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UN retains cooperation spirit in year of its 70th anniversary — Russia’s Ambassador

August 03, 2015, 10:54 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Heated debates between UN Security Council members should not hamper search for approaches to solve most important problems, Vitaly Churkin says

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© AP Photo/Richard Drew

UNITED NATIONS, August 3. /TASS/. In the year of its 70th anniversary, the United Nations Organization has retained the spirit of cooperation that was inherent to it when it was founded in 1945, Russia’s Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin told TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman in an exclusive interview on Monday.

UN is "the backbone of international relations," Churkin said. "UN members have the spirit of cooperation. Despite all peculiarities of the current situation, it is also present, as I consider it, in the format of quintet of permanent members of UN Security Council," he added.

"Meetings of five UN Security Council permanent members is our everyday practice. We hold meetings, we develop resolutions, we hold separate meetings with UN secretary general. This is one of key functioning mechanisms both of UN Security Council and of the whole organization. So, we managed not only to keep this spirit, but also to develop it," the diplomat stressed.

"Talking about my personal impressions, I was very pleased when a resolution devoted to space exploration was adopted," Churkin said. "The adoption of this resolution is an example of international cooperation when other countries told about their achievements, but everyone talked about it as a contribution to common case, with Yuri Gagarin’s flight being a landmark," he noted.

"This was the most pleasant UN General Assembly resolution that has been adopted over the last years," Churkin said.

Debates in UN Security Council should not hamper work

Heated debates between UN Security Council members should not hamper search for approaches to solve most important problems, Russia’s Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin said.

Open debates or discussions behind closed doors are "two equally important parts of UN Security Council’s work," Churkin stressed. "On the one hand, open debates are important, as they have been closely followed by the whole world especially over the last few years. They reflect positions of countries and type of most pressing problems that UN Security Council faces. But we are professionals. There was recently another sharp exchange of opinions between five permanent members and other UN Security Council members. I think that several partners voice absolutely unacceptable things, and I drew attention to this right at the UN Security Council session. Right after that, I had to call one of them — I just had to — and we discussed calmly what is necessary to finish work on one very important UN Security Council resolution that we have been preparing for very long and that, we hope, will be adopted soon," he said. "In other words, we have to overcome all of this, or UN Security Council will just not work," Churkin stressed.

The diplomat noted that other permanent countries of UN Security Council have changed their permanent representatives several times. "I remember each one of them fondly because each one of them was a bright personality. I will not talk about current [ambassadors], I will have to work with them, but I had very close professional relationship with former Chinese envoy Li Baodong, he serves as deputy minister now. We have gone through a lot — Syrian matters and joint Russian-Chinese vetos. We had very trusting relationship," Churkin said.

"If we are talking about Americans, to whom everyone is paying so much attention, there is a whole bunch — John Bolton, a very noisy envoy, and Zalmay Khalizad, an Afghan, a completely different type. After that, Susan Rice, currently a [National Security] advisor, is another person — bright, complicated, but you could hold serious discussions on very important issues with her," he said.

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