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SC: Cooperation between UN and (sub)regional organisations

Statement by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Audun Halvorsen in the UN Security Council meeting on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations, 19 April 2021.

I would like to join others in warmly congratulating president Phuc with his recent appointment. We would also like to thank Vietnam for placing this important issue on the agenda and taking the initiative to the draft PRST that we have before us.

Regional and sub-regional organizations are an integral part of the global multilateral architecture. We need more – not less – cooperation to confront global challenges that affect us all.

Regional and sub-regional organisations play an important role in the prevention of conflicts and bring added value to conflict resolution.

They are uniquely placed to build trust and promote dialogue among concerned parties within their respective regions.

Norway favors strengthened institutional cooperation between the UN Security Council and regional organizations, in order to make the most of our combined resources for sustaining peace.

Norway remains a committed and long-term partner of key regional and sub-regional organizations, in particular in the area of peace-making and mediation and in promoting the Women Peace and Security agenda.

When a crisis erupts in a particular part of the world – we as SC members look to the region for knowledge of the root causes and dynamics of the conflict and for concrete ideas to address and resolve it. Regional organizations have the advantage of geographical proximity and strong local networks.

A few examples:

We support ASEAN’s efforts to play a constructive role in the current dire situation in Myanmar, which is posing a grave threat to regional peace and security. We believe that ASEAN is well placed to facilitate the dialogue needed to bring an end to the violence and compel the military to restore civilian rule.

The situation in and around Ukraine is another case in point. We have called on the Russian Federation to reverse its recent military deployments.  The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s presence and reporting is essential. We urge all parties to provide the SMM unhindered access to all parts of Ukraine in accordance with its mandate.

The African Union and sub-regional organizations are key actors in preventing conflicts and building trust, dialogue and confidence throughout the African continent. The active role of ECOWAS in promoting a peaceful transition in Mali is one of many examples that could be mentioned. African Union’s work to address the situation in the Horn of Africa, including the conflict in Tigray and the situation on the border between Sudan and Ethiopia, is another case in point.

Also here, the key lies in the region itself. And here, too, we encourage continued close cooperation between the AU, including the AU Peace and Security Council, and the Security Council in the time ahead.

We would like to see more information sharing, more joint discussions on mandates as well as increased joint field visits, to actively address these situations.

President,

Regional organizations are also valuable partners in promoting key thematic priorities on the Council’s agenda. In February, we called for the UN to lead by example in ensuring the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in UN-led peace processes.

This is equally important in regional and sub-regional organizations, and we encourage all our partners to place gender equality and empowerment of women high on the agenda.

At the Council’s meeting with the League of Arab States in January, we welcomed the launch of the Arab Women Mediators Network, which promotes increased participation of women in peacebuilding and peacekeeping.

At our meeting with OSCE in March we stressed the need to incorporate a focus on gender equality at all levels of OSCE’s work.

Regional and sub-regional organisations play a crucial role in addressing the effects of climate-related security risks. We acknowledge these organisations work and encourage the inclusion of adverse effects of climate change in regional dialogues, as a means to increase stability and as entry point for cooperation. 

Thank you.