New framework to "reinvigorate" African Union-UN partnership: UN chief

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Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Security Council open debate on "Enhancing African capacities in the areas of peace and security'. UN Photo/Mark Garten

A new framework to "reinvigorate" cooperation between the African Union (AU) and the UN in forging peace and enhanced security was outlined at the Security Council by the UN chief on Wednesday.

Secretary-General António Guterres told members it was time for the international community to "change the narrative about Africa" and work harder to unlock its "enormous potential and promise."

More details from Matt Wells.

Mr Guterres said that he'd made enhanced cooperation with the AU a priority from his earliest days in office.

He said the AU and UN had a "shared interest" in defusing conflicts better, before they escalated, and managing them more effectively.

He said capacity building across the continent was essential, not just for international peace and security but also for Africa's self-reliance.

This is why a formal UN-AU Framework was signed in April, said the UN chief.

"Our shared objective is to work closely on the basis of the principles of mutual respect and comparative advantage in all stages of the conflict cycle and in a systematic, predictable and strategic manner. We are committed to institutionalize this partnership through formal annual consultations between the heads of the Secretariats of both Organizations. The Framework includes four key action areas: first, preventing and mediating conflict and sustaining peace; second, responding to conflict; third, addressing root causes; and fourth, the continuous review and enhancement of our partnership."

Mr Guterres said "timely and predictable financing" was vital for the effort, and called on the Security Council to view its own Resolution 2320 on cost-sharing, the Framework and adoption of the African Union Peace Fund, as "significant steps" to making better cooperation a reality.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'18"

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