Cooperation Between UN and Regional and Subregional Organizations (League of Arab States) - Security Council Open VTC

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18-Jan-2021 02:26:43
Top official hails Charter drafters’ enshrinement of regional bodies as peace partners for United Nations, in briefing to Security Council.

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Under-Secretary-General Highlights Organization’s Joint Efforts with Arab League in Middle East, North Africa

Today’s challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, are a reminder of the wisdom of those who drafted the Charter of the United Nations 75 years ago, enshrining the potential role of regional arrangements in the maintenance of international peace and security, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs told the Security Council today.

Briefing Council members during their debate on United Nations cooperation with the League of Arab States, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo noted the growing evolution of cooperation with regional organizations encompasses such areas as preventive diplomacy, mediation, counter-terrorism, prevention of violent extremism, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, human rights, climate change and, most recently, a collective response to the pandemic.

Describing COVID-19 as a stress test for the global community, she said the coronavirus has exacerbated strains on the multilateral system just as the need for solidarity and cooperation has never been more critical. Indeed, participants in the Secretary-General’s November high-level interactive dialogue with 23 regional and subregional organizations agreed on the pandemic’s multidimensional impact and pledged to work together to address that concern.

Despite the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire, however, the conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen, the stalled Middle East peace process and fissures among Arab League members have exacerbated regional instability, she said, adding that they have also hampered economic and social development.

Emphasizing that close cooperation between the United Nations and the Arab League has been crucial in augmenting efforts to address various situations in the Arab world, she cited efforts to broker a ceasefire in Libya, uphold broad consensus on a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, support for Sudan’s transition to democratic governance and the pursuit of political solutions to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

She went on to caution that challenges remain, noting: “Despite our efforts, heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region persist.” However, the Secretary-General continues to call for restraint on all sides. “We urge all concerned, in the region and beyond, to opt for dialogue to address their respective security concerns,” she said. Despite important gains, including greater participation by women in peace processes, the United Nations and the Arab League recognize the urgent need to do more, she stressed.

Highlighting increased cooperation activities, she said the United Nations Liaison Office to the League of Arab States, established in 2019, has strengthened the partnership and facilitated regular contacts with special envoys. The fifteenth general cooperation meeting will advance a biennial framework encompassing activities in peace and security, development, human rights and humanitarian concerns, she added.

Underlining the Security Council’s critical role in amplifying collective efforts in the region, she said the impact of a united and actively engaged Council is incomparable. “We look to the Council, as a principal steward of Chapter VIII of the Charter, to continue to support the United Nations collaborative work with the League of Arab States to promote peace and prosperity in the Arab region.”

In the ensuing debate, delegates said that the web of pressing transboundary security threats reflects the critical need for enhanced coordination and effective new tools to deepen relations between the United Nations and the Arab League to better help States tackling a range of challenges, from COVID-19 to foreign terrorist fighters.

Speakers highlighted historical and ongoing efforts as well as current challenges, from combating terrorism to increasing women’s involvement in peace processes, with some commending the year-old United Nations Liaison Office to the Arab League and others outlining ways to forge further progress. Among other initiatives, delegates suggested the creation of a mechanism to effectively implement ceasefires and improvement of coordination initiatives. There is also need for renewed commitment to enhancing cooperation to better address and resolve crises, from Libya to Somalia, they said. Many speakers called for fresh efforts to advance a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, urging the parties to return to peace talks.

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