Eritrea's statement at the UN on strengthening cooperation between UN and regional organizations
H.E. AMB. GIRMA ASMEROM
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ERITREA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
THE UN HIGH-LEVEL THEMATIC DEBATE ON STRENGTHENING
COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS AND REGIONAL AND
New York, 04 May 2015
Excellencies Heads of States and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I would like to thank H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, for his presence and elaborate keynote address.
Let me also congratulate the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Sam Kutesa for his timely and noble initiative.
I would also like to thank the Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his statement.
Eritrea strongly believes that regional organizations such as African Union, Arab League, ASEAN, European Union, Organization of American States, CELAC etc. are contributing to peace, development and integration in their respective regions. They are important platforms and the best mechanism for economic cooperation and integration.
Eritrea’s foreign policy is anchored on enhancing and promoting cooperative and peaceful neighborhood. Eritrea has been at the forefront in advancing and advocating the consolidation and revitalization of the African Union and its subsidiary sub-regional organization, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD).
While hailing the contribution of regional and sub-regional organization, we should be mindful of principles that are paramount for the success of cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Sub regional organization. In this connection, Eritrea would like to stress and underline the following points and principles;
First: the credibility of regional and sub-regional organizations hinges on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and equality of their respective members, as these are the principles and foundations upon which the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations were created.
Second: cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organization must be based on the United Nations Charter. The primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the UN Security Council and the contribution of regional organization should be in accordance to Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and should not in any way circumvent the role of the United Nations, especially the Security Council.
Third: the principle of subsidiarity and complementarity must be respected and implemented without ifs and buts. In Africa, for instance, sub-regional organization, such as CEN-SAD, ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC etc., are recognized as an important building bloc to African unity. However, such sub-regional organization be it in Africa or any other part of the world must first and foremost aim to harmonize their views at continental level. United Nations engagement with sub-regional organization, therefore, should be through their respective continental organizations.
Fourth: Regional and sub-regional arrangements must be based on principles of inclusive, equitable representation and rotation. Eritrea underlines that no country, big or small, should be allowed under any pretext to hold a chairmanship of a regional or sub-regional organization indefinitely and for a prolonged period. Similarly, regional or sub-regional organization that prevents any country in its respective region from effectively participating on issues that collectively affects the region and is dominated by one country is not only unacceptable but will have a less chance of success in the promotion of regional peace, development and integration. It must be challenged and rejected. Inclusivity and equality of membership as well as clarity of activities must be the prerequisite for the United Nations to determine its cooperation mechanism with the regional and sub-regional organization.
Fifth: while Eritrea wants to clearly state that predictable technical and financial support of the United Nations to regional and sub-regional organizations is essential, it is critical for regional and sub-regional organizations to pool their own resources, in order to secure the ownership their policies and programs.
I thank you Mr. President
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