26 October 2009
Security Council
SC/9776

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6206th Meeting (AM)


Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Pledges to Consider ‘All Options’


to Help Strengthen Funding for African Union-led Peacekeeping Operations


Head of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Highlights Need

To Provide Resources for African Union Efforts in Sustainable, Predictable Manner


Recognizing the important role that the African Union played in the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council today called on that intergovernmental organization to develop a long-term capacity-building road map, in consultation with the United Nations, and pledged to consider all options to strengthen funding for African Union-led peacekeeping operations.


Through a statement read out by Le Luong Minh of Viet Nam, which holds the Security Council’s Presidency for October, the 15-member body reaffirmed the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of regional organizations when they undertook peacekeeping under a United Nations mandate.


In that effort, it underlined the need to study lessons learned from the support packages from the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), the logistics package for its mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as other collaboration between the two organizations in those theatres.


At the same time, the Council also reiterated that regional organizations had the responsibility to secure their own resources through contributions by their members and support from donors.  In that regard, it commended the support extended by donors to the African Union Peace and Security Architecture through the African Peace Facility and other mechanisms.


It also reiterated the importance of establishing a more effective strategic relationship between the United Nations and the African Union and, in that context, welcomed the intentions of the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission to set up a joint task force on peace and security to review immediate and long-term strategic and operational issues.


Starting the discussion of the issue this morning, Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, introduced the Secretary-General’s report that assessed support mechanisms recommended by the African Union-United Nations Panel headed by former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi (see background).  Mr. Le Roy said that the enhanced peacekeeping role of the African Union and its regional economic communities was a major and welcome development, noting that they were able to deploy quickly, as a first response, with limited resources and often with a robust intervention, and often before international consensus had time to be built.


“If we are to credibly assist them in achieving this objective, the international community must support more actively the strengthening of an African peacekeeping capacity”, he said.  That could include training of individual African contributors, providing financial contributions to sustain peacekeeping operations and utilizing the political will necessary to help resolve conflict.


Mr. Le Roy noted that, thus far, African Union peacekeeping was entirely dependent on the same small pool of donors, with little flexibility, sustainability or predictability to its stream of resources, impacting the organization’s ability to plan missions and pay troop-contributing countries.


Such constraints were impacting the African Union’s ability to plan missions and pay troop-contributing countries.  “If the international community requests that the African Union bear the brunt of its initial response to a crisis, it has an obligation to support the African Union in ensuring that response is credible”, he said.


Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union, agreed that funding for United Nations-authorized peacekeeping operations remained a central concern for his organization, and it was clear that the most viable option was to make use of United Nations assessed contributions.  Such funding would enable the Council to utilize local comparative advantages in tackling threats to international peace and security.


Over the past few years, the African Union had demonstrated a renewed willingness to assume its share of responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security with the support of international partners, including the decisions to deploy in Somalia, Burundi and the Sudan, he said.  In August, the African Union had decided to increase the percentage of the Union’s regular budget transferred to the Peace Fund.


Romano Prodi, Chair of the African Union-United Nations Panel, stressed that the proposals by the Panel were strictly within the perspective of developing capacities of the African Union and giving that organization responsibility for peace in Africa in the medium and long term.  If that process was not started now, the goal would never be attained.


In the discussion that followed, speakers commended the African Union on its growing contribution to peace and security in Africa, and supported the strengthening of strategic relations between the organizations and the United Nations.  In that context, many welcomed the creation of a joint task force.


In the area of financing, most speakers agreed that predictable, flexible and sustainable financing was necessary for African Union peacekeeping missions, but most also thought that further review of the options was necessary, although many put their support behind the creation of flexible trust fund for those purposes.


Yet, opinions were mixed on the advisability of supporting African Union peacekeeping operations through assessed contributions from United Nations Member States, if there was an intention to transfer such operations to a United Nations peacekeeping operation.


The representative of the Russian Federation said that such an arrangement would be premature right now, while the United States’ representative said that her country had authorized it for AMISOM, but did not want it to become a general practice.  Japan’s representative stressed the importance of operating under the guidelines of the Charter, which said that only United Nations operations could be supported through such assessments.


The representative of Burkina Faso, on the other hand, said that the problems experienced by the African Union’s mission in Darfur showed the limitations to donor-supported funding.  Agreeing with that viewpoint, Libya’s representative strongly advocated funding such operations through the United Nations regular budget, pointing out that Member States were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to address piracy in the region and, with those funds, the Somali Government could have extended its authority throughout the country and the problem would have disappeared.


