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Debate: Maintenance of International Peace and Security

(New York, November 23 2011)

Statement by H.E. Patti Londoño, Viceminister for Multilateral Affairs



Mr. President,

I am pleased to present my compliments to you Mr. President as well as to H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, whose presence honors this meeting.

I want to thank you for convening this meeting and for the briefings by the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mr. Yuri Fedotov, the High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Antonio Guterres, and the Director of the World Health Organization, Ms. Margaret Chan.

When we address the issue of threats to peace and security as this Council has done over the years, we refer to both old and new threats. There are multiple challenges of the global agenda, but not all negative global phenomena are, in themselves, threats to peace and security.

Speaking of new challenges to international peace and security involves entering broad and vague grounds. There are several sources of instability in the economic, social, humanitarian and environmental areas which may worsen existing threats and, in situations where institutions are weak, or in conflict and / or post conflict situations may have greater impact. It is worth remembering that the 2011 World Development Report notes that institutional legitimacy is the key to stability and that, otherwise the probability of conflict arising may increase.

Here, we must recognize that the global agenda is complex and multifaceted, and that sometimes it poses problems that affect the conditions of international peace and security. The latter does not mean that the Security Council should address all of the issues on the global agenda, leading to a process of "growing securitization."

The United Nations System has identified specific workspaces. To address the various problems of a global nature, the international community has built a specialized and distinct architecture which has areas of competence of its own. In this construction, the organs, agencies, and entities created over the recent decades should cooperate under the premise of protecting the common interests of mankind.

Within its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security, and meeting the requirements for collective security, the Security Council acts and must act to carry out the important work of pursuing substantial initiatives to advance the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflict. In addition, the Council has recognized that the consolidation of sustainable peace requires the adoption of an integrated approach that strengthens the coherence between the activities in the political, security, development, and human rights areas as well as promoting the rule of law.

As part of a coherent approach and within the scope of the situations under its consideration, the Council plays an important role in supporting the strengthening of the rule of law, and ensuring national capacity building to ensure continuity on the functioning of the institutions and the provision of services during the transition and peace consolidation processes.

The logical thing would be to channel the Council's work in two directions that are not mutually exclusive but complementary:

First: That it is possible to build transparent institutional bridges between different international instances and organizations, so that each one pursues its own goals, but that the necessary synergy exists, so that information flows in an appropriate manner between them, and that all agencies can benefit from this exchanges. This is of huge importance while discussing the United Nations reform. In some cases, this entails structural mechanisms, and in other, procedural matters that should discuss.

The "new challenges" have their own mechanisms in different United Nations instances and even outside the System. The analysis by the Council of these so-called "new challenges" makes sense only to the extent that these, in certain cases and under specific circumstances, may aggravate existing threats in situations under consideration by the Council or as part of the strategic analysis on conflict prevention.

Second: We must remember that the Security Council's functions are defined by the Charter. In recent years, this body has focused preferably on Chapter VII, somehow disregarding the broad provisions set out in Chapter VI. It would be worthwhile in this context to reflect on how to strengthen the application of Chapter VI to act on these 'new challenges' within the framework of the principles and purposes set forth in the Charter.

The magnitude and complexity of the global agenda requires comprehensive and coordinated action by the United Nations and the international community. Given its universal and specialized nature, it is necessary to highlight the work of the General Assembly and other relevant forums for a for discussion and consensus building to address the issues and challenges posed by the so-called new challenges.

Thank you Mr. President.


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Statement 2011