UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for bolstered cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub regional organizations to respond effectively to emerging threats to international peace and security as also to prevent, manage and resolve crises, promote economic cooperation, and protect human rights.
“I take this opportunity to reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, and promotion of regional and sub regional cooperation including through the United Nations,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the U.N., said in a statement submitted to the General Assembly.
“The United Nations, given its mandate, experience and expertise, can and should play a role in preventing and resolving conflicts across the world, especially in regions where unresolved disputes have hobbled prospects for regional cooperation’, the statement added.
With apparently South Asia in mind, the Pakistani envoy said that “cooperative frameworks are not in evidence” in some regions, where disputes persist along with an absence of mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution. Such regions, she said, have yet to harness the promise that regional or sub regional cooperation offers.
Ambassador Lodhi also called for expanded U.N. cooperation with organizations like South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and enhances their ability to achieve common goals of development and eradication of poverty.
More than 25 regional and sub regional organizations, including Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have established formal cooperative relationships with the United Nations.
Opening a high-level thematic debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub regional organizations, Sam Kutesa, president of the 193-member Assembly, said that “in these changing times, the distinctive role regional and sub regional organizations can play in addressing some of the world’s most persistent challenges is as important as ever.”
The debate featured a keynote address by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who said that while Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter provided for cooperation between the Organization and regional and sub regional partners, action by the Security Council which continued to be dominated by the victorious powers of the Second World War was frequently taken without the input of such partners and had caused much harm to Africa.
In order to talk about strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub regional organizations, the ‘old-fashioned’ structures of the Organization needed to be re-examined and changed to conform to current realities.
The Pakistani envoy said regional organizations have the potential to forge partnerships for economic cooperation, regional connectivity, trade, sustainable development, environmental protection and disaster risk reduction.
“They can do more in pursuit of these goals, including in partnership with the United Nations, its regional commissions, funds and programmes”, she added.
According to the statement, the most vital area for cooperation between regional organizations and the UN in coming years would be the Post 2015 Development Agenda, which marks a paradigm shift in vision, strategy and programmes to eradicate poverty, transform economies, address inequalities within and among nations and preserve our planet.
She stressed that “A new global polarity between fragility and resilience has joined the more enduring one between poverty and resilience.”
And this, her statement added, requires a more holistic and cross cutting approach across different but linked sectors.
Ambassador Lodhi said that regional and sub regional organizations can and should foster partnerships with the UN to advance implementation of the Post 2105 development agenda.
“This requires prioritization and aligning of respective strategies through regional agreements and arrangements. Technical assistance, exchange of information and best practices, as well as lessons learnt can all play a vital role and should be supported”.
Recalling the recent earthquakes and floods in South and West Asia, she said they had underscored the magnitude of the task of coping with natural disasters and mitigating the human tragedies caused by them. But they also highlighted disaster risk reduction as a critical area that required more cooperation and coordination within SAARC and the ECO.
Pakistan also conveyed profound condolences to the government and people of Nepal for the tragic loss of life in the recent earthquake.
“This tragedy serves as another reminder of the need to build synergies between regional and international capacities for a safer seismic future.”