Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UN Security Council briefing “Cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security: the role of ASEAN”
We thank Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi for in-depth reports about the efforts of ASEAN in cooperation with the UN in order to maintain global peace and security.
We appreciate the initiative of our colleagues from Viet Nam to convene this thematic session of the Council on interaction between the UN and regional organizations, namely - ASEAN.
We consider ASEAN one of the most successful integrative associations.
It plays an important role in ensuring peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region (APR). We always stand for strengthening the central role of ASEAN in regional affairs. We commend contribution of ASEAN member states to the work of UN peacekeeping operations.
This year Russia and ASEAN mark the 24th anniversary of dialogue partnership.
Within this period we have achieved great progress in all areas of our interaction. We have accumulated a solid contractual and legal basis for cooperation which we now can call a strategic partnership. We have launched joint mechanisms that are up and running today. Our commercial, economic, and humanitarian ties enjoy sustainable development. We have created conditions for closer coordination of steps at key multilateral platforms, first of all, the UN.
We have had much meaningful dialogue in the area of policy and security that focuses on building an equal, well-balanced and transparent system of inter-state relations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Summit Russia-ASEAN that took place in 2016 in Sochi was the first highest segment meeting in the history of our relations to convene in Russia. The summit resulted in the adoption of the Sochi declaration and a Comprehensive Action Plan to promote cooperation Russia-ASEAN for 2016-2020.
Russia and ASEAN are like-minded on such issues as building an open and well-balanced security architecture in the APR that should base on the principles of rule of international law, non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force or threat of force, peaceful dispute settlement.
We are united in our aspirations to prevent appearance of new division lines and undermining of equality and consensus in the work of inter-state alliances that build around ASEAN.
Recently, and during today’s briefing as well, we have heard much about the “rules-based order”. As far as we can say it proceeds from a selective approach to the international law and to the out-of-the-blue concept of the so-called Indo-Pacific region. When we, referring to geographical maps, ask the authors of the concept what is the difference between the Indo-Pacific strategies and the cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, they say that Indo-Pacific strategies are ostensibly “more open and democratic”. At the same time, the authors of this concept do not see Eastern Africa or the Persian Gulf as part of the Indo-Pacific region. Naturally, China is neither its part. Here comes a question: what is the added value of the format that divides rather that unites? Such doubtful novelties by no means promote regional cooperation or unifying agenda.
Jointly with other dialogue partners of the Association, Russia helps it enhance capacity for countering such new threats and challenges as terrorism, trans-national crime, illegal drug trafficking. In particular, we are aimed at consecutive implementation of the Statement on the safe use of information and communication technologies that was adopted at the Singapore summit in 2018.
We encourage steps that are oriented at harmonization of various integrative initiatives with participation of EAEU, SCO, ASEAN members. Such efforts create basic conditions for building an innovative framework in Eurasia that should be free from barriers, rest upon the principles of international law and WTO regulations, respect various development models and the right of nations to decide what path to follow.
This reasoning stands at the core of the initiative “Great Eurasian partnership” that President of Russia V.Putin put forward at that very summit Russia-ASEAN.
We believe it important to enhance dialogue and practical partnership between the SCO and ASEAN, while taking into account that the two organizations address many similar tasks of ensuring security and sustainable development for Asia. Proceeding from the positive experience of UN-SCO cooperation, including the Third High Level Meeting on the nexus between terrorism and organized crime that convened in New York in November 2019, we suggest thinking of how we can extend the format of such talks to involve ASEAN. It would also be useful if the ASEAN exchanged best practices with the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure, because in its work the latter bases on a broad contractual-legal basis and effective mechanisms of inter-state cooperation.
With regard to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea that some touched upon today, let me emphasize that all territorial disputes in this region should be solved bilaterally by the affected states. This meeting is aimed at strengthening cooperation and advancing unifying agenda in the region. It is unacceptable and disagreeable to use this topic to impose someone’s own very specific vision of disputable issues that is based on exclusive national interests. It is even more disagreeable when done by a state that is located thousands kilometers away from the region we discuss.
We also see no extra sense to be stirring up the question on Myanmar at the Security Council. The problem with return of Rohingya refugees should be solved by the involved sides at bilateral consultations. We welcome the mediator role of ASEAN and China in Myanmar settlement. We take note of the fact that recently ASEAN completed an assessment mission in order to identify the needs of the refugees. We proceed from the assumption that regionals always have full information about the situation on the ground and better feel the regional specifics.
In January this year Hanoi assumed presidency in ASEAN. We share priorities of Viet Nam in the Association, including focus on stepping up ASEAN’s contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the region. We are convinced that our partners and ASEAN have the expertise, toolkit, and good will to do so. We stand ready to maintain and develop our cooperation.