Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations on the Briefing to the Security Council by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), 7 March 2019

Mr President,

Thank you for facilitating today’s briefing by the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, Mr Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

It is clear from the briefing that regional and sub-regional organisations dealing with issues of peace and security remain important for ensuring sustainable peace and security in their respective regions. The briefing has also illustrated the importance of support and cooperation from the United Nations, as the primary international organ tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security.

Efforts to enhance the relationship between the United Nations and the OSCE are therefore welcomed.

We wish to reiterate that cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations in the furtherance of Chapter VIII of the Charter is necessary to ensure closer coordination between our actions.

We acknowledge, however that each regional organisation is unique in terms of the challenges they face in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the manner in which they address these threats.

We must be clear though that efforts of regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security does not absolve this Council of its Charter mandated responsibilities as the guardian of international peace and security. These efforts complement each other and it is for this reason that cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations is so important.

Dialogues of this nature allow us an opportunity to share experiences and best practices between the UN and regional organisations such as the OSCE.

 Mr President,
I wish to reiterate South Africa’s support for the work of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, which needs to continue to have unhindered access, in order to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk Agreements in terms of its mandate.

Mr President,

Similarly, my delegation believes that creating a conducive environment towards compromise, reconciliation and long-term stability in Kosovo is the responsibility of all relevant role-players, including the OSCE, as one of the largest field operations in Kosovo. This inclusive approach builds a strengthened foundation for support and bolsters inter-community trust-building efforts.

Mr President,

I wish to conclude by reiterating that the Security Council, regional bodies, international partners and other actors, such as donors, civil society and youth organisations, should continue to engage in dialogue and cooperation, in the interest of the people as well as for the stability of the broader region. 

I thank you.


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