Also speaking today were the representatives of Turkey, France, China, United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Uganda, Austria, Croatia, Mexico, Viet Nam, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, Tunisia and Nigeria.


The meeting opened at 10:20 a.m. and closed at 1:30 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2009/26 reads, as follows:


1.    The Security Council recalls its previous relevant resolutions and statements of its President which underscore the importance of developing effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular the African Union, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the relevant statutes of the regional organizations,


2.    The Security Council reiterates its primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, and recalls that cooperation with regional and subregional organizations in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security and consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, can improve collective security,


3.    The Security Council welcomes the continuing important efforts and enhanced peacekeeping role of the African Union and its subregional organizations, consistent with Security Council resolutions and decisions, to prevent, mediate and settle conflicts in the African continent,


4.    The Security Council reaffirms its resolution 1809 (2008) which recognizes the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing regional organizations when they undertake peacekeeping under a United Nations authorization,


5.    The Security Council reiterates that regional organizations have the responsibility to secure human, financial, logistical and other resources for their organizations, including through contributions by their members and support from donors.  The Security Council commends the support extended by donors to the African Union Peace and Security Architecture through specific mechanisms, including the African Peace Facility,


6.    The Security Council recalls the statement of its President (S/PRST/2009/3) in which it requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on practical ways to provide effective support for the African Union when it undertakes peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations, that includes a detailed assessment of the recommendations contained in the Report of the African Union-United Nations Panel (A/63/666-S/2008/813), in particular those on financing, as well as on the establishment of a joint African Union-United Nations team.  The Security Council notes that the aforementioned report is an important contribution towards the overall efforts to enhance the capacity of the African Union in undertaking peacekeeping operations,


7.    The Security Council notes with appreciation the Report of the Secretary-General on support to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations (A/64/359-S/2009/470),


8.    The Security Council reiterates the importance of establishing a more effective strategic relationship between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council and between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission.  The Council encourages further enhancement of regular interaction, coordination and consultation between the United Nations and the African Union on matters of mutual interest.  The Security Council notes the ongoing efforts by the Secretariat and the Commission in this regard,


9.    The Security Council underlines the importance of expediting the implementation, in close consultation with other international partners, of the 2006 United Nations-African Union Ten-year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union mainly focusing on peace and security, in particular the operationalization of the African Union Standby Force and the continental early warning system.  The Security Council supports the ongoing efforts to strengthen the African Peace and Security Architecture and reiterates its call for the international community, particularly the donors, to fulfil their commitments as endorsed by the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document,


10.   The Security Council recognizes that, in deploying peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council, the African Union is contributing towards maintenance of international peace and security, consistent with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter,


11.   The Security Council notes the assessment of the options for financing African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council, outlined in the report of the Secretary General, and expresses its intention to keep all options under consideration,


12.   The Security Council notes that the African Union needs to enhance its institutional capacity to enable it to effectively plan, manage and deploy peacekeeping operations.  The Security Council, in this regard, calls upon the African Union in the context of developing its Strategic Plan for 2009-2012 to develop a long-term, comprehensive capacity-building road map in consultation with the United Nations and other international partners,


13.   The Security Council underlines the need for the United Nations and the African Union to study the lessons learned from the Light and Heavy Support Packages for AMIS, the logistics package for AMISOM, as well as collaboration under UNAMID and the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), in close consultation with other international partners,


14.   The Security Council welcomes the intention of the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission to set up a joint task force on peace and security to review immediate and long-term strategic and operational issues,


15.   The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to update the Council by 26 April 2010 and submit a progress report no later than 26 October 2010.


Background


For its consideration of “peace and security in Africa”, the Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s report on Support to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations (document A/64/359-S/2009/470), requested in presidential statement S/PRST/2009/3 of 18 March (see Press Release SC/9615).  It contains a detailed assessment of the recommendations of the African Union-United Nations Panel established under Council resolution 1809 (2008) (see Press Release SC/9301 of 16 April 2008 for a summary of the Panel’s report issued as document A/63/666-S/2008/813).


The Panel’s report included a number of recommendations, including:  concrete steps to be taken by the United Nations and the African Union to strengthen their mutual relationship; the use of United Nations-assessed funding for African Union-led and United Nations-authorized peacekeeping operations; the establishment of a voluntary-based multi-donor trust fund to focus on capacity-building; consideration by the African Union to develop its logistics capacity; and establishment of a joint United Nations/African Union team to examine detailed modalities to implement its recommendations.  The present report is prepared by the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations, Field Support, and Political Affairs.


