Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
February 16, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Secretary-General Guterres, for your remarks, as well as those of Secretary-General Zas of CSTO.
The United States strongly supports the work of regional organizations around the world and welcomes their contributions to international peace and security; to sustainable development and prosperity; and to upholding and protecting human rights. We also support cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations to prevent and resolve conflict, whether through promoting confidence building measures, fostering political dialogue with all concerned parties, or efforts to build just, lasting, and sustainable peace.
The United States partners with numerous regional organizations globally, and we are proud of our robust partnerships in Central Asia. The C5+1 is an essential diplomatic platform that enhances U.S. cooperation and coordination with and within the region to advance shared goals. These goals are clear and simple: the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Central Asia. We support a Central Asia that is free to pursue its political, economic, and security interests on its own terms.
The C5+1 seeks to enhance regional security and prosperity by focusing on rights-respecting approaches to national security issues; fostering economic development; and addressing climate change. Since its launch in 2015, the C5+1 format has contributed greatly to efforts to increase economic connectivity and trade; mitigate environmental challenges; and jointly address security threats; and advocate for women’s empowerment.
Beyond our work through the C5+1, the United States engages throughout Central Asia in numerous bilateral and regional initiatives that promote security and prosperity and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including with the OSCE. The United States supports the work of the OSCE Transnational Threat Department’s “Action against Terrorism” and “Border Security and Management” units. These efforts promote reliance on the rule of law and the implementation of a legal framework to counter the types of extremism and radicalization that leads to violence or terrorism. The United States also supports efforts by participating States and partners to improve travel data exchange and travel fraud prevention, which has a direct impact on preventing terrorist travel throughout the region.
With respect to the CSTO, we are concerned that the CSTO’s recent military deployment in Kazakhstan – the organization’s first deployment since its inception – was sought before sustained efforts at national dialogue, reconciliation, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. The Security Council has emphasized that advancing such efforts is the most critical role regional organizations play in maintaining international peace and security. If the CSTO seeks to develop its own peacekeeping capacity, it is important to bear in mind that peace operations are an important and useful tool for protecting civilians and mitigating conflict in specific circumstances and must be undertaken with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
As we’ve said previously in this Council, the United States underscores its commitment to regional organizations and our support for the UN’s work to partner with these entities as “engines of diplomacy.” We welcome the UN’s engagement with regional as well as civil society organizations to promote the rights and well-being of all persons, including under-represented and at-risk populations such as women, youth, LGBTQI+ persons, members of religious and ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities. The voices of all deserve to be heard and must be incorporated to ensure resolutions to conflicts are inclusive and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Thank you, Mr. President.