About CSTO Cooperation with the UN


    The cooperation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization with international organizations active in the field of security is an important and integral part of both the conceptual vision and the daily work of the CSTO to ensure reliable security of the states that created the Organization. This is fixed in the CSTO Charter itself (Article 4), it runs through its other fundamental documents, the decisions of its highest body - the Council of Collective Security.

    The essence of this vision is to provide the CSTO with a weighty, effective role based on international law and enshrined in accordance with its provisions, in the establishment of a fair, democratic world order that excludes aggression, threats to security and other legitimate rights and interests of member states. One of the first and natural steps of the Organization after its creation was the registration of the Charter approved on October 7, 2002 at the UN Secretariat. This happened in December 2003, formally securing the legitimacy of the CSTO.

    In practical terms, this step allowed the Organization in the next, 2004, to obtain observer status in the UN General Assembly - on the basis of General Assembly resolution No. 59/50 of December 2, 2004. Thus, the first block was laid in the legal foundation of the cooperation of the CSTO with the United Nations - undoubtedly, its main international partner. In a purely legal sense, the CSTO, of course, in its widest sense, bases its activities on obligations under the UN Charter and decisions of the UN Security Council, in the words opening the preamble of its Charter.

   In general, when discussing issues of CSTO cooperation with the United Nations, it should be borne in mind that one of the fundamental principles of foreign policy, common to all member states of the Organization, is their recognition of the non-alternative central role that the world organization has to play in the modern system of international relations.

This is related both to the universality of the UN Charter and the decision-making practice of the Security Council based on its application and, within their competence established by the Charter, by other UN bodies as a source of international law, and the comprehensive nature of the UN interests, covering almost all pressing world problems.

   It is in the course of the functioning of these bodies that coordination of positions and unification of the efforts of the CSTO member states is manifested - in mutual support of foreign policy initiatives on international and regional security issues, harmonization of approaches to issues submitted for discussion at General Assembly sessions, and joint statements.

   The latter in the CSTO format are being done more than any other group of states. In particular, they are accepted at the traditional working meetings of the foreign ministers of the CSTO member states “on the margins” of the sessions of the General Assembly shortly after their opening in September each year. The UN site has essentially become one of the main places where CSTO partners make joint statements.

    The coordination of positions proceeds continuously through the established mechanisms of regular consultations of the Permanent Representatives of these states to the UN in New York, representatives of specialized structures of diplomatic and other interested departments - alternately in their capitals.

    Returning to the history of the formation of relations between the two organizations, it should be said that, continuing the metaphor, a kind of second block after obtaining an observer status block of relations between them was the Joint Declaration on cooperation between their secretariats. It was signed on March 18, 2010 by the UN and CSTO Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon and N.N. Bordyuzha during the working visit of the UN in Moscow.

It states unequivocally that "the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization share the common understanding that, according to the Charter of the United Nations, the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security lies with the United Nations Security Council."

   Further, the document clearly defines the goal of cooperation between the two organizations - “to make a significant contribution to addressing emerging challenges and eliminating threats facing the international community,” specifying that these are issues “relating to international peace and security, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter Nations ”in a joint Declaration states that it is“ the prevention and resolution of conflicts, the fight against terrorism, transnational crime, the illegal arms trade and e emergency situations and responding to them. " According to the Declaration, this means operational and practical cooperation on issues of mutual interest, as appropriate, within the framework of UN mechanisms, including “in the field of communication and information exchange”.

    It should be noted that the signing of the Declaration preceded, on March 2, 2010, the resolution of the UN General Assembly 64/256 “On cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization” preceded. It is quite consonant with the joint document cited above. However, the range of information taken by the General Assembly on “the CSTO activities for the development of regional cooperation, which contributes to the realization of the goals and principles of the UN,” is somewhat expanded. Its areas include "strengthening regional security and stability, peacemaking, countering terrorism, combating drug and arms trafficking, countering organized transnational crime and human trafficking, combating natural and man-made disasters."

    The resolution proposes specific mechanisms for dialogue, cooperation and coordination of the UN with the CSTO. These include regular consultations with secretaries-generals using “relevant inter-agency forums and formats”, as well as direct contacts with the CSTO “with specialized United Nations bodies such as the Department of Political Affairs of the Secretariat, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Executive Directorate.

    In the future, the practice of updating this resolution, as in the case of other international organizations, was developed every two years, reflecting each time new moments in the cooperation of the two Organizations (the signing of documents between the CSTO Secretariat and certain UN structures, etc.) also the development of the situation in the world (65/122 of December 13, 2010, 67/6 of November 19, 2012, 69/12 of November 11, 2014). The last resolution “Cooperation between the UN and the CSTO” was adopted by the 71st session of the UNGA on November 18, 2016 (No. 71/12).

    In the course of the current, 73rd session, it is planned to adopt a similar resolution once again updated. Its project was previously agreed by representatives of the CSTO member states and by decision of the Permanent Council of the Organization through the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which at that time chaired the CSTO (since November 2018, it passed to the Kyrgyz Republic), in October 2018 to the UN Secretariat. Reconciliation of the document with the latter continues.

    The specific cooperation within the CSTO-UN is based on the memorandums of understanding between the CSTO Secretariat and the relevant units of the UN Secretariat, which were already mentioned in the first General Assembly’s resolution on this issue cited. These are the UN structures responsible for ensuring security confronting contemporary threats and challenges, such as the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTC) of the UN Security Council, radios of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and counter-terrorist control (CTS) of the UN Secretariat.

      Accordingly, the Memorandum of Understanding with the UNCCD CTC was signed on September 21, 2016, the Protocol of Cooperation between the CSTO Secretariat and UNODC on March 5, 2006, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the CSTO Secretariat - September 28, 2012 and the Memorandum of Cooperation and the interaction between the CSTO Secretariat and the UN KTU - November 9, 2018. There is also a “Memorandum of Understanding between the CSTO Secretariat and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” dated January 17, 2017 and the Protocol on Cooperation between the CSTO Secretariat and the Administration of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The latter was signed on September 19, 2016 during the Summit on Refugees and Migrants in New York, held by IOM shortly after

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