29 July 2003



NEW YORK, 28 July (UN Headquarters) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan will host the Fifth High-Level Meeting between the United Nations and Regional Organizations at United Nations Headquarters on 29 and 30 July 2003.  At the Meeting, he will urge intensified cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in confronting new challenges to international peace and security, including international terrorism.

Twenty regional and subregional organizations are expected to attend.  Joining the Meeting for the first time are Interpol, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  Heads of United Nations organs, agencies, departments and programmes are also invited to attend.

This year’s meeting is intended to build on the progress made during previous high-level Meetings, hosted every two years by the Secretary-General.  The first two Meetings, held in 1994 and 1996, focused on general principles and modalities to guide cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in the field of international peace and security.  In 1998 and 2001, the Meetings examined the potential for greater interaction and cooperation in the mutually reinforcing fields of conflict prevention and peace-building.

At the last high-level Meeting, in February 2001, 18 regional organizations and the United Nations agreed on a number of principles under the “Framework for cooperation in peace-building”.  Practical measures to be taken in this regard were also identified.  A working-level follow-up meeting took place from 30 April to 2 May 2002, and meaningful progress has taken place in implementing the agreed actions and activities.  

In his invitation to the heads of regional organizations, the Secretary-General pointed out that “in the twenty-first century many of the challenges we face are global.  The rise of international terrorism and the proliferation of small arms and weapons of mass destruction only reinforce the need to rethink our common challenges ahead and achieve greater unity of purpose and actions”.

The Meeting will address the need for the United Nations and regional organizations to work together with redoubled vigour to face jointly today’s threats.  These include civil wars and the disintegration of States; the scourge of international terrorism; the growing volume of organized crime throughout the world; and gross violations of human rights.  The spread of deadly viruses and environmental degradation are also challenges that must be met.  

Similar to previous High-Level Meetings, it is expected that the forthcoming Meeting will identify areas where the various organizations can work together more effectively in meeting challenges to international peace and security, keeping in mind their respective comparative advantages, and discuss further modalities for enhancing their collaboration.

List of Expected Attendees

Regional Organizations

- African Union

- Association of South East Asian Nations

- Caribbean Community

- Collective Security Treaty Organization

- Commonwealth of Independent States

- Commonwealth Secretariat

- Council of Europe

- Council of the European Union

- Economic Community of West African States

- European Commission

- Interpol

- League of Arab States

- North Atlantic Treaty Organization

- Organisation internationale de la francophonie

- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

- Organization of American States

- Organization of the Islamic Conference

- Pacific Island Forum

- Presidency of the Council of the European Union

- Shanghai Cooperation Organization

United Nations Organs

- President of the General Assembly

- President of the Security Council

- President of the Economic and Social Council

United Nations Agencies, Offices, Funds and Programmes and

Other International Organizations

- International Atomic Energy Agency

- International Monetary Fund

- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

- United Nations Children’s Fund

- United Nations Development Programme

- United Nations Environment Programme

- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

- United Nations Office in Geneva

- United Nations Office in Vienna, Office on Drugs and Crime

- World Bank Group

United Nations Secretariat and Regional Commissions

- Department for Disarmament Affairs

- Department of Economic and Social Affairs

- Department of General Assembly and Conference Management                                                 

- Department of Peacekeeping Operations

- Department of Political Affairs

- Economic Commission for Europe (representing the five United Nations Regional Commissions)

- Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

- Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

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