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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wang Guangya at Security Council Open Debate on the "Role of Regional and Sub-regional Organizations in Maintaining International Peace and Security"
New York, 6 November 2007

2007/11/06

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Chinese Delegation, I wish to extend our warm welcome to you and thank you for coming all the way to New York to preside over this important open debate. I also welcome representatives of regional and sub-regional organizations.

Mr. Chairman,

The world is now undergoing complex and profound changes. The member states are confronted with not only traditional security issues such as territorial disputes and armed conflicts, but also non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, prevalence of drugs, spread of diseases and climate change. No country or international organization can do its job alone in addressing these cross-boundary, and even trans-regional challenges. It is therefore imperative to promote multilateralism and give full play to and strengthen the consultation and cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations.

In recent years, regional and sub-regional organizations made increasingly remarkable contribution to preventing and resolving conflicts, promoting post-war reconstruction, combating terrorism and defusing humanitarian crises. China firmly supports the United Nations in intensifying cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations to maintain international as well as regional peace and security. In this connection, I wish to make the following four points:

First, to give play to the role of regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, the Charter of the United Nations should continue to serve as the guidance. According to the UN Charter, the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and is the core of the collective international security mechanism; regional organizations can take mandatory actions only with the authorization of the Security Council. Chapter VIII of the Charter points out that the Security Council shall encourage the development of pacific settlement of local disputes by regional agencies. The Chinese side believes that this should continue to serve as the basis for supporting the role of regional or sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security.

Second, it is necessary to strengthen communication and cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations. All hotspot issues have complicated causes and are hard to resolve. Solutions to these issues often emerge during the interactions between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations. The outcome document of the 2005 World Summit, recognizing the contribution made by regional organizations to international peace and security, supports a closer link between the United Nations and regional organizations on the basis of the UN Charter. In November 2006, the United Nations and the African Union signed the Declaration on Enhancing UN-AU Cooperation, opening a new channel for cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. We hope such cooperation will be further strengthened, particularly in identified areas.

Third, the United Nations should continue to provide assistance to regional and sub-regional organizations such as the African Union to strengthen their capacity building. African issues dominate the Security Council's agenda. The African Union and sub-regional organizations such as ECWAS, IGAD and SADC have made arduous efforts to address local conflicts and facilitate post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction. Due to constraints on resources, however, they could hardly give full scope to their unique strengths in resolving their issues. Through its resolution 1769 adopted in July this year, the Security Council decided to carry out UN/AU hybrid operations in Darfur, Sudan. The peacekeeping operation will be deployed jointly by the United Nations and the African Union and the main resources will be provided by the United Nations. This initiated a new model through which the United Nations could strengthen capacity building of the African Union. This model deserves to be examined comprehensively and may be drawn upon in settling conflicts in other parts of the world.

Fourth, regional and sub-regional organizations should be encouraged to play a bigger role. It is proved that, thanks to geographical, cultural and other advantages, regional and sub-regional organizations can play a unique and even irreplaceable role in resolving local conflicts. For issues on its agenda, in addition to working vigorously to address them, the Security Council also needs to encourage the constructive help on the part of regional and sub-regional organizations. As to issues that do not pose a threat to international peace and security, it is all the more important to fully mobilize the initiative of regional and sub-regional organizations so that they will have communication and coordination with countries concerned to bring about a solution at the regional level.

As one of the most important regional mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN has made unremitting efforts to maintain regional peace and security. The 10+3 cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and ROK is playing an increasingly important role in promoting regional peace and stability. China firmly supports ASEAN in playing a leading role in settlement of hotspot issues in the region, and is ready to do its utmost to support and coordinate with ASEAN in this regard.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has emerged as an important platform for promoting regional security, stability and development. China supports its active role in combating terrorism and maintaining regional stability.

Mr. Chairman,

To build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity requires the concerted efforts of the international community. I am convinced that regional and sub-regional organizations, as an important component of the international community, will play an even bigger role in maintaining international peace and security in the future.

In conclusion, the Chinese side thanks the Indonesian Delegation for drawing up the presidential statement. China supports the adoption of this statement by the Security Council.

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