Conflict Prevention, Peace building and Mediation

EU Statement – United Nations Security Council: Enhancing Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Sub-regional organisations in Enhancing Confidence building and Dialogue in Conflict Prevention and Resolution

New York, 20/04/2021 - 00:31, UNIQUE ID: 210419_34
Statements on behalf of the EU

19 April 2021, New York – Statement by the European Union delivered by H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council High-level Open Debate on Enhancing Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Sub-regional organisations in Enhancing Confidence building and Dialogue in Conflict Prevention and Resolution

I would like to congratulate Vietnam for organising this important debate and thank you for the invitation to the President of the European Council, H.E. Charles Michel, to brief the meeting. He was unfortunately not able to be here today, but I will deliver the following statement on his behalf.

M. President, the EU is a strong proponent of an effective multilateral system with the UN at its centre. We believe that everyone is best served by a rules based international order where international law and international humanitarian law is upheld. Human rights in all their dimensions are respected and where conflicts are resolved peacefully through dialogue and diplomacy.

In this spirit, and as we speak, we are facilitating talks in Vienna on the JCPOA on Iran's nuclear dossier. Mr. President, everything we do is in close cooperation with and always reinforcing the mission and the objective of the United Nations and its Charter. I want to pay tribute to all Regional Organisations represented here today and say how much we appreciate our cooperation. Regional Organisations and sub-Regional Organisations play a unique role in preventing and resolving conflict. With cultural proximity, strong networks with the parties to a conflict and in many cases, legitimacy based on cooperation, trust and confidence, the regional organisations are uniquely placed to catch early warning signs and add value in mediation.

I want to echo the words of the Secretary-General this morning as to Myanmar, and the crisis driven by the military leadership there and give a strong support to ASEAN in its efforts.

Mr. President,

The very foundation of the EU is in its efforts to overcome division and promote peace. We have 64 years of finding and building consensus. To match new realities and to raise our level of ambition globally, the EU adopted a new Concept on EU Peace Mediation at the end of last year. It provides a solid basis for reinforcing our mediation efforts in support of multilateral and regional responses to crises, drawing on the EU's diplomatic reach and multifaceted presence around the world.

Many of our efforts, such as training and stabilisation missions, in addition to financial support, including to AMISOM, has been referred to by others today. I am honoured to share some examples of our work with you, looking first to the Western Balkans. In the context of the EU facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, we have come a long way over the last decade. Bringing the two Parties together through dialogue, we have now arrived at a stage where the EU is working with the Parties to finally conclude the process.

In the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood, the recent hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh have highlighted the urgency to dedicate serious efforts and attention to so-called "protracted conflicts". We have been reminded that protracted animosity is not synonymous with genuine peace. Continued confidence-building and dialogue efforts are essential. This is why the EU is undertaking complementary stabilisation and peacebuilding actions to restore trust throughout our neighbourhood in cooperation with regional and international partners.

In Georgia, since the 2008 EU-brokered agreement, the EU has steered and co-chaired, with the UN and the OSCE, the Geneva International Discussions – a unique dialogue mechanism involving Georgia, Russia, the US as well as the de facto authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These efforts are complemented by the EU Monitoring Mission, present on the ground since 2008, ensuring daily monitoring of the administrative boundary lines and holding regular Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meetings on both sides, improving living conditions and contacts between people across the dividing lines.

In Ukraine, the EU together with its Member States is the biggest contributors to the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission, monitoring the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The EU also assists the Ukrainian National Platform on Dialogue for Peace and Secure Reintegration Support, which enables exchanges on national unity and transitional justice.

Building on this experience, the EU is actively supporting peace processes around the world from Yemen and Syria to the Central African Republic and Mali, to Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia where the EU has been actively working through the International Contact Group to create conditions for a peaceful and democratic solution.

The EU is a partner of the Middle East Quartet and closely involved in the Libya Quartet, which in itself is an illustration of the important role that regional organisations can play, bringing together the UN, the AU, the League of Arab States and the EU. With Operation IRINI, the EU is the only international actor monitoring the UN arms embargo.

Let me close by stressing how the success of any efforts to build confidence through dialogue is dependent on their inclusivity. Regional actors have a particularly important role to play in making sure that the voices of all groups in society, including women and youth, are listened to and taken into account in the interests of achieving sustainable peace.

Thank you.


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