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Security Council hears call for closer ties between UN and European security bloc

Security Council in session.
UN Photo/Ryan Brown
Security Council in session.

Security Council hears call for closer ties between UN and European security bloc

A closer partnership between the United Nations and the 56-member Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world's largest regional security grouping, is vital, the Security Council heard today.

Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's Foreign Minister and the Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE, told a Council meeting this afternoon in New York that the two institutions share core principles and common values that can be applied to numerous security challenges.

“At a time of constrained resources and ever more complex transnational threats, a closer partnership between the OSCE and the UN is indispensable,” he said. “Our cooperation has advanced not only in the development of common approaches to the challenges we face, but also at the field operational level.”

He cited the work of the OSCE mission in Kosovo as the first example of where the bloc had become an integral part of an operation led by the UN.

“Close and effective cooperation exists in many of the OSCE's 16 field missions with many of the UN agencies, notably with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).”

In his address to the Council, Mr. Gilmore outlined OSCE's priorities for 2012, including promoting Internet freedom, continuing its election observation activities, strengthening its conflict prevention capacities, fighting corruption, and stepping up efforts to tackle transnational threats, such as terrorism, the illicit drug trade and cyber crime.

Mr. Gilmore said the regional organization would pursue ways to make progress towards lasting settlements of conflicts.

“Among these are the conflicts in Moldova regarding the territory of Transdniestria in Georgia regarding the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I have appointed two Special Representatives to assist me in addressing these complex conflicts,” he said.