On the strategic partnership between the Organization and the African Union, the report underlines that coherence in the decision-making of the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, particularly in cases where the two undertake joint mediation and peacekeeping efforts.  With the support of the Secretariat and the African Union Commission, further work could be taken to strengthen coordination and consultation mechanisms between the Councils, including the formalization of the holding of an annual joint meeting and more interaction between the African Union Council’s Chairperson and the Security Council President.


As for financing African Union-led and United Nations-authorized peacekeeping operations, the report notes that, while the African Union had mounted such operations which have demonstrated the value of quick regional response, the missions often have been constrained by a lack of military capabilities, insufficient resources and inadequate institutional capacity.  The Panel has recommended the use of United Nations-assessed funding to support such peacekeeping operations for a period of no longer than six months and mostly in kind.  Such support should be predicated on case-by-case approval of the Council and the General Assembly and an agreement that the mission would transition to United Nations management within six months.


According to the report, five financing mechanisms have been used to date:  African Union assessed contributions; contributions through African troop-contributing countries; voluntary contributions; United Nations support packages through United Nations assessed contributions; and a combination of the above.


Although voluntary contributions have facilitated deployment of African Union peacekeeping operations -- in particular through the European Union-funded Africa Peace Facility -- those contributions have lacked predictability and were often not sufficient, the report states.  Moreover, coordination of voluntary contributions can be complex and lead to gaps.  It will be important for donors and partners to harmonize reporting requirements and coordinate effectively.  The African Union could consider establishing a standing, flexible trust fund for African Union peacekeeping operations within the framework of the African Union Peace Fund which, if provided with adequate resources, could provide the required predictability and sustainability.


Noting that the Assembly has authorized support packages for African Union peacekeeping operations -- authorizing assessed funding for the Light and Heavy Support Packages for the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) and the Logistics Support Package for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) -- the report acknowledges that such support packages do not necessarily provide the required sustainability and predictability.  To be successful, it is critical that support packages are authorized early and receive all of the required assets.


Further, the use of United Nations assessed contributions would underline the political support of the Security Council for regional peacekeeping operations.  As a matter of principle, United Nations support should only be considered in cases where consultations between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council take place.  United Nations assessed contributions should also be predicated on the assumption that the Council intends to take over the mission.


Under shot-term support for capacity-building, the report suggests, among other things, access to the United Nations peacekeeping Intranet site for peacekeeping policies and procedures to be granted to the African Union Commission; embedding African Union human resources personnel at United Nations Headquarters; information exchange about vendors and contracts; and access to the capacities in the Logistics Base in Brindisi, including the Engineering Design Centre and the Geographical Information Systems Centre.


Medium-and long-term support initiatives could include the provision by the United Nations of a “standby arrangement” to assist the African Union in mission deployment and inclusion of African Union personnel in existing training and capacity-building programmes.  The Organization could assist the African Union in establishing a dedicated and integral training capacity to cover all of the Commission directorates, including policies and procedures and “training-the-trainers”.


Noting that, in the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture, the African Union’s long-term objective is the development of the African Standby Force, the report states that such a force has the potential to make a major contribution to peace and security in Africa, but would require long-term financial, material and logistics commitment from partners and increasingly from the member Sates of the African Union.  An African Union continental exercise “Amani Africa” will take place in 2010 to review processes by which the Standby Force is deployed.


The Secretary-General observes that it is essential that the two organizations work together to build consensus and support for African peacekeeping operations and to align mandates with objectives and available resources.  As peacekeeping is part of a political solution, not an alternative, efforts must continue to be made in parallel to enhance and support preventive diplomacy, early warning and conflict resolution and mediation.  Peacekeeping operations must be accompanied by a viable political strategy and a set of clear objectives.


Briefings


ALAIN LE ROY, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, introducing the Secretary-General’s report, noted that it built on the recommendations made by the African Union-United Nations Panel by highlighting a number of areas in which the Secretariat would take action immediately to strengthen its collaboration with the African Union Commission, including streamlining the United Nations presence in Addis Ababa and providing additional capacity-building.


He said that the partnership between the two organizations remained strong and was based on the mutual recognition that security was a prerequisite for long-term sustainable development.  Both organizations needed to ensure more systematic support for peacekeepers when they were authorized to deploy, particularly in the current complex environment.


