posted on Thu 13 Feb 2014 1:41 PM
Presidential Statement on Cooperation between the UN and EU

Tomorrow (14 February), the Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting on cooperation between the UN and the European Union (EU), with briefings by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the EU Catherine Ashton and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The meeting will be chaired by Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. The Council is also expected to adopt its first ever presidential statement specifically on the issue of cooperation between the UN and the EU, which was drafted by Lithuania, president of the Council this month.

The negotiations on the draft presidential statement were not particularly difficult, with only one round of expert-level negotiations needed. It seems that Lithuania held bilateral meetings with delegations that have particular interest in certain aspects of the draft text before the expert-level meeting of all Council members on 10 February. The following evening, after minor changes to the text were made, the draft presidential statement was put under silence procedure, which was not broken.

Lithuania proposed a short and concise initial draft that was largely built on previously agreed language on cooperation with regional and subregional organsiations. (Similar language was used in 2013 presidential statements on cooperation with the Organisation of Islamic Conference in October [S/PRST/2013/16] and in a more general statement on cooperation between regional and subregional organisations with the UN in August [S/PRST2013/12]). The presidential statement’s main purpose is to reiterate that cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organisations in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, and consistent with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, can improve collective security. In particular, the statement will likely emphasise the EU’s cooperation with the UN and its role in the maintenance of international peace and security and in the implementation of Council-mandated tasks.

At tomorrow’s meeting, Ashton will likely follow a format similar to her previous briefings to the Council and will provide updates on the activities of the EU since the last such briefing in February 2013. Among the areas that may be covered are the Common Security and Defence Policy report which Ashton submitted at the end of 2013. Also, Ashton as well as European members of the Council are likely to highlight successful EU mediation efforts on Kosovo. Council members, who are all expected to speak, will likely also address other regional issues of high importance such as the efforts of the EU in stabilising the Horn of Africa and its strategy in the Sahel region, particularly in Mali. Other issues likely to be discussed are the most recent efforts of the EU in dealing with the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic, and the decision to send EU troops in order to stabilise the country.

In general, Council members are expected to highlight positive developments and commend the role of the EU in the maintenance of international peace and security. Taking into consideration the wide range of issues in which the EU has been involved, different Council members will likely focus their statements on the aspects of EU contributions that are of most interest to each of them.

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