8650th Security Council Meeting: Cooperation Between UN and Regional Organizations

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30-Oct-2019 01:47:57
Reliable funding for peace operations, capacity-building needed to support growing partnership between United Nations, African Union, speakers tell Security Council at 8650th meeting.

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Briefers and delegations welcomed a growing strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations in matters of peace and security at the Security Council today, while calling for measures to bolster the effectiveness of that cooperation.

“The partnership between the African Union and the United Nations continues to grow from strength to strength,” Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union said via videoconference. Introducing the Secretary-General’s annual report on the partnership (document S/2019/759), she described a host of mechanisms based on the 2018 Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. She also highlighted joint field visits and frequent consultation between the Security Council and the Union’s Peace and Security Council, most recently the annual meeting between the two bodies.

Describing joint work in varied situations on the continent over the past year, including the Central African Republic, she pointed to the Council’s embrace of the “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020” initiative as an importance locus of further collaboration. However, major challenges needed to be addressed, including viable funding for African Union peace operations. She commended contributors to the African Union Peace Fund, saying she looked forward to in‑depth discussions resulting from upcoming reviews of cooperation between the Union and the United Nations.

Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Observer of for the African Union, briefing via videoconference, also described a burgeoning of cooperation between the two organizations. One key achievement could be seen in the many joint field visits, most recently spearheaded by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and the African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security to the Horn of Africa. The two organizations’ combined efforts also contributed to positive recent developments in Sudan, where the accelerated implementation of the country’s 17 August Constitutional Declaration on the Agreement governing the transition is a priority for both organizations.

In that regard, she stressed that the removal of Sudan from the list of State sponsors of terrorism is critical to the country’s economic recovery. She also said that the two organizations should enhance joint work in technical areas, such as mission planning, financial management and accountability for peace operations. Increased joint analysis can strengthen the partnership, but a deficit in coordinated response has been source of frustration for both organizations.

Following those briefings, Council members also welcomed the growing collaboration between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and called for further strengthening of the relationship under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.

In that vein, the representative of the Russian Federation, noting a related summit recently held in Sochi, said that such collaboration was the venue in which the principle of African solutions for African problems can be realized. However, he cautioned against making the continent fend for itself. Predictability and reliability of financing for African operations must be enhanced.

China’s representative emphasized the need to coordinate intensified action to advance sustainable development on the continent in the interest of peace. He also highlighted a pattern of cooperation taking shape and resulting improvement in security in Africa. “This cooperation should only be strengthened,” he said.

Most speakers, while noting their own national contributions to building capacity on the continent, also addressed the issue of financing for African Union peace operations authorized by the Security Council.

France’s representative, spotlighting the growing strength of African-led peace operations, which meet a real need on the ground, voiced support for those missions’ sustainable funding, including through United Nations assessed contributions.

The representative of the United Kingdom, while urging collaboration be ramped up on prevention, also affirmed consideration of funding through United Nations assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis and within a strong framework for financial management and compliance with international law.

The representative of the United States also welcomed efforts to secure predictable, sustainable financing for peace operations led by the African Union. Nevertheless, she said, work remains to be done on that front, including implementing human rights, transparency, financial and other safeguards.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister for Defence and Military Veterans Affairs of South Africa and Council President for October, spoke in her national capacity, as well as on behalf of Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea. Affirming the Joint Framework in furthering the collaboration between the organizations, she said that, for the collaboration to be efficient it should be formalized and structured. Noting recent fruitful meetings towards that end, she described many areas of shared perspectives.

However, she also pointed to areas of difference between the two organizations, particularly in Libya, where she said it is important that the Security Council consider appointing a joint special envoy and otherwise take account of the African role in the situation. Moving ahead, she emphasized the need for commitments from both Councils to result in tangible outcomes. “The debate on strengthening the partnership must move away from generalities about partnership and cooperation and towards decisive and practical steps,” she said.

Also speaking were representatives of Germany, Poland, Indonesia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Kuwait and Belgium.

The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 11:50 a.m.

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