Cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organizations
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING – COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS AND REGIONAL AND SUB- REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (EUROPEAN UNION)
I thank Mr. Joseph Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Council for his briefing and the highlights he gave on the security concerns of the European Union as well as the strategic and policy approaches the EU is pursuing in response to existing and other emerging threats. The cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union (EU) has always been an important and reinforcing factor for our shared aspirations for global peace and security.
The partnership, framed by Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, affirms the agency of regional bodies in the maintenance of international peace and security As the continent of Europe faces the worst security and geopolitical crises in recent times, it is important that the channels of cooperation must be strengthened to help overcome prevailing challenges. Since the Security Council’s last consideration of this agenda item eight months ago, the security situation in Europe and across the world has rapidly deteriorated, with many conflict situations showing signs of possible escalation.
The year-long aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation has spurned new crises and aggravated many others. Apart from the humanitarian burden on neighbouring countries where millions of Ukrainians have sought refuge from the war, the energy crises and elevated high-costs of living, threaten social and political stability in many parts of Europe. The measures being implemented to protect the European economy from high gas prices and disruptions to energy supply in the region would help to alleviate the burden of the war. We encourage the continued support of the European Union in addressing the humanitarian aspects of the war.
Since the onset of the war, the European Union has taken a strong and principled position against the Russian Federation’s aggressive acts towards Ukraine and has been supportive of Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The war however raises for Europe, serious considerations about the collective security mechanisms and how they may be strengthened for all. We encourage closer cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union towards the immediate de-escalation of tensions and cessation of hostilities. We encourage the EU as a regional force and key actor of the collective security of Europe to foster, through dialogue, the peaceful and comprehensive resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. We stress that, of necessity, peace in Ukraine must be founded on international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
As the war in Ukraine takes centre stage in international affairs, it is vital not to lose sight of other seething situations which could further plunder conditions on the continent. We wish in that regard to highlight the following:
a) First, averting a renewed war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is critical to avoid the bloodshed and destruction that accompanied the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and the intermittent border clashes between the two countries. We consider the establishment of the civilian European Union Mission in Armenia as an important contribution to stability and building trust between the two sides and welcome the European Union’s commitment to support de-escalation and the acceleration of key actions including border demarcation and normalization efforts.
b) In respect of the Cyprus problem, we remain concerned by the current political stalemate. We urge the continued support of the European Union for a comprehensive settlement of the dispute on the basis of Security Council resolutions. Our combined efforts must, at present, be geared towards building confidence to open up channels of cooperation between the two Cypriot communities and pave the way for much needed political dialogue.
c) In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the joint efforts of the UN and the EU through the Security Council’s renewal of the mandate for the EUFOR-Althea has been an important contributor to maintain a safe and secure environment. While progress towards EU integration has been slow, it remains important as a strategic approach in ensuring lasting peace in the country and within the Eurasia region.
The support of the European Union in strengthening the African Peace and Security Architecture remains a critical contribution to maintaining longterm peace and security on the continent as well as globally. We welcome ongoing capacity building and technical assistance missions that are helping to adapt responses to the changing security landscape in Africa. We urge in this regard, enhanced support for regional-led peace and security initiatives through the provision of adequate, predictable and sustainable funding, including the use of assessed contributions of the United Nations. In Somalia for instance, the European Union’s continuous support for ATMIS and the effective implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan remains crucial, even as we note the funding shortfall for the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). We recognize the European Union’s contribution to humanitarian needs arising in areas of conflict, particularly in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria and Yemen. We also welcome the EU’s mobilizations in aid of communities affected by the recent earthquakes that struck parts of Syria and Turkey earlier this month.
In closing, let me take the opportunity of this meeting to reiterate the importance of regional and sub-regional organizations for collective security, beyond their regional space. While the war in Ukraine is taking place on the continent of Europe, the stalemate it has created in the Security Council is complicating our efforts in Africa to defeat terrorists and violent extremists and achieve the Africa We Want. It is equally not lost on people all over the world that the ramifications of the war in Europe continues to poison relations among States, undermining our ability as the United Nations to address the multiple sustainable development crises we face, and respond to the aspirations of our people everywhere.
The European Union has shown deep commitment and leadership in deepening cooperation at all levels, for the achievement of global goals, including international peace and security. We encourage the European Union to strive to do more and urge the United Nations to look at further strengthening the cooperation with the EU as we work towards restoring the unity of purpose and effectiveness of our United Nations.
I thank you for your kind attention