My delegation joins other Council members in thanking Nigeria for convening today’s debate. We also wish to thank your delegation for the informative concept note circulated which helps frame our debate today.
2. We wish to also express appreciation to the Secretary-General for his briefing which we have heard with much interest as well as for his untiring efforts and leadership in enhancing and consolidating the relationship between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations around the world. We share the views that regional actors should assume greater ownership of the developments in their respective regions.
3. Malaysia aligns itself with the statements to be delivered by Viet Nam on behalf of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Iran on behalf of the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) and Kuwait on behalf of the OIC countries.
4. We are of the view that today’s debate comes at a particularly timely juncture as threats to international peace and security have become increasingly complex and challenging, with trans-border elements and other multi-layered regional dimensions.
5. As rightly envisioned by the Charter, the UN has been and remains at the forefront of international, multilateral efforts to combat such new challenges which range from blatant violation of international law, terrorism, transnational organised crimes, humanitarian crises, environmental degradation and the outbreak of deadly diseases, among others.
6. However, the authors of the UN’s Charter also had the foresight to presage that while the Organisation and this Council would constitute the hub of the international peace and security architecture, it could not substitute for regional and sub-regional arrangements and organisations which should perform such functions at that level, as envisioned by Chapter VIII of the Charter.
7. Over the years, regional organizations such as the African Union (AU), ASEAN, the European Union and OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) among others, embarked on pragmatic steps including by modifying their outlook and perspectives in order to effectively meet and address changing global dynamics.
8. At the same time, Council has also taken steps to promote and enhance its engagement with regional organizations including through adoption of relevant decisions and through the convening of joint regular consultative meetings such as with the AU Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) and the EU’s Political and Security Committee. Furthermore, close partnerships with various regional bodies on many important strategic areas such as conflict prevention, mediation and peacekeeping operations have also been established and strengthened over time.
9. To date, cooperation and coordination among regional organizations in dealing with conflict and security challenges has also been encouraging. Examples include the partnership of the African Union and the EU and the coordination between the AU and African sub-regional organizations to address threats to peace and security in the African continent.
10. Malaysia believes that strategic partnership between the UN and regional organizations is vital in addressing contemporary global security challenges. We further believe that multilayered partnership between Council and regional organizations could serve as a strong foundation of the future global security agenda.
11. From our own experience within ASEAN, Malaysia places great value and importance on the role played by regional and sub-regional organizations in conflict prevention and resolution, the deployment of peacekeeping operations, post conflict building and reconstruction and other important areas. On its own, ASEAN has placed greater emphasis to create the enabling environment for peace in order to ensure an uninterrupted regional economic development. It has promoted regional architecture for stability and prosperity, including tools for conflict prevention and peaceful settlement of disputes. Based on our experience, we support further efforts to deepen cooperation between the UN and particularly this Council with regional bodies. That said, we wish to highlight the following:
11.1. The level and degree of intra-regional cooperation varies significantly between regions, based on the unique historical and political background of each region; In addition, their aspirations, mandates and activities vary enormously. As such, we believe that cooperation between the UN and regional organizations will be more rewarding when such diversity is duly observed and considered. Any form of cooperation should be inclusive, flexible, responsive and adaptable, especially in the case of complex joint endeavours such as peacekeeping, peace building and post conflict reconstruction;
11.2. While regional organizations may provide an attractive alternative to an overstretched UN mission, it is important to bear in mind that regional bodies are also vulnerable to similar problems faced by the UN;
11.3. While being mindful of the advantage of regional organizations in understanding the conflicts in their regions better, experience from dealing with situations such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somali, Darfur and the Central African Republic among others have revealed the limitations of cooperation between the UN and the regional organizations; and
11.4. Without sufficient financial and capacity building support, the aspiration and determination of regional organizations could outstrip their ability to deliver, particularly in harsh and challenging parts of the world. Consequently, burden sharing can easily turned into “burden shifting”, as the international community places unrealistic expectations on regional organizations that have yet to fully build its capacity.
12. We are of the view that although significant progress has been made in improving mutual cooperation between the UN and regional organizations, we strongly believe that more can be done.
13. We hope that the discussion today will generate more ideas and strategies in order to deepen and expend and improve cooperation between the UN and the regional organizations as well as between the regional bodies with a view to strengthening the capacity of the international community to respond effectively to new and old threats to international peace and security.
I thank you, Madam President.