Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the UN SC open debate on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security
New York, August 7, 2013
Your Excellency Madam President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank the President of the Argentine Republic, H.E. Madam Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, for having presided over this meeting on very important and timely topic of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security. We are also grateful to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the representatives of the African Union, the League of Arabs States, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Union of South American Nations for their briefings.
In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, Members States conferred on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and agreed that in carrying its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf. At the same time, Chapter VIII of the Charter encourages cooperation between the United Nations and regional arrangements in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Since the 2005 World Summit and the adoption of Security Council resolution 1631, important progress has been achieved in enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and regional partners across the full range of areas, from maintenance of international peace and security and humanitarian assistance to development and the protection of human rights. Indeed, in a number of instances, relevant regional organizations have proven to be indispensible mechanisms in promoting international and regional peace, security and cooperation, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. I would like to refer to some of such examples.
Over the past decade, the role of the African Union has increased significantly. No doubt that the challenges that Africa faces today and that constitute a considerable part of the Security Council’s deliberations can be better addressed through collective political and diplomatic efforts. In that regard, we welcome progress achieved in developing the strategic relationship between the United Nations and the African Union in the area of peace and security.
The League of Arab States has also proved to be one of those regional organizations that are able to take the lead in promoting peace, security and stability in the region. We are pleased to see that cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States have been instrumental in carrying out important tasks in such areas as conflict prevention and resolution, crisis response and management, and the fight against terrorism and organized crime. We are confident that continued engagement by the United Nations and the League of Arab States, together with strengthened cooperation between them, will effectively contribute to peace and security in the region.
As a member of the Security Council and an observer to the African Union and the League of Arab States, Azerbaijan will further support the development of partnership relations between these regional organizations and the United Nations.
We also note the activities of such new sub-regional organizations as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Union of South American Nations, and we welcome their presence at this meeting and contribution to our discussion.
Furthermore, the increasing role of organizations formed on the basis of shared cultural and linguistic values of their Member States, such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States, gives rise to the need for exploring the opportunities and the appropriate approaches that can better serve the purpose of enhancing interaction and cooperation of these organizations with the United Nations across a broad agenda of mutual concern.
At the same time, we should admit that serious challenges remain. While regional organizations are normally well positioned to understand the causes of armed conflicts owing to their knowledge of the region, it is however obvious that not all of them can boast of their ability, political will and institutional capacity to ensure the compliance by Member States with their statutory commitments.
First and foremost, it is crucial that all Member States adhere to their obligations, as laid down in the Charter, with respect to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States. We express our concern at attempts undertaken in some situations of armed conflict with a view to misinterpreting the norms and principles of international law and downplaying the relevance of the Security Council resolutions. It is therefore important that at our meeting today the Council stressed the importance of a coordinated international response to causes of conflict and called the international community, including United Nations organs and agencies, to assist the efforts at the regional level aimed at the peaceful settlement of disputes and the prevention and resolution of conflicts in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and relevant Security Council resolutions. The Council also stressed that regional partners must at all times keep it informed of their activities in the area of peace and security. As a matter of priority, special attention should be given to the implementation of Security Council resolutions, in particular those related to the prevention, management and settlement of conflicts.
It is also essential, when dealing with conflict and post-conflict situations, that the relevant organizations and entities ensure that peace and justice are both present in a mutually reinforcing manner. Such an approach ensures that no peace settlement is reached that is inconsistent with international law. That understanding is particularly important, as it would provide guidance not only for the parties to the conflict but also for the international community as a whole and, when appropriate, mediation efforts undertaken at the regional level. In its presidential statement just adopted, the Security Council emphasized that ending impunity is essential in a conflict and post-conflict society's efforts to come to terms with the past wrongs and that regional and sub-regional organizations should contribute to individual accountability. As a country suffering from the occupation and large-scale ethnic cleansing of a significant part of its territory, Azerbaijan strongly supports that approach in working to address protracted conflicts and their humanitarian and human rights consequences in different parts of the world.
In conclusion, Madam President, I would like once again to thank Argentina for convening this important meeting and to welcome the adoption of the presidential statement as its outcome. We also wish the delegation of Argentina successful presidency in August.