UN and regional organizations must redouble efforts to ensure peace – Annan
Declaring that people and states look to the United Nations for security in an era of ever greater global insecurity, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for the world body and regional organizations to work together with redoubled vigour to fulfil their “cardinal mission” of ensuring peace based on international law.
“The feeling of global insecurity has seldom, if ever, been greater than it is today,” Mr. Annan said in opening remarks to a joint meeting of the UN Security Council and regional organizations on the theme “Facing New Challenges to International Peace and Security.”
“Equally, there has never been a more keenly felt desire among peoples and nations for a peace and security framework based firmly on the international rule of law,” he said. “That framework must be capable of responding swiftly and effectively to the challenges of our rapidly changing world.”
Among organizations taking part in the session chaired by Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez of Mexico, which holds the Council’s Presidency for April, were the Organization of American States, the Arab League, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Commission of the African Union, the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States.
Noting that “we are clearly at a crucial juncture in the development of international relations,” the Secretary-General recited a litany of challenges – the co-existence of unprecedented wealth and terrible deprivation, opportunities brought by globalization yet marred by the exclusion of far too many, the unprecedented promise of science in the shadow of the death of a child every minute from AIDS.
To these he added the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the trafficking of small arms, climate change, the emergence of new deadly viruses, all with “the potential to threaten not only our stability, but our survival.”
These issues were not new, he said, “but for many they were brought into more acute and painful focus by the events of 11 September 2001, and now even more so by the war in Iraq, which people across the globe have been following in real time on their television screens.”
Despite all this sense of vulnerability, however, people and nations retained the hope of strengthening stability and uniting “around our common humanity,” and they look to the United Nations, Mr. Annan declared.
“Our Organization – for all its imperfections, real and perceived – has built up unique experience in dealing with a range of crises, by bringing humanitarian relief to millions in need, helping people rebuild their countries from the ruins of armed conflict, promoting human rights and the rule of law, and many other activities that have come to be seen as essential parts of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding,” he said.
Stressing that in all these endeavours the UN relied on regional partners he concluded: “Now, we need to redouble our efforts to find such common ground and purpose again. We need to move towards creating a network of effective and mutually reinforcing mechanisms – regional and global – that are flexible and responsive to the reality we live in today.
“The United Nations stands ready to work together with you, the regional organizations, in that cardinal mission. Your meeting today promises to inject new momentum into our partnership. For the sake of the world’s people, we must make that partnership succeed.”