Citing his own country’s chairmanship of the Council of Europe, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian today highlighted the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in securing a more just world. He called the Council “a key partner of the United Nations in our shared global quest united behind the principles of fundamental freedoms, defence and promotion of human rights and continuous efforts for peace and security.“The cooperation between these two organizations is also well established in the fields of the fight against racism, xenophobia, hate-speech and intolerance,” he told the UN General Assembly as it wrapped up the first week of its annual General Debate. “These issues are also among Armenia’s chairmanship priorities that were defined in response to the challenges that member states of both the United Nations and the Council of Europe are facing today.”Mr. Nalbandian stressed that the difficulties in that have arisen in implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash extreme poverty and hunger and a host of other social ills by the end of 2015, show that that no country can achieve in isolation the MDGs in the world of growing interdependence and interconnectedness.Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam. UN Photo/Ryan BrownAlso stressing the importance of regional cooperation, Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince of Brunei told the Assembly that, as current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), his country has chosen the theme “Our People, Our Future,” to highlight the role of the region’s people in ASEAN community-building efforts.“We hope this people-to-people approach will promote cultural exchange and understanding,” he said, noting that ASEAN’s work has also been strongly influenced by the current MDGs. Brunei has encouraged ASEAN member States to begin working on a regional strategy beyond 2015 to further strengthen the collective mission in promoting peace, stability and prosperity.