In that context, he said that the enhanced peacekeeping role of the African Union and its regional economic communities was a major and welcome development, noting that they were able to deploy quickly, as a first response, with limited resources and often with a robust intervention, and often before international consensus had time to be built.


“If we are to credibly assist them in achieving this objective, the international community must support more actively the strengthening of an African peacekeeping capacity”, he said.  That could include training of individual African contributors, providing financial contributions to sustain peacekeeping operations and utilizing the political will necessary to help resolve conflict.


In addition, he said, achievable goals and priorities must be set, and make all efforts necessary to ensure that the men and women being deployed in conflict areas were equipped with the tools required to achieve them.  He recognized that much progress had been made in such cooperation in the past five years, through a deepened strategic and operational partnership with the African Union through the 10-year capacity-building programme and other areas.  Joint operations in Darfur and Somalia showed the kind of scope and variety of the cooperation between the two organizations.


At the same time, he said, serious capacity and resource constraints had hampered the ability to fully realize the potential of the partnership.  Capacity-building must be targeted and effective, through priorities developed by the African Union itself to ensure its ownership of the process.


At the same time, he said that limited capacity was not the only challenge, as African Union peacekeeping was entirely dependent, thus far, on the same small pool of donors, with little flexibility, sustainability or predictability to its stream of resources.  Such constraints were impacting the African Union’s ability to plan missions and pay troop-contributing countries.  “If the international community requests that the African Union bear the brunt of its initial response to a crisis, it has an obligation to support the African Union in ensuring that response is credible”, he said.


Ultimately, it was the African Union member States’ responsibility to identify sustainable resources for the long term, he said.  To that end, he was encouraged by the African Union Assembly’s decision to increase the portion of funds from 6 to 12 per cent, contributed to peace support operations from their regular budget.  However, he stressed that peacekeeping was not a replacement for political solutions and that peacekeeping operations were most effective when deployed in support of a peace agreement.  To that end, efforts continued, in parallel, to enhance and support preventive diplomacy, early warning and conflict resolution and mediation.


Follow-up to implement the proposals made in the report, he recognized, would be a long-term process that would require continuous international engagement.  Voicing confidence that today’s meeting would provide momentum for that process, he stressed:  “Building a resilient and responsive African Union is vital for the establishment of an effective and complementary system for global peacekeeping.”


TETE ANTONIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said that funding for peacekeeping operations conducted by regional organizations remained a central concern for the African Union.  While some of the recurrent themes of documents regarding that issue related to such elements as the nature of the partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations, coordination and conflict prevention and mediation, practical and innovative approaches had been experimented with to respond to pressing needs on the ground.  Those had included the light and heavy support packages for AMIS and the ongoing support for AMISOM, as well as for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).


He said that the combination of reflection and pragmatism had significantly enhanced the understanding of the importance of predictable and sustainable funding mechanisms for peace support operations conducted by regional organizations with the authorization of the Security Council.  It was clear that the most viable option was to make use of United Nations assessed contributions, he said.  Such funding would enable the Council to utilize local comparative advantages in tackling threats to international peace and security.


Over the past few years, the African Union had demonstrated a renewed willingness to assume its share of responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security with the support of international partners, including the decisions to deploy in Somalia, Burundi and the Sudan, he said.  In August, the African Union had decided to increase the percentage of the African Union regular budget transferred to the Peace Fund.


He stressed that the Security Council must fully utilize the constructive and rich environment created by the combination of reflection, pragmatism and lessons learned, to take decisive action towards addressing the specific issue of the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing regional organizations undertaking peacekeeping operations, under United Nations mandate through assessed contributions.


Noting the recommendations made in the Secretary-General’s report regarding a strategic partnership and capacity-building, he stressed the need for speedy implementation and said it should be clear that not only the capacity of the African Union in matters of peace and security in Africa should be enhanced, but that the issue of financing should also be effectively addressed.  Action by the Security Council in that regard would enhance the continued confidence of Governments and populations facing the scourge of conflict and instability in the Council.


ROMANO PRODI, Chair of the African Union-United Nations Panel, stressed that the problem of peacekeeping in Africa was only one the continent’s many challenges, which included development.  “We cannot go on dealing with Africa in a bilateral way”, he said.  There would be no possibility of development if one did not look at Africa in a wider context.  Inter-African cooperation for peacekeeping must be improved, he said, and he invited Council members to analyse the aspect of African peacekeeping in the broader context of the relations between different countries in Africa.


