Cooperation between UN and Regional / Subregional Organizations

-- 13.01.2010
Mr. President,

At the outset, allow me to express our heartfelt condolences for those who lost their lives in the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday. At this difficult hour, our hearts and prayers are with the people of Haiti, as well as the men and women serving under the UN flag in this country. Turkey is among the countries which swiftly embarked upon providing emergency relief assistance to Haiti, and we will continue to do our utmost in order to alleviate the sufferings of the Haitian people.

Mr. President,

I would like to commend you for taking the initiative to organize this important debate. Indeed, as called for in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, effective cooperation between the UN and the regional and sub-regional organizations is of crucial significance in maintaining international peace and security. Thus, I very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue in the Council, in dialogue with some of the most prominent regional organizations.

In this vein, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the distinguished representatives of the organizations that are with us today and thank them for their most valuable briefings and contributions. Their high-level presence stands as a testimony to our shared objectives and joint commitment to advance peace and security in every part of the world.

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the Secretary-General, whose dedication to enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organization is most commendable. I also thank him for organizing the retreat meeting earlier this week which in a way prepared the ground for today's debate and provided important perspectives to our discussion.

Mr. President,

The issue at hand is not new in the Council's agenda. In fact, there have been numerous Council discussions on this particular item in the past few years. However, today's debate stands out with its broad representation by the regional organizations. Indeed, in less than two hours, we covered the entire globe from various regional viewpoints and benefited from the insightful perspectives that could only come from such a distinguished panel of regional bodies.

Besides, the decision, this time, to listen to our counterparts before we make our own remarks has also proven to be a very wise one. Because, the organizations represented here today are the ones which deal on a day-to-day basis with the problems of their regions and make the real difference on the ground through their active involvement. In other words, there is a lot we need to learn from them while delivering our responsibilities in the Council. And this is why their views and recommendations, which are of a very practical nature, provide an excellent basis for our deliberations today and in the future.

Mr. President,

This new order of speakers also allows me to be very brief. Indeed, given the scope, breadth and quality of the interventions made so far, I do not have to dwell on the issue at length. Suffice me to say that we agree with the thrust of each and every presentation made today by the esteemed representatives of the regional organizations. We welcome in particular their keen interest to work with the UN and further strengthen their cooperation with us.

The challenge for us now is to build upon this renewed commitment; explore new and practical schemes of enhanced cooperation; and put in place the mechanisms that will effectively reflect the spirit of partnership that prevails in this room today. If and when we succeed in doing so, it will certainly cerate a win-win situation for both the UN and our regional counterparts, but above all for global peace and security.

After all, we have to accept that in today's security environment, laden with multifaceted and complex challenges, the UN is not capable to deal with all the problems threatening international peace and security. Given the importance of addressing the conflicts at their core, we need strong and effective partners at regional level. This, in turn, requires a genuine collaboration with such organizations, including regular consultations, exchange of experience and best practices, as well as assistance for capacity building when necessary.

This is particularly the case for peacekeeping and peacebuilding endeavors, where the UN is increasingly stretched. Indeed, any contribution by the regional organizations in this area is of great importance not only for burden-sharing purposes but also to ensure regional ownership, which often proves to be the best guarantee to sustain peace and stability. And in this regard, we are particularly grateful to organizations such as NATO, EU and the African Union for their determined efforts and exemplary commitment. We cannot emphasize the need to further enhance UN's cooperation with these organizations in the area of peacekeeping and related activities.

That said, the scope of the UN's cooperation with regional and subregional organizations goes much beyond peacekeeping. Indeed, conflict-prevention through early warning, political mediation, cooperative interaction and confidence building are as important as peacekeeping, if not more. This is also where regional organizations are at their best with their innate understanding of the root causes of conflicts, as well as of the dynamics at play among different parties.

Here I would like to pay a special tribute to such endeavors of all the invited organizations, and notably to those of the Arab League and the OSCE in Turkey's immediate neighborhood. Of course, the Organization of Islamic Conference, whose membership spans four different continents, has a particularly unique role in solidifying the foundation of global peace and creating a better understanding between different cultures and religions. As pointed out by Secretary-General. İhsanoğlu, OIC's active involvement in many issues of common interest, ranging from Iraq to Somalia and Afghanistan, or from counter-terrorism to peacebuilding, makes this organization an integral part of the solutions we are collectively seeking in the UN.

Taking this opportunity, I would also like to thank the Presidency for extending an invitation to CICA-Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building in Asia-whose Executive Director was unfortunately not able to make it here today due to a conflict of scheduling. That said, Turkey is the upcoming Chairman of CICA, and in this capacity I assure you of CICA's firm dedication to upholding peace and security in Asia in cooperation with the UN. CICA is a rather newcomer to the family of regional organizations, but given its broad membership which covers almost ninety percent of the continent, as well as its track record in building confidence and cooperation among its members, it holds a great potential to advance our common goals.

Mr. President,

In concluding, allow me to express Turkey's sincere commitment to exert every effort with a view to further advancing the cooperation between the UN and the regional and subregional organizations. Turkey is a full member to four of the invited organizations today and enjoys very special relations with the rest. As such, we will be pushing from both ends to bring about a truly effective collaboration between the UN and these organizations in pursuit of our common objectives and principles. It is also in the same spirit that we fully support the draft PRST prepared by China.

Thank you.