Thank you Mr. President. Let me convey our sincere condolences for the loss of life, injuries and destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti. Let me also express our deep concern for the troops and staff of MINUSTAH that are still missing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected, and we stand ready to assist people of Haiti.
Mr. President, the United States would like to express its appreciation to you for organizing this important and timely debate. We also welcome the Secretary-General’s initiative to convene earlier this week a meeting of regional organizations to advance dialogue and cooperation. We thank the representatives of the organizations here today for their comments and for their contributions to the maintenance of peace and security.
Mr. President, we share the goals set forth in the draft Presidential Statement prepared by China – namely to promote greater cooperation between regional and subregional organizations and the United Nations. While the primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security remains with the Security Council, regional and sub-regional organizations play an important role in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. This role is clearly spelled out in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and its importance has been emphasized in various Council resolutions and Presidential Statements.
With this in mind, I would like to make four points.
First, regional organizations have unique perspectives and local understanding of conflicts, cultural norms, and security challenges within their region. This knowledge often gives them a comparative advantage in the prevention or resolution of conflicts. In many cases they also have enormous influence over parties in a dispute.
The United States is a proud member of three of the organizations represented here today – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Organization of American States. We contribute to NATO operations that provide security and stability in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and that combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. We also work closely with the participating States of the OSCE, an organization that strives to prevent, mediate, and resolve conflict situations in an area that stretches from Vancouver to Vladivostok.
The OAS is the oldest regional organization, predating the United Nations, and its leadership in the Western Hemisphere is renowned. OAS’s leadership has been critical in supporting stability in Haiti and in peacefully restoring the democratic constitutional order in Honduras.
Mr. President, let me say a word about the European Union, a critical partner in managing crises in Europe and beyond. The United States congratulates the European Union on implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, which will enable it to be an even stronger partner.
My second point Mr. President, is that it is in the UN’s interest to work with regional and sub-regional organizations to prevent conflicts or to resolve them once they occur. The United States welcomes the cooperation among the UN, AU, and ECOWAS in managing the recent crisis in Guinea, including in the work of the UN Commission of Inquiry.
We welcome ASEAN’s growing role in Southeast Asia and the steps it has taken to confront the challenge Burma poses to the organization and to the international community. And as Burma prepares for elections this year, the first since 1990, it will be important for the UN and ASEAN to press for internal political dialogue as a step towards credible elections.
And we applaud the cooperation between the UN and the African Union, particularly the AU-UN Hybrid Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur and the UN support for the AU’s peacekeeping force in Somalia.
Third, Mr. President, we support UN efforts to strengthen the capacity of regional organizations to maintain peace and security, particularly in the area of peacekeeping. In this respect, we will continue to support efforts to enhance the African Union's capacity to plan, manage and sustain peacekeeping operations, as well as efforts underway to enhance strategic ties between the United Nations Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council.
The U.S. will also remain a major bilateral contributor to African peace operations and to training and equipping initiatives.
Finally, we encourage regional and subregional organizations to help ensure the effective implementation of recent UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, on children and armed conflict, and on the protection of civilians. We also encourage them to play a greater role in peacebuilding efforts.
Mr. President, our discussion today highlights the existing cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in addressing crises. The United States welcomes further discussions and actions to deepen this cooperation. Thank you Mr. President.
This site is managed by U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City and the Bureau of Public Affairs in Washington, DC. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.