Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Security Council Briefing on Cooperation Between the UN and Regional/Subregional Organizations

Ertuğrul Apakan 04.05.2010
Mr. President,

I would first like to thank you for organizing this meeting with H.E. Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The European Union plays an increasingly important role in contributing to international peace and security and thus we very much appreciate the opportunity to exchange views on issues of common interest.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to H.E. Catherine Ashton on her first visit to the Security Council in her new capacity and thank her for the comprehensive briefing she has just provided.

Let me also welcome H.E. Micheal Spindelegger, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria.

Mr. President,

As called for in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, effective cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations is of crucial significance in maintaining international peace and security.

In today's security environment, where the UN alone is not capable of dealing with the multifaceted and complex challenges threatening international peace and stability, the need for strong and effective partners at the regional level becomes even more acute.

The EU, in this regard, is certainly one of the major partners of the UN, supporting our shared objectives and filling an important gap. Ms. Ashton's briefing today, touching upon a wide range of such issues which the UN and the EU cooperate closely, is in itself a testimony of this fact.

Indeed, the scope of the EU's cooperation with the UN in the field of peace and security spanning from Africa to Latin America is extremely broad and multi-dimensional. It goes certainly beyond peacekeeping and addresses the entire spectrum of peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace-building, as well as the critical linkages between these separate but inseparable processes.

In today's world where security is no longer defined in military terms alone, this is particularly true thanks to the political, diplomatic, economic and social tools available to the EU. It is through this wide range of instruments of soft and hard power that the EU has been making valuable contributions to the work of the UN in the fields of conflict-prevention, crisis management, mediation, humanitarian assistance and long-term development.

The unique level of integration among the EU members and the breadth of its multifaceted engagement in international relations ranging from climate change to arms control present us with many valuable opportunities for a mutually beneficial cooperation.

We also believe that the institutional consolidation brought about with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty will render the EU an even stronger partner of the UN in all these fields.

In this regard, as a member of the Security Council, and at the same time, as a negotiating candidate country on its way to full membership to the EU, Turkey particularly welcomes the EU's increasing contributions to international peace and security, as well as its keen interest to do so in cooperation with the UN.

Turkey, on its part, actively participates in the EU's peace and security efforts. In this context, let me point out that Turkey has so far contributed through its military, police and civilian capabilities to the peacekeeping efforts of the EU in Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Congo, Palestine and Kosovo. In terms of the number of EU operations participated in and the level of the military and civilian contribution provided for each EU operation, Turkey enjoys a prominent place.

But, more importantly, the political dialogue between Turkey and the EU on issues related to our immediate neighbourhood and beyond proves to be an even more valuable tool of conflict-prevention and mediation, which serves the interests of the entire international community. In this context, it is my sincere belief that the continued enlargement of the EU on the basis of common values and principles will also expand the space of peace, prosperity and security in an area of great importance to global stability.

Thank you.