He said that, clearly, the aspect of peacekeeping should include the process of capacity-building based on ownership and full responsibility of the African Union.  A multilateral approach was necessary for dealing with the problems of Africa.  That was the departing point and conclusion of the Panel.  The proposals by the Panel were strictly within the perspective of developing capacities of the African Union and giving that organization responsibility for peace in Africa.


He could understand such objection being raised, including that the existing strength of the African Union was not sufficient to tackle problems.  The task, however, was to give the African Union the possibility to build that capacity in the medium and long term.  If that process was not started now, the goal in the future would never be attained.


Statements


FAZLI CORMAN (Turkey) said the African Union was a particularly important regional actor that provided a most-needed added value in the maintenance of peace and security, and the point of departure of the Council was that the stronger the African Union became, the stronger the United Nations and the entire international community became in their ability to maintain peace and security.


In that context, the African Union-United Nations Panel had put forward many useful recommendations, and he proposed that it was most important to develop a strategic partnership between the two organizations at both political and operational level.  It was also important to support the institutional capacity-building of the African Union and enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for African Union-led peace operations.  He supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations in all those areas, believing that the time had come to translate them into practice.  He also fully supported the presidential statement to be made at the meeting.


VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) welcomed and backed the African Union’s resolve to prevent conflicts and conduct peacekeeping operations.  He said that there was no doubt that the capacity of that organization had to be strengthened and that should first be done by strengthening the links between the United Nations and the African Union, as well as that organization’s capacity in operational areas.


Making financial support available to regional organizations would be premature right now, and he agreed that the prime responsibility for support of regional organizations were the member States of those organizations.  In addition, however, he recommended the use of a flexible trust fund within the framework of the African Union’s Peace Fund.  An improved architecture of the African Union was also important.  His country, he said, supported many peacekeeping operations and training of peacekeepers, and he pledged continued cooperation with African regional organizations in that context.  He supported the presidential statement to be adopted at the end of the meeting.


GERARD ARAUD (France) said that, as increased activities in peacekeeping operations was a challenge for the United Nations, his delegation and the United Kingdom had launched a discussion on modernizing such operations within the Organization.  Africa was the number one recipient of United Nations peacekeeping support, but was increasingly taking on responsibilities in that regard.  One third of the “blue helmets” were provided by African countries.  African efforts for crisis prevention and management within Chapter VIII of the Charter merited support, as Africa faced challenges that were unique.  Support should be provided for both operations and capacity-building.


Describing French and European Union efforts, he said support for African peacekeeping should be stepped up, with the ultimate objective of African Union ownership.  In that regard, the strategic partnership between United Nations and African Union should be further developed.  It was also necessary to improve the modalities of financing of peacekeeping operations, drawing on lessons learned from Darfur and Somalia.  Each organization had the primary responsibility for financing its activities.  However, United Nations financing, through assessed contributions, led to practical problems.  There were realistic modalities that could be used.  Potential donors should be galvanized to bolster the African Union Trust Fund, and procedures should be harmonized in that regard.


LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said peace and stability in Africa was improving, but some regional conflicts still impeded general development in Africa.  Without peace and stability, there would be no development in Africa.  In recent years, the United Nations had increased efforts to settle conflicts in Africa.  The African Union had actively engaged in peacekeeping operations and had played an important role in maintaining peace and security in Africa.  African Union peacekeeping operations were impeded, however, by bottlenecks in financing and capacity.


He supported establishment of a strategic partnership between United Nations and African Union and practical help provided to African-led peacekeeping operations, as well as increased cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council and between the Secretariat and the African Union Commission.  The United Nations should assist African Union peacekeeping operations in acquiring more reliable sources of financing.  It was regrettable that a predictable and sustainable financing mechanism had yet to be established.  The parties should, therefore, study the finance mechanisms proposed in the Secretary-General’s report.  The United Nations should also step up its cooperation with the African Union through information-sharing and implementation of the 10-year capacity-building programme.  He then went on to describe the steadily developing new strategic partnership between China and Africa.


MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) reiterated his support for the United Nations-African Union Panel’s recommendations and the Secretary-General’s assessment of them, saying that predictable support and further capacity-building was crucial for the African Union’s peacekeeping operations.  Collective responses were needed to threats to peace and security, he stressed.


The time was now, he said, to act to strengthen strategic arrangements between the United Nations and the African Union, to strengthen the African Union’s human resources through a joint team, and to set up financing mechanisms and a standing African capacity to respond quickly to conflicts.  Building capacity was particularly important, in addition, in the areas of mediation and electoral monitoring.  In regard to financing, AMIS and AMISOM showed the limitations to donor-supported funding.  He, therefore, supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations to further enhance funding of authorized peacekeeping operations through the United Nations.  He also backed the residential statement to be made at the end of the meeting.


