Switzerland thanks Vietnam for organizing this debate and the Secretary-General as well as the speakers for their contributions.
The OSCE is “our best option for reducing tensions in Europe and restoring trust”. This is how our Foreign Minister describes the largest regional security organization. Regional organizations have an important role to play in conflict prevention and resolution. Several contexts on the agenda of the Security Council attest to this. To borrow the term used by the Secretary-General, a “networked multilateralism” is necessary to anticipate and prevent risks and to formulate adequate responses.
Let me highlight three priorities for action to deepen cooperation between the Security Council and the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations, to enable preventive and confidence-building measures to reach their full potential:
First, complementarity between regional organizations and the United Nations must be strengthened. Good practices developed at the regional level can serve as inspiration for international cooperation and complement it. I am thinking here of the OSCE's comprehensive and cooperative approach, which establishes a clear link between security, respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Regional organizations possess instruments adapted to specific contexts to prevent the aggravation of tensions and to mitigate their root causes. Switzerland hosts the Geneva International Discussions, co-chaired by the OSCE, the European Union and the UN, which accompany the political process of the 2008 conflict in Georgia. This good coordination contributes to defusing tensions and meeting humanitarian needs. As a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN, Switzerland welcomes the enhanced cooperation on confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy provided for in the ASEAN-UN Plan of Action 2021-2025. The urgency of the current crisis in Myanmar requires both leading ASEAN action to engage in dialogue and facilitate a return to democracy, as well as continued commitment by the relevant UN bodies.
Second, we need to intensify the flow of information between the United Nations, including the Security Council, and regional and sub-regional organizations. Coordinated action in preventive and cooperative diplomacy starts with information sharing and joint analysis. In this sense, Switzerland welcomes the Joint UN-African Union (AU) Framework, which provides the political basis for a more systematic cooperation, the Annual Consultative Meeting of the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council, as well as the joint field visits. Since 2015, Switzerland has supported the yearly High-Level Seminar on peace and security bringing together the African members of the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council, which has become a privileged platform for exchanges to foster better coordination. Switzerland also welcomes the recourse to formal Security Council meetings on cooperation with regional organisations to discuss a variety of regions, as for the first time in 2020 in the presence of the Secretaries-General of ASEAN and the OIF. These interventions provide analyses informed by the strong field presence of regional organizations and their interactions with all stakeholders, including civil society.
Third, the Council must use its mandate and the tools at its disposal to support prevention efforts at the regional level. In speaking with one voice, the Council can play an important role when it comes to strengthening political will to respond to early warnings. The Council must also support conflict resolution and observation mechanisms such as the efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. The Security Council mandate for Operation ALTHEA also contributes, among other things, to the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, and through it, to the specific role of the OSCE in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including in arms control and security sector reform in the country.
In conclusion, it is important to underline that complementarity between the Security Council and regional organizations should not mean that one should abdicate its responsibilities when the other tackles a crisis. On the contrary, the Council has important instruments at its disposal to create space for regional efforts, to accompany them and to enhance their effectiveness. As a candidate for the Security Council, Switzerland will continue to be committed to prevention and synergies between the United Nations and regional organizations, for a more stable and secure world.
I thank you.