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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Plenary
38th & 39th Meetings (AM & PM)
GA/10282
21 October 2004

SPEAKERS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY STRESS MERITS OF ENHANCED COOPERATION
 
BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS


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Background

The General Assembly met today to hold a joint debate on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations.  It had before it the report of the Secretary General (document A/59/303), dated 1 September, prepared in response to a number of resolutions asking the United Nations to increase contacts and identify areas of cooperation with regional and other organizations.  The report details the implementation of those resolutions.

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The report details the cooperation and developments since 2003 between the United Nations and the African Union; the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN); the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the Council of Europe; the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); the League of Arab States; the Organization of the Islamic Conference; the Organization of American States (OAS); the International Organization of la Francophonie; the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); the Pacific Islands Forum; and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

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Introduction of Reports, Drafts

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REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation with the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), contained in document A/59/L.1.  The AALCO had had as many as 16 cooperation arrangements with the United Nations, its agencies and other intergovernmental organizations.  His nation was honoured to host the organization’s forty-third meeting, which discussed 16 items with the objective of contributing to the progressive development of international law.  Among those were the transnational crimes of trafficking in women and children, corruption, the deportation of Palestinians, and jurisdictional immunities of States and their property.  The broad range of legal issues reflected the role of the AALCO in the promotion and codification of international law.  While assisting its member States in consideration of legal issues of common concern, it had to develop Asian-African approaches towards all branches of international law.

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ALTAY CENGİZER (Turkey) introduced the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) (document A/59/L.12).  He welcomed the report of Secretary General on current developments in the Middle East, Iraq and elsewhere in the Islamic world, adding that those issues underscored the vital nature of cooperation between the two organizations.  He hoped that, through the adoption of the draft, the United Nations and the OIC would continue to further their cooperation on important issues.

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ALI HACHANI (Tunisia), speaking on behalf of the Arab Group and the secretariat of the Arab League, said a draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States would be distributed to all delegations shortly.  That text would express appreciation to the Secretary-General and the wider Secretariat for following up on the various meetings, objectives and priority issues identified by the League.  It would ask the two Secretariats to enhance cooperation and to continue to promote the letter and spirit of the Charter.  It would also call for intensified cooperation between the specialized agencies of the United Nations and the League on issues such as water and resource management, among others, specific to the Arab region and the wider Middle East.

Speaking in his national capacity, he stressed the need to enhance coordination between the United Nations and the African Union, and to strengthen the relevant consultative mechanisms to that end.  Support should also be given to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.  He also stressed the need to strengthen the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa.  He expressed appreciation for the ongoing consultations between the various agencies of the Organization and Arab States on issues such as the situation in the Middle East and the combating terrorism.

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CHEICK SIDI DIARRA (Mali) ...

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The African Union and the United Nations should continue to pool their expertise in areas such as peacekeeping and peace-building.  He also stressed the need to strengthen capacities in the area of human rights, particularly those of women and children, to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable segments of the population.  Mali also welcomed the cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference on economic, social and humanitarian issues.  The two should shoulder the primary responsibility towards assisting the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination.  To that end, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) should also be strengthened.  On the important cooperative efforts under way between the United Nations and the Organization of la Francophonie, he said such collaboration had, among other things, led to the promotion of multilingualism throughout the United Nations system.

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SARDAR MUHAMMAD SAWAR (Pakistan), focusing on United Nations cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said that body now had some 54 member States, and six observers from Asia, Africa and Europe.  As the collective voice of the Islamic world, the OIC had for years been engaged in a constructive and cooperative relationship with the United Nations, reinforcing common efforts in pursuit of peace and development.  The OIC had also endeavoured to deepen cultural dialogue with and among different civilizations and cultures.  It had also taken significant measures in fostering peace, in promoting social and economic development, and in combating ethnic or racial intolerance, which constantly threatened international peace and security.

He stressed that in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001, the Islamic world, under the auspices of the OIC, had joined the international community in the common fight against terrorism.  It had been emphatic in its condemnation of terrorism and had adopted a convention to deal with the scourge.  Pakistan would like to see the United Nations and the OIC work more closely together towards resolving conflicts in the Muslim world, including Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir.  More needed to be done by all to address the root causes of those conflicts, he added.

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