The Security Council will hold an open debate later this month of January on strengthening strategic ties between the United Nations and regional organizations.
Ambassador Baso Sangqu of South Africa told reporters today at UN Headquarters in New York that his country’s President Jacob Zuma will chair the meeting on strengthening cooperation, which is slated for 12 January.
“We must continue, even when we face setbacks sometimes… forging strong relationships so that we could encourage common vision, common objectives and common frameworks in dealing with the conflicts on the [African] continent.” -Mr. Sangqu
The debate will tackle issues on cooperation between the UN and the African Union (AU) in Somalia and the work of a joint team examining the implications of last year’s conflict in Libya for countries in the Sahel region of West Africa.
In an interview with UN Radio earlier today, Mr. Sangqu said regional organizations can play an important role in resolving conflicts considering that neighbouring States are more directly affected whenever strife breaks out in a country.
Mr. Sangqu stressed that one of the things that they thought they could do is to build on the theme that they had been promoting as South Africa which is a stronger relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations.
“We are convinced that the primary role of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security.” -Mr. Sangqu
He noted that in contemporary times, the Security Council believes that the role of regional organizations is even more important..
“They are closer to the ground, they are more affected by the conflicts from their sisterly neighbouring countries, they have got a lot to lose if these conflicts continue to range.” -Mr. Sangqu
The Security Council is also scheduled to receive briefings or hold debates on a range of other subjects which include justice and the rule of law, the Middle East, Libya, the Darfur region of Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire.