2010 Statement





Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and
sub-regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security

13 January 2010


Mr. President,

   At the outset, I would like to express deep shock and sorrow over the serious devastation caused by an earthquake in Haiti yesterday. We stand by the people of Haiti and ready to extend every possible support.
I thank the Chinese Presidency for organizing a debate on this important subject with participation of so many representatives of regional organizations. We are grateful to distinguished guests for interesting and valuable presentations. The Secretary-General kindly laid out the framework and principle of cooperation with regional organizations.   


(Cooperation between UN and regional and sub-regional organizations)
   Cooperation between the UN and regional organizations is enshrined in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. It constitutes an integral part of the UN architecture for international peace and security. Strengthening such cooperation is important in promoting the objectives of the Charter. Regional organizations have first hand   understanding of the local conditions and can make best use of local expertise for peace and security in the region.


   At the same time, as the statements by respective regional organizations made clear, every regional organization has inherent historical background, distinct objectives and diverse membership. In formulating strategy for cooperation, we need to fully take into account specific characteristics, situation and capacity of each organization. We are also mindful of the need to uphold international norms and standard. The cooperation between the UN and regional organizations should be complementary and not mutually exclusive.


   The Charter envisages in article 54 that the Security Council be kept informed of their activities of regional organizations. Today’s thematic debate gives a timely opportunity to have such a strategic dialogue.   


   High level dialogue and information sharing is the first and critical step for better cooperation for promoting peace and security. The UN can share its experience and lessons which regional organization may draw in addressing issues in its region.  The regular interaction initiated in 2007 between AU and UN could be emulated with other organizations.


(Four types of cooperation)
   In my view, the UN can promote four types of cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations.     
   First, the UN should encourage regional organizations for preventing and resolving conflict peacefully. Finding a regional solution to a regional issue is often effective, and the UN can complement and reinforce its efforts in compliance with international standard.


   AU and sub-regional organizations such as ECOWAS are the best examples by demonstrating increasingly active peace initiatives in many parts of Africa. In Asia, ASEAN is promoting “Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in South East Asia” and principles for peaceful settlement of disputes in the region. Many states including Japan have signed this treaty, which is a testimony that it is an effective measure for confidence building in the ASEAN and beyond. We also acknowledge the important role of organizations such as the League of Arab States, OIC, OAS, EU, OSCE and PIF which strive for prevention and peaceful solution of conflicts in the respective region.


   Secondly, the UN and regional organizations may promote peace jointly or in parallel. This type of complementary cooperation starts from peace mediation. Most notable examples are joint nomination by the UN and AU of the chief mediator for Darfur, Mr. Bassole. The appointment of co-facilitator, President Obasanjo as UN envoy, and President Mkapa as AU envoy, for the Great Lakes region, is another example of such cooperation. The UN taking into account regional perspective to appoint a joint mediator can be a model case for other regions.


   Joint or parallel deployment of peacekeeping and other field mission in same area of operation is also important.  
A hybrid arrangement of UNAMID between AU and UN is such example.
This type of complementary cooperation is most useful in the area of peacebuilding.
 Regional organizations, with close ties in the region, are particularly well placed to promote peacebuilding efforts in cooperation with the UN; such as electoral support, governance, cross border drug, small arms trafficking, mine action, Security Sector Reform. Each region may be in a different situation, but one can learn from experiences of another and sharing experiences among the regional organizations may be useful.


   Cooperation between regional organizations and the UN was significantly enhanced by the active support from the PBC. It may be worth considering creating a sub-regional specific configuration in PBC to discuss the challenges common to the countries in the sub-region.


   Thirdly, I may call a sequential cooperation. This type of cooperation can be most useful in cases of PKO where regional organization has taken initiative in advance, and conditions has become mature enough to be taken over eventually by the UN. The cases in point are Chad/Central African Republic, where the UN took over the peacekeeping mission from the EU. In Sudan, UNAMID succeeded AMIS which was initiated by the AU. AU Mission in Somalia, with logistical support by the UN, is at the forefront of stabilizing the country until the future status is decided by the Security Council.
   It is important to mobilize international support to the efforts of regional organizations to strengthen the capacity of PKO personnel and assets to meet the UN standard. The UN and regional organizations should collectively help member states through training and capacity-building. 


   Fourthly, regional organizations and countries may provide security support essential to carry out the activities of UN missions. In some UN missions, situations may not be secure and stable enough for the UN to remain on the ground without such assistance. Cooperation from regional organization is thus critical for the successful implementation of the mandates by UN missions. Such cooperation can be found in Afghanistan, where ISAF supports security for the country and UNAMA is discharged with a political role. Similar essential security supports were provided at early stages to the UN missions such as East Timor, Kosovo, and the eastern DRC. The security forces of those organizations are devoted to fulfill mandate, sometimes at the cost of their precious lives. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to those who made sacrifices to support UN peace activities.    



   In conclusion, we should continue to promote every possible type of cooperation between the UN and regional organization. Japan will do its best to support regional organizations to strengthen their capacity in conflict prevention, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In particular, Japan will continue to support the PKO training centers in Africa and Asia. We will promote training of peacebuilding experts in Asia, including through Hiroshima Peacebuilding Center. Japan will also make additional contributions to peacebuilding activities, including support to building national police capacity in Afghanistan, Chad, and Somalia, among others.
I hope that such assistance will contribute to cooperation between the UN and the regional organizations in promoting peace and security.