Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi; (Statement Delivered before the United Nations Security Council during the Thematic Debate on the Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Organizations in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security November 6, 2007, New York.)

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Byline: DR. ALBERTO G. ROMULO Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Philippines

I TAKE this opportunity to congratulate Indonesia and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda on its assumption of the Presidency.

The changing face of our world highlights the indispensable role of regional and sub-regional organizations in our quest for peace and security.

For the Philippines, the peace and security of the different regions of the world hold great importance, in terms of our commitment to the basic principles of the Charter, but also because of our deep concern for our nationals. One-tenth of my people are outside my country, and are in almost every nook and corner of the world. It is thus in the Philippines' national interest that these regions remain peaceful, stable, and progressive.

The Charter of the United Nations provides the basis for cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations.

Working with the UN, regions must strengthen their potential to resolve disputes and maintain peace and security.

Cooperative ventures between the United Nations and regional organizations in the field of peacekeeping and enhanced interaction on conflict prevention and peace-building in the past decade prove the importance and usefulness of this partnership.

To further strengthen this critical partnership, I propose the following:

First, exchange of information, particularly relating to the maintenance of peace and security at the regional level, should serve as the backbone of a framework for cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.

Second, formal arrangements for collaboration should be concluded between the United Nations and regional organizations to establish clear areas of responsibility and more efficient cooperation.

The Secretary-General's 2005 report In Larger Freedom recommended Memoranda of Understanding to govern such relationships. ASEAN signed such a MoU on 27 September, 2007. It may also be recalled that ASEAN was granted Observer Status in the General Assembly on 04 December, 2006.

Third, cooperation between the United Nations and the concerned regional organization should be monitored. …