by H.E. Mr. Le Hoai Trung
Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations
on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security”
New York, 6 August 2013
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
At the outset, allow me to congratulate Argentina on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of August and wish you success in this important endeavour. We thank you, Madame President, for organizing today’s important debate.
The last few years have witnessed enormous changes and emerging paradigms in international peace and security, putting to the test the established framework for global governance. In the face of these challenges, it is critical to strengthen a regional-global cooperation and coordination.
Indeed, from Europe to Asia, Africa to the Americas, regional organizations have displayed a more active role in the maintenance of peace and security together with the promotion of social and economic development. Recognizing this and in accordance with provisions of the Charter, the UN member states have consolidated their respective regional collaboration and have fostered regional-global cooperation with the UN, in particular the Security Council.
In our region, the ten Southeast Asian countries are building an ASEAN Community as envisioned in the ASEAN Charter. Over the years, ASEAN has increasingly become a central component of the regional architecture. Important regional arrangements, with ASEAN at the core, in particular the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), have proven to be effective fora for dialogue and consultation on regional security and beyond.
In its efforts to promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, ASEAN attaches great importance to the cooperation with the United Nations. Since the last Council debate on this topic in January 2010, this cooperation has been improved in a comprehensive manner.
First, ASEAN–UN cooperation has been institutionalised with the adoption of a Comprehensive Partnership. Under this framework, periodic ASEAN–UN interactions at the highest levels have been established, including ASEAN–UN Summits and annual meetings between ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the President of the General Assembly and the UN Secretary General. The Comprehensive Partnership has also laid out priority areas of cooperation which include mediation and good offices, non-traditional security issues, counter-terrorism, peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping, peace-building, food and energy security, climate change, ASEAN connectivity and integration, culture and education. Additionally, a GA resolution on ASEAN–UN cooperation has been adopted biennially by consensus, stressing the need for continued and increased coordination for the materialization of elements of cooperation contained therein.
Second, ASEAN member states have actively and constructively contributed to the work of the UN in the field of peace and security. Individually or collectively, ASEAN states have been authoring or taking part in negotiations of important GA resolutions on peace and security; becoming members and chairing groups within the framework of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. As of June 2013, ASEAN member states has contributed nearly 4,000 peacekeepers in 13 out of 16 United Nations Peacekeeping missions, and more are expected with the recent announcement by Viet Nam to participate in UN PKOs in early 2014.
Third, ASEAN and UN Secretariats are crucial in the implementation of the Comprehensive Partnership. The UN Secretariat and other UN bodies have provided expertise, cooperated closely with ASEAN and other partners in organizing workshops, training courses and in bilateral exchanges on peace- and security-related issues. Notable instances include the workshops held in 2011 and 2012 on joint investigation and cash courier border controls facilitated by the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); the 2013 workshop on “Lessons learned and best practices in conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy” organised by the ASEAN Secretariat, the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. UN experts have also contributed to developing regional approaches to counter-terrorism, preventive diplomacy, disaster relief, nuclear non-proliferation, small arms and light weapons.
The growing ASEAN-UN cooperation has been beneficial to international and regional peace and security, and the building of the ASEAN Political-Security Community. Through increased interaction, the expertise and niche capacity of each side is explored and utilized to complement each other, contributing to regional capacity building.
On its part, ASEAN continues to be a net contributor to international peace and security. The “ASEAN way” of incremental interaction, consultation and dialogue could be part of the solution to conflicts and crises elsewhere. Most importantly, such dialogue is crucial for cultivating a culture of peace that promotes restraint, preventive diplomacy and mutual respect, as well as a strong commitment to international law, the UN Charter, including the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes.
As experience has shown, regional particularities and ownership are vital to stronger cooperation between the UN and regional organizations. Indeed, regional organizations are better positioned to forge regional understanding of emerging issues, match the need from the receiving end and the expertise and resources from the supply side, and foster legitimacy and feasibility of any solution. Hence, enhanced dialogue with and increased assistance to regional organizations will help better inform the debate and build the capacity needed for the most effective solutions. In this connection, it is our hope to benefit from continued UN support and facilitation for the central role of ASEAN in addressing regional peace and security issues as well as ASEAN’s contribution to the work of the UN. Emerging issues such as climate change, energy security, and maritime security would be better grasped and dealt with by increased and diversified cooperation between ASEAN and the UN, including UN specialised agencies.
I would like to take this opportunity to express the sincere thanks from ASEAN countries toward the Secretary General, the UN bodies and specialized agencies and their leaders for their valuable support and assistance extended to ASEAN over the years.
Let me conclude by reiterating the strong commitment of ASEAN to further broaden and deepen the cooperation between ASEAN and the UN, especially in maintaining international and regional peace and security. That commitment stems from our common understanding that in the face of unprecedented complexities of today’s world, partnership is of paramount importance. The global, the regional and the national are now inextricably linked and only by fully exploring the interrelationship will we be able to prosper.
In so doing, we should also bear in mind that cooperation between the UN and regional organizations may not bring about results as visible as expected, but over the long run, when being faced with abrupt crises and conflict, a better grasp of regional intricacies would be of great importance to any solution. To that end, ASEAN stands ready to work closely with the UN and other member states to rid the world of the scourges of war and conflict.
I thank you, Madame President./.