PHILIP PARHAM ( United Kingdom) supported efforts to create more effective peacebuilding, for which purpose regional and subregional organizations were very important.  In enhancing support to the African Union, he welcomed suggestions for a capacity-building road map that included strengthening financial management.  His country provided support to the African Union at various levels, in addition to extensive European Union assistance.


To strengthen financing, he would not rule out any options at this stage, he said.  The creation of flexible trust fund was particularly worthy of further discussion, as was the creation of a joint United Nations-African Union task force on peace and security.


ABDURRAHMAN SHALGRAM ( Libya) recalled that the Panel, in its report, had included a recommendation for the use of the United Nations regular budget for six months, if there was an intention to transfer an African Union peacekeeping operation to a United Nations peacekeeping operation.  The African Union Peace and Security Council had stated that the Panel’s report had constituted an important step in enhancing African Union capabilities in the field of peace and security and had emphasized the need to continue efforts to find predictable, sustainable and flexile funding for African Union peacekeeping operations.


He said it was impossible to fund African Union operations by voluntary contributions, and funding from the regular budget of the United Nations was the better option, at least in the situation of AMISOM.  Transforming that mission to a United Nations mission was fundamental to peace and stability in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.  The United Nations had spent huge sums of money on peacekeeping operations in areas that were less of a threat to peace and security than Somalia.  A number of States that had objected to using the regular United Nations budget were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to address maritime issues in that region.  With those funds, the Somali Government could have extended its authority throughout the country and the problem of piracy would have disappeared.


He hoped that the donor base to the African Union Trust Fund would be widened and that States would contribute generously to that mechanism until consensus was reached in the Security Council on finding predictable and sustainable funding for African Union peacekeeping operations.  Responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rested with the Security Council.  Actions undertaken by the African Union were meant to further the Council’s work under Chapter VIII.  Shouldering responsibility in financing was, therefore, a duty dictated by the Charter.


JORGE URBINA ( Costa Rica) said that matters of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations such as the African Union should go beyond financing of peacekeeping operations.  It was clear that there were shortcomings in maintaining peace and security in Africa by the African Union, as there were hostilities between some of its members that consumed resources necessary for bringing peace.  There was a wide array of other areas of cooperation that should be supported, such as early warning, prevention and mediation.  Cases such as Kenya and Madagascar were examples of such cooperation.


He said the key to an effective strategic association could be found in more timely and deeper interaction between the United Nations and the African Union.  Contacts between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council should be revised.  Chapter VIII of the Charter described the role of regional organizations in maintenance of international peace and security.  Beyond merely reacting to crises, the most important contribution of such organizations to international peace and security was their role as collective security mechanisms.  Regional organizations could offer their members real security resources, which could allow the countries to dedicate their own resources to development instead of armaments.  That was especially acute in Africa.


SUSAN RICE ( United States) saluted the African nations that supported peacekeeping operations and voiced her delegation’s full support to enhancing the strategic ties between the United Nations and the African Union, through the implementation of a long-term capacity-building road map and other mechanisms.  She also pledged her country’s further support to capacity-building for the African Union.


Continuing, she said the United States was doing its part to support the making and keeping of peace in Africa at many levels, including the extensive training and equipping of African battalions for peacekeeping operations.  It also supported the use of a multi-donor trust fund and assessed contributions to support AMISOM.  It could not support the latter method of funding across-the-board, however.  She pledged continued support to African peacekeeping, however, and fully the presidential statement to be made at the end of the meeting.


RUHAKANA RUGUNDA ( Uganda) said peacekeeping was increasingly becoming a shared responsibility in which the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations and the wider international community all had roles to play.  He cited UNAMID and AMISOM, as examples of collaboration between the two organizations.  Further, the African Union showed its resolve towards conflict prevention, mediation and resolution in Africa, and was working on a comprehensive peace and security architecture, including an African Standby Force and early warning system.  The African Union underscored the need for member States to adhere to constitutionalism, democratic governance and the rule of law, he added.


