8044th Security Council Meeting: Cooperation Between UN and African Union

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SIX OFFICIAL 12-Sep-2017 01:36:04
Extolling the virtues of a strong partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, members of the Security Council suggested ways in which to further enhance peace and security operations and foster progress in advancing common goals at 8044th meeting.
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Haile Menkerios, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, presented the Secretary-General’s report on strengthening that partnership (document S/2017/744) and provided an update on recent developments.

He said the eleventh annual joint consultation between the Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in early September, had recognized the complex nature of contemporary threats and their profound impacts, which neither organization could resolve without the other.

Highlighting several points arising from those deliberations, he said both Councils had reiterated the Charter principle that the Security Council bore primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. They had also recognized the critical role played by the African Union and its regional economic communities and mechanisms, and that the partnership could be deepened by more frequent interactions, such as joint field missions.

Since early preventive action remained a challenge, he continued, the United Nations and the African Union must strengthen their collaboration in engaging non‑State actors, with a view to paying greater attention to root causes of conflict and preventing relapse into violence. Financial burden-sharing should be in line with Security Council resolution 2320 (2016), he said, recalling that African countries had argued that they already carried the heavy burden of deploying to areas that the United Nations was unable reach. Financing must be framed within the context of a common political strategy, he emphasized, adding that the African Union had appealed for predictable and flexible funding to enable the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to address the current untenable situation in that country.

However, the representative of the United States emphasized that her delegation would not consider the use of United Nations assessed contributions for African Union peacekeeping operations without the necessary financial, human rights and accountability benchmarks. To do otherwise would put the legitimacy of United Nations peacekeeping at risk, she warned.

The Russian Federation’s representative stressed that financing and other such specialized issues should not be considered in the Council, pointing out that the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) was a more appropriate forum in which to discuss funding concerns. He also emphasized that external formulas for settling conflicts should not be imposed on any African country, citing the consequences of the actions taken in Libya in 2011.

Egypt’s representative emphasized the importance of studying all alternatives cited in the report, particularly those relating to support for Council-mandated African Union peace operations and access to the United Nations peacekeeping budget. As a member of both the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, Egypt was determined to help strengthen their partnership as the best way to tackle Africa’s complex and multidimensional challenges, he added.

Ethiopia’s representative emphasized the importance of building African peacekeeping capacity, saying the partnership with the African Union would be an important pillar for discussion at the Security Council’s high-level debate on reforming peacekeeping operations, to be held on 20 September.

Senegal’s representative said that lessons learned from transferring operations from the African Union to the United Nations demonstrated the complex nature of certain situations, adding that effective tools must be made available in the future.

China’s delegate urged the two organizations to establish early warning systems and mechanisms for joint planning of operations, among other actions.

Also speaking today were representative of Japan, Bolivia, Sweden, Italy, Uruguay, France, Kazakhstan, United Kingdom and Ukraine.

The meeting began at 10:17 a.m. and ended at 11:52 a.m.
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