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Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya at the Security Council's Open Debate on "Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Organizations in Maintaining International Peace and Security"


The Chinese delegation welcomes the presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania as he presides over today's meeting. We appreciate the statements of the Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the representatives of regional organizations.

Strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security is a major issue and a challenging task. The world today faces many interconnected threats, such as armed conflict, terrorist attacks, arms proliferation, humanitarian crises, the spread of disease and drug abuse. Those problems share the common characteristic of being transnational and transregional. To deal effectively with those problems, the United Nations must assume its full role, and cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations must be strengthened.

In the United Nations system, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In recent years, regional organizations have taken on an increasingly important role in conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction, counter-terrorism and the response to humanitarian crises. Their work has provided effective support and assistance to the work of the Security Council. The High-level Plenary Meeting outcome document (General Assembly resolution 60/1) recognized that role. In that context, I would like to make the following three points.

First, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter, all countries and regions recognize the principle that the Security Council is at the heart of the international machinery for collective security. It is also universally recognized that regional organizations play a positive role in facilitating the resolution of regional issues. Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter establishes the role of regional arrangements in the settlement of disputes. It also provides guidance for the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations. The summit outcome document states clearly that a stronger relationship between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations is required. That places a demand on our future work and provides an important foundation for the conduct of such cooperation.

Secondly, in the sphere of increasing coordination on practical implementation, regional organizations have unique advantages in dealing with problems in their respective regions. When considering regional hot spots, the Security Council should heed and respect the views and the recommendations of regional organizations. In the implementation process, the Council should give due attention to the unique advantages of regional organization. For their part, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, regional organizations should take the initiative to keep the Council informed on their actions in a timely manner and keep channels of communication open. It should be noted that regional situations vary greatly, as do regional organizations. Communication and cooperation between the two sides should be governed by the principle of flexibility and should be results-oriented, and efforts should be made to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.

Thirdly, we should strengthen mutual assistance and give prominence to Africa. Many issues on the Security Council's agenda relate to Africa. China greatly appreciates the positive efforts of the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, as well as of mediation and good offices missions, in seeking solutions to African conflicts. The necessary financial resources and logistical and technical support must be provided with a view to strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and African regional and subregional organizations so that the peacekeeping and peacebuilding capacities of those organizations can be enhanced. We welcome the decision in the Summit Outcome document to develop and implement a 10-year plan for capacity-building with the African Union. Such an endeavour will enable the United Nations to better cope with regional conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa. It will also benefit the African countries themselves.

There are many regional and subregional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region that are playing an important role. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is one such mechanism. Since its establishment in 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has gradually developed into an effective mechanism for promoting regional security, stability and development. Last year, it was granted observer status in the General Assembly, and this year it participated in the summit. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will continue to work, in a spirit of mutual benefit and trust, to promote equality, consultation and respect for cultural diversity and shared development. It will pursue an external policy of not allying with nor targeting other countries and regions, as well as of abiding by the principle of openness. It will cooperate closely with the United Nations with a view to contributing to regional and international peace and security.

Finally, China endorses the draft resolution prepared by the delegation of Romania, which we thank for its efforts.

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