Uganda welcomed ongoing efforts to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union and was convinced that building a more strategic and effective relationship was beneficial to peace and stability.  He noted that, when the African Union deployed peacekeeping operations, it contributed towards maintenance of international peace and security.  African-led deployments also had advantages of proximity and capability to mobilize and respond quickly.  However, they often lacked the financial resources to do so, and he, therefore, proposed assessed contributions for specific peacekeeping operations on a case-by-case basis.  It was important to realize an ineffective United Nations peacekeeping capacity anywhere undermined the credibility of the United Nations in the eyes of the world.  “It is time the Council took decisive action and committed itself to practical ways to provide effective support for the African Union when it undertakes peacekeeping authorized by the United nations”, he declared finally.


THOMAS MAYR-HARTING ( Austria) said the Security Council had been examining key questions of United Nations peacekeeping operations to which the Secretary-General’s report on the work of the African Union-United Nations Panel was an important contribution.  The strategic partnership between United Nations and regional organizations was of great importance to the maintenance of international peace and security.  Close cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations had included early warning, mediation and crisis management.  He welcomed, in that regard, the increasingly important role of the African Union.


The Secretary-General had made several proposals for a strengthened cooperation between the Organization and the African Union, he continued, adding that the recommendation for a capacity-building plan to be drawn up by the African Union should be supported by the United Nations, the European Union and other international actors, while ensuring African ownership.  The partnership between the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union had benefited crisis management in Africa.  Regarding United Nations support for African peacekeeping operations, he said that all options outlined in the report should be considered seriously, including accountability mechanisms, lessons learned and linked issues as international law and human rights, and protection of civilians.  The concerns of troop- and police-contributing countries should also be taken into account.


RONKA VILOVIC ( Croatia) said that, while the Security Council had the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, increasing engagement by regional organizations in peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be supported.  He, therefore, supported the development of a strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations and strengthening of consultations mechanisms at all levels in matters of maintaining peace and security.  Peacekeeping operations undertaken by the African Union had shown the exceptional value of rapid response and benefits of local ownership.


The fact that some operations were constrained by a lack of capacity and resources was reason for concern, he said.  Peacekeeping was not the only tool to deal with conflict.  He encouraged cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations on capacity-building programme in fields such as conflict prevention, early warning and mediation.  He supported efforts to strengthen the Africa peace and security architecture and the development of the African Standby Force.  There was, however, a dire need for better coordination between the numerous donor-sponsored initiatives in the area of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.


He said the issue of funding of regional peacekeeping operations remained central to enhance the relationship between the two organizations.  Predictability, sustainability and flexibility of funding of United Nations-authorized African Union-led peacekeeping operations were of the utmost importance.  All options outlined in the Secretary-General’s report should, therefore, be taken into consideration.  He fully supported the principle of African ownership in all aspects, including development.


YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said that there would be no peace and security in the world without peace and security in Africa, and he stressed that stability on that continent required addressing peace and development together.  For that reason, close cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations was required in all areas, from conflict prevention to peace consolidation.


The strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union should be strengthened at all levels, he affirmed, and the United Nations presence in Addis Ababa should be made more cost-effective.  His country had contributed to build capacity in the African Union and for other training in Africa.  In the area of financing of African Union operations, he urged more involvement of donors and pledged Japan’s continued support.  When it came to using assessed contributions, it was important to operate under the Charter and other rules of the Organization, which stated that only United Nations operations could be supported in that way, he stressed.


CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said the establishment of peace, the promotion of development and the building of institutions were all important for creating sustainable peace.  In regard to the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, it was essential that there be promotion of greater coherence between two organizations.  It was obvious that much remained to be done along those lines.


He welcomed the recommendations for mechanisms for structured consultation and information exchange between the two organizations, and he agreed with the “Prodi Panel” on the importance of predictable, sustainable and flexible support for peacekeeping missions.  In that context, it was imperative to move forward in considering all financing mechanisms recommended by the Panel and the Secretary-General.  He expressed deep appreciation for all those who supported African Union peacekeeping operations and supported the presidential statement to be read at the end of the meeting.


The Council President, LE LUONG MINH (Viet Nam), speaking in his national capacity, said that enhancing the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union would boost the international community’s collective power in resolving conflicts in Africa, as well as improving the latter’s capacity to resolve existing local conflicts and prevent future ones.  Finding ways and means to effectively support African Union peacekeeping operations would add value to the Security Council’s task of maintaining international peace and security.  Enhanced dialogue and close consultation should be further promoted between the African Union and the United Nations, especially between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.


