Statement by H.E. Mr. Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, on Cooperation Between the United Nations and Regional and Subregional Organizations in Maintaining International Peace and Security at the United Nations Security Council

Halit Çevik 06.08.2013
Madam President,

At the outset, allow me to congratulate Argentine for assuming Presidency of the Security Council this month. I would also like to express our appreciation for scheduling this important debate. I thank the Secretary-General and the representatives of the regional organizations for their statements.

As encouraged 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. Although the primary responsibility remains with the Security Council, regional and sub-regional organizations play an important role in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in their respective regions. This role is clearly spelled out in the Charter, and its importance has been emphasized in various Council resolutions and Presidential Statements.

Today's debate, however, is highly noticeable with broad participation by the regional organizations; and timely since the issue at hand is being discussed in the Security Council after 3 years. We welcome the regional organizations’ keen interest to work with the UN and further strengthen their cooperation. We wish the Security Council would seize this opportunity to benefit from the insightful perspectives from various regional viewpoints, so that we can move forward together in better facing the urgent challenges that confront us all.

Building upon this renewed commitment reflected by the recent Presidential Statement; we should explore new and practical patterns of enhanced cooperation; and introduce the necessary mechanisms for their implementation.

After all, in today's volatile security environment, laden with multidimensional and complex challenges, the UN solely is not capable of dealing with all the problems threatening international peace and security. Addressing the conflicts at their core entails strong and influential regional partners.

This is particularly the case for peacekeeping and peacebuilding endeavors. Indeed, any contribution by the regional organizations in these areas 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, the OIC, League of Arab States, the African Union and the EU for their determined efforts and exemplary commitment.

Furthermore, the UN's cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations should not be limited to peacekeeping efforts. Indeed, conflict-prevention through early warning, political mediation, cooperative interaction, confidence building, post-conflict peacebuilding, reconstruction and protection of civilians including women and children are as central as peacekeeping. Regional organizations have unique perspectives and local understanding of conflicts, cultural norms, and security challenges within their region, which grants them a comparative advantage.

In this context, regional organizations make a growing contribution to effectively complement the work of the United Nations in the prevention or resolution of conflicts, including through mediation. Turkey, as the co-chair of the Group of Friends of Mediation along with Finland and its 45 members, recognize the key role these organizations play in the field of mediation. Therefore, Turkey welcomes the collaboration between the Secretariats of the UN and the regional organizations in mediation, specifically in capacity building, which presents a concrete example of their fruitful interaction. The technical assistance provided by the Mediation Support Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs to such organizations has contributed to enhancing their capacities in this area of utmost importance.

Madam President,

We believe that cooperation between UN and the regional organizations could be closer to accommodate regional views in various UN circles. Such collaboration needs to be practical, result-oriented and based upon the exigencies of the issue at hand.
Turkey either is a proud member of or has observer status in many of the organizations represented here today. Furthermore, we firmly support UN’s policy of intensified engagement with regional organizations, including the OSCE, OIC, CICA, League of Arab States, ASEAN, BSEC, Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), CELAC, UNASUR, and the Organization of American States (OAS).

We applaud the cooperation between the UN and the African Union, bearing in mind that two thirds (2/3) of the work of the Security Council is on issues related to Africa. We commend the remarkable efforts of the African Union and sub-regional organizations including ECOWAS, ECCAS, IGAD, SADC and ICGLR in ensuring peace, security and stability throughout the continent.

The Organization of Islamic Conference, who has members from four different continents, plays a particularly unique role in consolidating the foundation of global peace and creating a better understanding between different cultures and religions.

Before I conclude, I would like to express Turkey's earnest commitment to exert every effort with a view to further advancing the cooperation between the UN and the regional and subregional organizations. It is also in the same spirit that we fully support the draft PRST prepared by Argentina.

Thank you.