Cooperation between the United Nations and other international and regional organisations in the fields of crisis management and security
Chapter VIII of the UN Charter encourages regional organisations to cooperate with the United Nations, consistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter, in particular the Security Council’s pre-eminence in maintaining international peace and security. This cooperation has developed, for example, with the European Union, which intends to play an international role commensurate with its political and economic importance and is more than a regional organisation in the strict sense of the word. Close cooperation is also emerging between the United Nations and the African Union to manage crises in Africa.
Cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union
Cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union in crisis management and security has grown rapidly in a few years with the launch of twenty or so military and civil operations and of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) on all continents. The EU has always sought to act in cooperation with the United Nations (Security Council mandate; support for United Nations peacekeeping operations [PKOs]). This cooperation is one of the main areas in which the CSDP is being developed.
Cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union in crisis management, whose principles on the European side were laid down by the European Council in Nice in 2000, was formalised in joint declarations on 24 September 2003 and 7 June 2007.
The 2003 Artemis and 2006 EUFOR DRC operations were launched in response to an appeal from the United Nations Secretary-General to support the action of the United Nations mission to DR Congo (MONUC). From March 2008 to March 2009, under Security Council Resolution 1778, the European Union deployed operation EUFOR Chad/CAR in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic. This operation contributed to protecting endangered civilians (refugees and displaced persons), facilitated relief action and ensured the protection of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). The EU’s military operation was relieved by a military component of the United Nations mission (MINURCAT II ) in March 2009.
A number of European Union and United Nations missions are currently deployed in the same theatres: in Afghanistan, EUPOL police reform operation and UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan); in DR Congo, EUSEC DRC and EUPOL DRC to reform the security and police sectors and MONUC; in Guinea Bissau, the mission to support reform of the security sector (EU SSR) and UNOGBIS (United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea Bissau), for example.
Under resolutions adopted by the Security Council, the EU naval operation Atalanta is currently protecting the vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP) supplying humanitarian aid to Somalia and helping combat piracy off the Somali coast. A new form of operational cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union has thus emerged at sea.
This growing cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union is made easier by the similar conception they both have of crisis management by the international community (in particular, the need to mobilise all available instruments, whether political, civilian or military).
This cooperation increases the legitimacy of both organisations: EU operations enjoy the political legitimacy that comes from UN Security Council mandates, and the United Nations benefits from the credibility and operational resources supplied by the EU to conduct complex operations in difficult areas.
Exchanges between the two Secretariats are a daily occurrence in New York and Brussels. In addition to cooperation in crisis management, the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union is developing in the field of security in the broad sense, upstream of crises (training of personnel deployed in United Nations PKOs, African capacity building in crisis management) and downstream (such as security sector reform [SSR], Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration [DDR], support for the UN Peacebuilding Commission).
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, which increases the consistency of its external action, the European Union should be able to develop still further its cooperation with the United Nations. The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, regularly speak in New York (General Assembly, Security Council).
Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union
The African Union has also asserted itself in recent years as a major partner of the United Nations in Africa.
The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in the field of peace and security is developing at present at two levels:
political, with regular dialogue between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC);
operational, with the deployment of peacekeeping operations of the African Union or subregional organisations under United Nations mandate.
Some of these operations have been supported by United Nations PKOs (Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire). A joint, so-called hybrid mission (UNAMID) has been deployed in Darfur, Sudan, since 1 January 2008.
The United Nations, in coordination with other international partners (such as the European Union), is working to help strengthen two aspects of the African Union’s peacekeeping:
the AU’s current lack of the capability to conduct complex large-scale operations over time. The solution involves capacity building for African peace-keeping: management, planning and conduct of operations; strengthening of African peacekeeping contingents complying with United Nations standards;
the funding of African peacekeeping operations. In July 2008, the United Nations decided to examine how to improve the funding of African operations outside the UN budget.
Update : July 2010
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