Regional organizations must expand cooperation: Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has urged regional organizations to expand their cooperation for maintenance of  international peace and security as also to prevent , manage and resolve crises.

“Regional organizations have unique perspectives and deeper understanding of local conflicts and cultural norms,”  Ambassador Masood Khan told a high-level debate in the Security Council on Tuesday. “This knowledge often gives them a comparative  advantage in preventing and resolving conflicts. In many cases, they  have enormous influence over parties to a dispute, who tend to place greater trust in regional organizations.”

The Pakistani envoy also called for further consolidating partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations.

The debate, presided over by President Cristina Fern’?ndez de Kirchner of Argentina, which holds the Council’s presidency this month, seeks to further strengthen dialogue and exchange of information among regional and sub-regional organizations and the UN on issues such as conflict prevention, peaceful settlement of disputes, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace building.

“Every regional organization has a unique historical background, distinct objectives and diverse membership,” Ambassador Masood Khan said. “In formulating strategies for cooperation, the specific characteristics and capacity of each organization should be taken into account.

“Regional organizations help the Council avert impending crises by sharing information on real time basis.  The United Nations should therefore support early warning capacity-building of the relevant  regional organizations,” he added .

The Pakistani envoy said it was evident that the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations were cooperating more closely than ever.  This past year had been good for partnerships, he said, citing positive developments in the Great Lakes region and elsewhere in Africa, such as Mali and the Central African Republic.

He urged the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council to use their clout to persuade all sides in Syria to attend a second Geneva conference.

Turning to Africa, he applauded the European Union for providing funding for the United Nations-mandated African Union peace support operations and urged other donors to follow suit.

Opening the debate, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted examples of valuable cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations across the globe.

He called for the continuing involvement of regional and subregional organizations in the peaceful settlement of disputes, including through conflict prevention, confidence building
and mediation, and underlined the importance of utilizing their existing and potential capabilities.

Through a presidential statement issued by Argentina’s delegation, the 15-member Council stressed the importance of further developing effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional entities to enable early responses to disputes and emerging crises.