Statement by Amb. Byrne Nason - UNSC Debate on Cooperation between the UN & Regional Organisations
Statement16 February 2022
Thank you very much Madam President. I wanted to welcome amongst us this morning Deputy Foreign Minister Vershinin and I also wanted to give my thanks to the Secretary General for his briefing earlier and a warm welcome to the Secretary General, Mr Zas, to our meeting today. I’d like to acknowledge the participation of CSTO member states in today’s debate.
In Ireland we have a deep appreciation of the vital role regional and sub-regional organisations can play in building and sustaining peace. That’s an appreciation informed directly from our own national history and experience.
Our membership of the European Union was central to the development and growth our country. But the European Union also played a key role in the journey to peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.
This Council is charged with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. But we know that this requires collective and multi-layered efforts. We have seen, time and again, the critical role regional organisations can play, from promoting dialogue to mediation to advancing confidence-building measures.
It is clear that strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional organisations enhances our ability to prevent and resolve conflict, and to advance the broader goals and objectives of the UN Charter.
UN peacekeeping helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. In this context, regional organisations have also played an important role. Ireland, as a long standing troop contributor to UN peacekeeping, also participates in a number of UN authorized EU missions and operations. These support peace and security, facilitating political processes, protecting civilians, promoting human rights and enhancing the rule of law.
In the fifteen years since the UN’s Regional Centre for Preventative Diplomacy was established, it has supported the efforts of the Central Asian nations to jointly build peace and security in their region through cooperation.
These efforts are an ongoing process, but by seeking solutions to common challenges rooted in cooperation, the countries of Central Asia have sought to ensure better outcomes for their citizens. Joint endeavours on transboundary water management, climate and security, counter-narcotics and cross border trade have begun to lay the groundwork for stronger, more sustainable and resilient communities and economies right across the region.
We welcome Central Asian countries’ engagement with the Women, Peace and Security and with the Youth, Peace and Security Agendas. We see these as crucial to maintaining peace and stability in the region. The UN has played a critical role in supporting these regional efforts. The Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus is a clear demonstration of the undeniable positive impact of women’s engagement in peacebuilding and preventative diplomacy.
Providing spaces for the Central Asian youth to address the issues directly affecting them encourages reflexive cooperation and dialogue. It also sets the stage for continued regional peace and stability. Ireland strongly encourages sustained prioritisation of the WPS and YPS agendas in all regional organisation partnerships.
Ireland understands from our own history, all too well, that parity of esteem and mutual understanding – essential building blocks for peace – are achieved through constructive, inter-personal dialogues grounded in equality. We also know the value of the supports which regional organisations can provide to peace processes and peace building efforts.
Recent events in Kazakhstan have underlined the importance of preventative diplomacy and the close cooperation of neighbouring states to prevent destabilising conflict. Ireland and our EU partners were deeply concerned by the violence which occurred following peaceful protests across the country. Respect for the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all citizens is fundamental to peace and stability in all circumstances, including in Kazakhstan.
Ireland will always stand in strong defence of democratic principles and the right of a people to determine their political leaders and their system of government.
To conclude, Madam President, Ireland reiterates her strong support for continued and strengthened cooperation between regional organisations and the UN. By working together, we can do more and we can do it better.
Thank you Mr President.