New York, 13 January 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
We would like to thank you for convening today’s debate on improving cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. We would also like to thank those regional organizations' representatives for sharing with the Council their latest accomplishments as well as challenging experiences regarding enhanced cooperation and coordination among themselves and with the United Nations.
Such a debate is timely given the new and enduring threats and obstacles to international peace and security. Some of those challenges call for determined action and a more coordinated and vigorous engagement.
One of the most complex examples of regional and international collaboration happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even though such cooperation in peacemaking and peacebuilding was a complex and difficult process, it ultimately resulted in peace. Moreover, experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina contributed to the development of institutional knowledge, strategies and tools subsequently applied in other war-torn regions.
Stemming from our own experience, we believe that the international organizations can ultimately complement each others’ efforts. While the regional organizations can contribute knowledge of local circumstance in pursuit of peace and security, the United Nations possesses legitimacy, power to mandate, institutional knowledge, resources and experience.
Complementary roles of the UN and regional organizations in several key spheres have contributed to peace and security.
For instance, consistent with the Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations have performed together in peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations. Operations in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Kosovo and Afghanistan and others are carried out jointly between regional organizations and the United Nations. We should reaffirm once again commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes within such frameworks.
There is an increasing awareness that some peacekeeping missions might need to grow into peacebuilding ones. Such transformation should be supported since, more often than not, long-term regional peace and security depends upon internal stability of states. Regional organizations can act as bridges when ownership of peace processes is transferred from international organizations to domestic authorities.
Fight against international terrorism is another area where the aforementioned cooperation is required. So is the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Regarding this issue the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 1540 has called for closer coordination of efforts on national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. Sharing of information in timely manner can prove essential to address these issues.
The roles and responsibilities of regional and sub-regional organization in conflict prevention are important. In this context, the cooperation and information sharing can enhance early warning system for conflict prevention. Hence the development of regional safeguards should be encouraged as to help create coherent and well-built framework to address such security concerns.
In addition, it is essential to tackle cross-border problems not only for regional but also for global peace and security. Issues such as illicit drug-trafficking, crime prevention, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, problems of displacement and refugees and human trafficking to name the few, can be further integrated in the existing frameworks of cooperation.
To streamline efforts between the regional organizations and the UN is particularly critical when dealing with response to natural disasters. Natural disasters require quick and well-managed reaction. This is especially relevant and challenging since there is always a link between natural disasters and economic security.
In conclusion, the success of cooperation between regional organizations and the UN relies on common vision and common goals. Moreover, reaching those goals will require flexible but systemic approach whereby coordination mechanisms ensure the optimal use of time and resources. Such cooperation enables countries which only yesterday were subjects of international peace endeavors to actively partake in such efforts today.
Thank you, Mr. President.