnational organized crime.

In Africa, we cooperate closely with the African Union and sub-regional economic communities.

Through our joint peacekeeping and mediation efforts in Darfur, the AU and the UN remain committed to facilitating a comprehensive and inclusive settlement to the conflict.

In Somalia, we have worked hand-in-hand with AMISOM and have assisted Somali partners to successfully conclude an eight year political transition.

Collaboration with ECOWAS and the AU was essential to our response in Côte d’Ivoire, and is central to our efforts in Mali.

Here, the early deployment of AFISMA, combined with ECOWAS-led mediation efforts in the North, have laid the foundations for the peace process.

The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- supported by 11 African leaders, the AU, the Southern African Development Community, the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region and the United Nations -- represents the best opportunity for years for forging a durable peace.

In the Middle East and North Africa, the United Nations and the League of Arab States are working to support inclusive political processes in Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen.

And we continue to search for a political solution to the crisis in Syria, including through the deployment of our joint envoy, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi.

Regular joint consultations between the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations continue to create important opportunities for mutual cooperation, including promoting peacebuilding, reconciliation and political reform in Myanmar, and preventive diplomacy in Mindanao.

We also work closely with our European partners.  Cooperation with the European Union is geographically and substantively wide-ranging.

In recent years, we have strengthened collaboration in the Middle East, Somalia, Mali and elsewhere.

The EU is a champion of the UN’s work in mediation and recently facilitated a historic agreement between Pristina and Belgrade.

With the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, we partner to advance human rights, confidence-building, counter-terrorism and disarmament in southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. 

Of course, we sometimes face challenges when working together.

Our organizations do not always have the same approach to a given crisis.

Our diverse mandates and membership can lead to different perspectives.

This debate is a welcome opportunity to explore the nature of these challenges and consider how to improve cooperation.

I strongly believe in the combined value of our respective strengths.

Regional and sub-regional organizations have deep knowledge, unique insights and strong local networks.

These elements are critical for mediation, planning a peacekeeping operation or helping a country to build lasting peace.

To this equation, the United Nations adds its universal membership and legitimacy, long experience and operational capacity in the area of international peace and security.

Through concrete initiatives, we are building on our collective strengths.

In some cases we have established formal partnership agreements and work-plans, which guide day-to-day collaboration.

Staff exchanges have created networks that help us respond to evolving situations on the ground.

Joint mediation deployments, training and capacity-building have enabled us to build common understanding and present a united front.

However, there is always room for improvement. 

We are better at sharing information and analysis on brewing crises, but we have to work harder on swift response and long-term prevention.

We need to learn from the lessons of our collaborations to build ever more innovative and flexible partnership arrangements that draw on our respective strengths.

Let us also consider how to expand cooperation and dialogue with a broader range of organizations in the pursuit of international peace and security. 

Only through cooperation will we meet our shared aspirations for a more peaceful world. 

Thank you.