STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. KENZO OSHIMA
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE PUBLIC MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS
AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN MAINTAINING
INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY
17 October 2005
We thank the Romanian presidency for its timely initiative to convene a meeting once again, as a follow-up to the previous one held under its presidency in July 2004, to focus the Council’s attention on the important question of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security. We also appreciate the presence of the honorable Foreign Minister, to preside over this important session in person.
My delegation welcomes as well the participation in this debate of regional and sub-regional organizations representing different parts of the world, which are actively involved in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and in promoting cooperation with the UN. We enormously benefit from their comments, ideas and proposals. I welcome in particular the participation today of the important sub-regional organization from our part of the world. I refer to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which plays a vital role in promoting cooperation, harmony and resilience in the region, for economic and social development as well as in political and security-related areas, such as, in recent years, on counter-terrorism and fighting piracy.
As is widely acknowledged, regional organizations are playing an increasingly important role in the prevention, resolution and management of conflicts, including addressing their root causes. This is a very welcome development which deserves our full encouragement and support. The 2005 World Summit Outcome just did that by supporting a stronger relationship between the UN and regional organizations, including through increased involvement of regional organizations in the work of the Security Council and enhanced support for capacity-building at the regional level.
We note in particular, and applaud, the increasingly active and effective role in the prevention of conflict and political mediation played by the African Union. We welcome the political commitment and the increasing sense of regional ownership with which the AU and Africa’s sub-regional organizations have engaged in peace processes in a number of serious situations in the continent. Just this month, for example, the AU Peace and Security Council gave impetus to the peace process in Cote d’Ivoire. The AU is also engaged in the Darfur peacekeeping on the ground and peace negotiations in Abuja. In addition, ECOWAS and other sub-regional organizations are making efforts for prevention of deadly conflicts in Africa, and we pay high tribute to them.
These welcome efforts made by regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa and elsewhere, should be supported or complemented, where necessary, by the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular. To this end, the interaction and cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations needs to be strengthened, and concrete ways should be developed to facilitate this.
We support, for example, creating more opportunities for heads of regional and sub-regional organizations to brief the Security Council on their activities as they relate to the maintenance of peace and security. Likewise, meetings between the representatives of regional organizations and Security Council members during the latter’s field missions are useful ways to strengthen the needed interaction and cooperation.
More specifically, we note and welcome the growing role of regional organizations in peacekeeping operations, particularly in Africa, where they are most numerous. We believe that promoting further cooperation and creating partnership between regional organizations and the UN in the area of peacekeeping is a desirable and feasible goal that should be actively pursued. To this end, several issues will need to be considered.
First, the capacity for rapid deployment of PKO personnel to meet the emergency requirements has always been a challenge. To better cope with this challenge, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has been advocating for some time the idea of a strategic reserve of peacekeepers that can be relied upon for rapid deployment once a peacekeeping mission is established. This interesting proposal is still under discussion, with many questions yet to be resolved. The Outcome Document by world leaders also talked about the idea of “rapidly deployable capacities”.
In developing such a rapid deployment capacity, regional organizations can play a useful role, and in fact some organizations, the EU for example, have developed such a capacity. Other regional organizations can follow, if necessary, with the assistance of the donor community, for the provision of training, equipment and other capacity-building assistance to the troop-contributing members of regional organizations, such as the standby force of the African Union.
Secondly, more generally in the area of peace operations, more effective cooperation and partnership between the UN and regional organizations that are engaged in peace operations is desirable. While the role of regional organizations in peace operations has been growing, their capacities for sustainable operations, particularly in developing regions of the world, are often limited. The UN can play a useful supporting or facilitating role in order to strengthen the sustainability of peace operations conducted by regional organizations, particularly when the operations in question are authorized by the Security Council.
To this end, various forms of support can be considered, ranging from UN assistance in military planning, such as that now being provided to the AU Mission in the Sudan, to support in areas where regional organizations and their member states face difficulties, including transport, logistics and engineering.
Before closing, let me state that we believe there is an important role in the proposed Peacebuilding Commission for regional organizations, and we strongly support the participation of regional organizations, as appropriate, in the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission.
Today’s discussion is timely and provides an important opportunity to take stock of the current state of affairs and consider the future course of action in meeting the challenges of enhancing cooperation and coordination between regional organizations and the United Nations, particularly the Security Council. We hope that today’s debate will take us one step further in that direction.
My delegation appreciates the effort of the Romanian delegation in preparing a draft resolution on the subject, which we strongly support.