Written statement by the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN Ambassador, Munir Akram, during the UNSC Open Debate on "Enhancing Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and subregional organizations in Enhancing Confidence building and Dialogue in Conflict Prevention and Resolution" (19 April 2021)

Mr. President,

I would like to thank Vietnam for convening this open debate of the UN Security Council.

Today’s deliberations regarding the role of ‘confidence-building and dialogue’ in conflict prevention and resolution will certainly add to the repertoire of available tools and good practices under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, which envisages a strong working relationship between the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and regional mechanisms for maintenance of peace and security.

Mr. President,

Over the last seven decades, the role of the regional, cross-regional and sub-regional organizations in conflict prevention and early warning; dialogue and mediation as well as peacemaking and peacebuilding, has increased progressively.

While the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security remains with the UNSC, under the framework of the Chapter VIII of the Charter, regional and sub-regional organizations continue to complement and supplement the Council’s role.

Regional and some cross-regional organizations have unique perspectives and a deeper understanding of local conflicts, political realities and cultural norms, often giving them a comparative advantage in preventing and resolving conflicts. In many cases, they enjoy the trust and hold influence with the concerned parties to a dispute, thereby helping in mediation and confidence building measures.

At the same time, cooperation between the UN and regional organizations requires a dynamic strategy to address deficits in requisite capacities as well as predictable and sustainable funding. It also often requires close dialogue with the UNSC and UN organizations for harmonization and synergy of their contributions.

Mr. President,

One of the best examples of cooperation between UN and regional organizations is the growing partnership between the African Union and the UN on issues pertaining to peace and security in Africa.

This partnership continues to play a vital role in addressing conflict situations across the continent, and has contributed positively to peace processes and mediation efforts in situations such as Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

In the Great Lakes Region, the UN, the AU, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) continue to collaborate as the guarantors for the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Several UNSC resolutions further reinforce this partnership, especially in the area of dialogue and mediation. UNSC resolution 2457 (2019), for instance, recognizes the valuable contribution of AU’s mediation capacities, and encourages greater cooperation and collaboration with the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa, including though possible fielding of joint mediation teams.

Indeed, the UN-AU institutional mechanisms for discussing issues pertaining to conflict prevention, early warning, and mediation, including joint consultative meeting between members of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council, can serve as a template for other regional, cross-regional and sub-regional organizations.

The Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is another such example which continues to support UN’s efforts aimed at conflict prevention, confidence building measures, mediation, crisis management and post-conflict stabilization.

During the Cold War, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the predecessor organization of the OSCE, played an important role in providing a forum for dialogue and confidence building, especially in the areas of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

Mr. President,

In view of the wide-membership as well as importance of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), there is a need to further strengthen the cooperation between the UN and OIC in promoting peace and security and the resolution of conflicts in accordance with the UN Charter and relevant UNSC resolutions.

Indeed, UNGA resolution A/RES/75/16 adopted on 30 November 2020 requests the UN and OIC to continue to cooperate in their common search for solutions to global problems, such as questions relating to international peace and security, disarmament and self-determination, among others.

Mr. President,

The success of regional, cross-regional and sub-regional mechanisms in context of conflict prevention, mediation and confidence building has, however, varied from one region to another.

Regional and sub-regional organizations in certain parts of the world have been either ineffective or unable to play any meaningful role towards resolving long-lasting and festering disputes as well as situations of foreign occupation.

Under such circumstances, the UN Security Council, must discharge its primary responsibility towards maintenance of international peace and security by resolving such conflicts.

Mr. President,

Pakistan has been fully facilitating the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, including by supporting regional and international initiatives in this regard.

We are also an active member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which champion dialogue and mediation.

Pakistan has consistently proposed and promoted regional disarmament and conventional arms control, and confidence building measures at regional levels.

We hope that the Security Council would prepare a compilation of its cooperation and interaction with regional, cross-regional and sub-regional organizations in order to chart best practices and lessons learnt which could be applied to lower tensions, introduce confidence-building measures and mediatory and other such measures that could be applied more widely to prevent conflicts and maintain peace and security in various parts of the world.

I thank you.