Cowen welcomes enhanced EU cooperation with the United Nations
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., speaking at United Nations headquarters in New York today, welcomed the Joint Declaration by the EU and the UN on cooperation in crisis management.
The Joint Declaration, signed by Italy's President Berlusconi on behalf of the EU and by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is aimed at further improving the cooperation between the two organisations. The Joint Declaration restates that primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the UN Security Council and recalls recent examples of cooperation between the two organisations. The Declaration also establishes a joint consultative mechanism to further cooperation and coordination. Follow-up to this Joint Declaration will be a priority for Ireland's Presidency of the EU in 2004.
The Minister said, “Today's Declaration is an important public recognition of the practical cooperation that has been underway for some time now between the United Nations and the European Union in the area of crisis management.
With the development of the Union's capabilities in this area in recent years, we have seen this cooperation given practical expression, bringing tangible benefits on the ground. For example, we have seen the establishment of an EU police mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina and a military stabilisation force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the request of Secretary General Annan.
The EU has a range of instruments available to it to advance security and development in Europe and beyond: aid, trade and diplomatic instruments, combined with military and civilian crisis management capabilities. It is with this broad range of instruments, applied coherently, that the Union can best cooperate with and support the UN, in particular the Security Council, in the maintenance of international peace and security. In a world where the UN may become increasingly reliant on regional organisations, such as the EU, this support and cooperation is not optional, it is essential”, the Minister said.
Joint Declaration on UN-EU Co-operation in Crisis Management
The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union welcome the existing co-operation between the United Nations and the European Union in the area of civilian and military crisis management, in particular in the Balkans and in Africa. In order to deepen this co-operation and provide it with reliable and sustainable mechanisms, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union have agreed to the following joint Declaration:
1. The United Nations and the European Union are united by the premise that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the United Nations Security Council, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Within this framework, the European Union reasserts its commitment to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations in crisis management.
2. The United Nations and the European Union recognise that the past year saw great progress in tangible co-operation between them in crisis management areas, specifically the hand-over of responsibilities from the United Nations International Police Task Force to the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the rapid deployment at the request of the Security Council, of the European Union Military Operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Artemis); and the active consideration by the European Union of ways to assist in the establishment of an Integrated Police Unit in Kinshasa to provide security to the transitional government and institutions.
3. Further practical steps should be taken to build on the momentum of the positive co-operation between the United Nations and the European Union. To this end, the United Nations and the European Union agree to establish a joint consultative mechanism at the working level to examine ways and means to enhance mutual co-ordination and compatibility in the following areas:
• Planning: including reciprocal assistance in assessment missions and greater contact and co-operation between mission planning units, specifically with regard to logistical resource allocation and inventory as well as interoperability of equipment.
• Training: the establishment of joint training standards, procedures and planning for military and civilian personnel; the synchronisation of pre-deployment training for civilian police, military liaison officers and military observers; and the institutionalisation of training seminars, conferences and exercises.
• Communication: greater co-operation between situation centers; exchange of liaison officers whenever required (military, civilian police, situation center, political/headquarters officials); establishment of desk-to-desk dialogue through the respective liaison offices in New York and Brussels.
• Best Practices: regularised and systematic exchange of lessons learned and best practices information, including sharing of information on mission hand-over and procurement.