Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC debate on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations: CSTO, SCO, CIS

28 October 2016

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the UN Secretary-General for his briefing.

Indeed, it is very important to develop effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations, in accordance with the UN Charter and the relevant statutes of the regional organizations.

In his latest report to the Security Council on Cooperation between the UN and regional and other organizations (A/71/160—S/2016/621, 15 July 2016), the Secretary-General underscored that this “cooperation… had significantly deepened and diversified in recent years” and “had proven critical to ensuring effective international peace and security engagements”.

We fully agree with this conclusion and welcome positive examples of such cooperation of the UN with the European Union, the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and many others. These organizations have proven to be capable of taking the lead in promoting peace, security and stability.

As a current member of the UN Security Council Ukraine already commended their increased contribution to the maintenance of peace and security, and welcomed the continuing important efforts and enhanced peacekeeping role to prevent, mediate and settle conflicts.

Still, cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations has yet to reach its full potential and should be substantially mainstreamed — since the nature and structure of that cooperation is often being overshadowed or undermined by the interests of some Council members.

Unfortunately we must admit that in today’s world the roles of regional organizations in maintaining peace and security are rather different. Some of them are committed to their Charters and work to prevent, manage and resolve crises. Others — on the contrary — tend to abstain from such actions and politicize their activities because of the distractive actions of their members.

Mr. President,

Since the topic of our today’s discussion is cooperation between the UN and CSTO, SCO and CIS I would like to raise a couple of issues that are very important for creating the full picture of the nature, results and consequences of this interaction.

Firstly, let me remind the Council that according to the CIS and CSTO Charters, their members should be (I quote) “acting in strict compliance with their obligations under the UN Charter, being guided by the universally recognized principles of international law” (CSTO Charter), “build relations in accordance with the principles of ‘inviolability of state borders, the recognition of existing borders and the rejection of unlawful territorial annexations, resolution of disputes by peaceful means’ (end of quote) (CIS Charter).

However, facts are very clear — these organizations demonstrated a complete lack of will to take appropriate measures to respond to the conflicts in the region. First of all, I refer to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia. The Russian Federation, one of the founding members of these organizations, continues to blatantly violate the UN Charter, the CIS and CSTO Charters, international law, multilateral and bilateral agreements.

And at this very moment these organizations are still pretending that there is no ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, no occupation of Crimea, no de facto occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, no war crimes committed against Ukrainian and Georgian peoples.

Taking this opportunity I call on the member states of these organizations to speak up collectively and individually and to make a difference. It is also about your security, about your future. Your voice is important in our common efforts aimed at defending the UN Charter and credibility of cooperation of regional organizations with the UN.

Until then, unfortunately, we cannot agree that the CIS and CSTO are able to “make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of disputes” as enshrined in article 52 of the UN Charter.

Until then, we do not see any added value in deepening interaction between these organizations and the UN on the basis of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.

In this regard I would like to commend the SCO members that during the conflict in Georgia in 2008 underscored the need to respect the territorial integrity of states. We wish the same approach be maintained vis-a-vis the temporary occupation of Crimea and the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

To conclude I would like to underscore that the Russian aggression against Ukraine clearly demonstrated the insufficiency of mechanisms of cooperation between the UN and regional organizations.

In our view there is an urgent need to develop mechanisms of coordination of regional organizations with the UN at a stage of early signs of emergency. It would help us shorten the time needed to start action for prevention and settlement of conflicts.