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Latino Daily News

Thursday June 12, 2014

Spain Calls for Closer Cooperation Between U.N., Regional Organizations

Spain called before the U.N. Security Council for expanded cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in peacekeeping operations with the aim of guaranteeing the “efficacy” and “coherence” of those missions.

Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Gonzalo de Benito defended the cooperation in his speech during a discussion about the future of peacekeeping operations organized by the U.N.‘s main decision-making body.

“We decisively support all efforts directed toward continuing to strengthen this cooperation in the conviction that it contributes to providing efficacy and coherence to the actions undertaken, avoiding redundancy and taking advantage of the complimentarity of forces,” De Benito said.

For Spain, cooperation with organizations of this kind also allows the U.N. to acquire “new points of view” and move closer “to the concerns and needs of the citizens,” De Benito said.

De Benito specifically praised the cooperation between the U.N. and the European Union, “both on the level of institutional dialogue as well as on the operational (level)” in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along the border between Chad and Central African Republic and, more recently, in Mali and the Central African Republic.

He also supported including the protection of civilians in the mandates of the U.N.‘s peacekeeping operations, something that he said was “a fundamental step,” and he said that the defense of children must always remain among the functions of the “blue helmets.”

The secretary of state also reiterated Spain’s commitment to peacekeeping missions and recalled that in the past 25 years Madrid had contributed to more than 50 operations and had deployed more than 137,000 troops.

Spain has - or has had - troops in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic, among other countries, he said.

During the discussion, organized by Russia, the interim president of the Security Council, the countries expressed their visions for the present and future of peacekeeping operations.

De Benito is in New York promoting Spain’s candidacy for a non-permanent Security Council seat.

Spain is seeking to be elected to one of the 10 non-permanent U.N. Security Council seats during the 2015-2016 term.

The General Assembly will elect the new non-permanent members in October. To win a seat, the candidate nation must receive at least two-thirds of the votes cast.

The Security Council, whose mission is to maintain international peace and security, has counted Spain as a non-permanent member during the 1969-1970, 1981-1982, 1993-1994 and 2003-2004 terms.

Spain will compete for a Security Council seat with Turkey and New Zealand in the balloting to be held in the U.N. General Assembly in October.

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