UN enhancing cooperation with regional blocs to improve crisis response – Ban

7 December 2011

Regional organizations are often better placed to detect potential crises early and to mobilize a coordinated international response, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, noting that the United Nations has strengthened or established conflict prevention and mediation partnerships with such blocs over the past five years.

“They have unique influence on, leverage over and access to crisis situations in their respective regions,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the meeting the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, delivered on his behalf by B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

Mr. Ban said that UN cooperation with various regional organizations can be used to share burdens, strengthen responses and reinforce joint messages. He cited as an example the UN partnership with OSCE to address the crisis in Kyrgyzstan last year.

“The United Nations looks forward to exploring what more we can do together, including through our mediation support unit,” he said, adding that the UN had a stand-by team of experts ready to assist Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations and other relevant partners in all critical areas, including power sharing arrangements, constitutions, security arrangements and natural resources.

The UN and regional organizations must also strengthen cooperation in confronting transnational threat, including organized crime, pandemics, terrorism and the effects of climate change, the Secretary-General added.

He recalled that many of the delegates at the OSCE ministerial council meeting had also attended the international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, earlier this week, where there was the awareness that transnational threats pose a major obstacle to working with the Afghan people to chart a better future for their country.

Speaking to reporters yesterday after a round-table session in the OSCE gathering on promoting coordination among international organizations in responding to changes in the Southern Mediterranean and wider Arab region, Mr. Pascoe said that transitional political processes are still unfolding and have often been marred by violence.

He stressed that the international community should help the transitional arrangements in those countries arrive at positive outcomes, but they need to be nationally-owned and led.


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