He said that, due to limited resources and capacity, the African Union had faced tremendous difficulties in carrying out peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations.  Efforts to build the African Standby Force, among other things, should be supported by the United Nations.  As for financial contributions to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations -- one of the “thorniest challenges” to the success of such joint operations -- he said all options outlined in the Secretary-General’s report deserved due consideration.


Peacekeeping was merely a part of a political solution, not an alternative to it, he said.  Adequate attention should be paid to preventive diplomacy, early warning, conflict prevention and mediation.  Apart from pooling resources for peacekeeping operations, earmarking sufficient resources for socio-economic development to address the root causes of conflicts must be considered a priority.  That was the only way to prevent the recurrence of conflicts.


ANDERS LIDÉN (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, highlighted the findings of the New Horizon Paper, which called for new approaches to peacekeeping in the form of close and effective partnerships between key actors.  In the case of African Union-led peacekeeping operations, partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations had become a critical factor in modern peacekeeping.  He urged continued development of the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, and for increased efficiency of relations between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, as well as between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission.


In addition, he noted the triangular relationship evolved between the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union, and he pointed to support to piracy in Somalia as a case in point.  The United Nations and the European Union gave support to AMISOM, and the European Union deployed a naval operation to protect vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP).  Further, the European Union supported continued institutional capacity-building of the African Union and said that a road map to operationalize the African Peace and Security Architecture was about to be finalized.  He also noted the need to enhance the predictability and sustainability of financing for African Union-led operations under a United Nations mandate.


The European Union remained strongly engaged with the United Nations and the African Union in peacekeeping, and today it bore 40 per cent of the costs for peacekeeping operations under the African lead.  He noted other ways the United Nations and the European Union could support the African Union, including through information exchange and coordination, and other partnerships.  “We are determined to continue assisting the African Union in developing its own capacity to deliver peace and stability on our continent”, he said, adding that the European Union would also welcome increased support for the peacekeeping efforts of the African Union from non-traditional donors.


MARIA LUIZA VIOTTI (Brazil), citing important historical, cultural and political links to Africa, said her Government sought to support the continent’s efforts to achieve peace, security and development in a variety of ways, from military cooperation to technical assistance and capacity-building.  Presently, Brazil contributed to five peacekeeping missions in Africa and had also sought to contribute to peacebuilding, in particular through its work in the Peacebuilding Commission’s country-specific configuration on Guinea-Bissau.  More recently, Brazil had engaged in initiatives designed to broaden the scope of its bilateral cooperation with African countries in such matters.


She went on to say that peacekeeping was a global responsibility, as well as a global asset, and as the United Nations recognized the African Union’s ability to make unique contributions to conflict prevention and peacekeeping on the continent, it needed to extend all necessary support to such endeavours.  Moreover, bolstering cooperation with regional organizations was a key way for the Council to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.  She said Brazil endorsed a broader and more institutionalized dialogue between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, and stressed that such dialogue must be informed by the will to listen.  That would allow a genuine exchange of views, with a view towards finding the most suitable avenues for cooperation between the two organizations.  Finally, she said more work needed to be carried out regarding the financing of African Union peacekeeping operations, and that building the African Union’s capacity in areas such as budgeting, accounting and management would be an important part of that exercise.


BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) said that the availability of predictable resources remained the most important constraint on Africa’s capacity to give effect to its commitments to resolve conflicts and necessitated a continuing dialogue between the United Nations and the African Union.  A clear commitment by the Council would dispel the perception by many Africans that the international community was apathetic and placed financial considerations above people’s lives.


In that context, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s report and urged that particular attention be paid to the recommendations on financial mechanisms.  The United Nations should continue to review and seek ways of ensuring predictable, flexible and sustainable financing for peacekeeping operations.  The General Assembly, as well as the Security Council, should take up that issue.  He welcomed the presidential statement to be made and eagerly awaited the establishment of the African Union-United Nations task force.


GHAZI JOMMA (Tunisia), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said, while the Security Council’s primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security was well recognized, everyone was aware of the increasing importance of regional arrangements in that regard, and Africa was a perfect example of that new ascending dynamism of such regional arrangements.  To that end, the African Union had established a continental peace and security architecture and had shown its readiness and commitment to meet the challenges faced by the continent in terms of security and stability.


Continuing, he said that the African Union Peace and Security Council and the initiatives undertaken by the Panel of the Wise, as well as the measures taken within the framework of the setting up of the Continental Early Warning System and the steps aimed at the launching of the African Standby Force, were all illustrative of the new dynamism, he stated.  All those efforts notwithstanding, however, Africa’s strong political will to overcome difficulties related to peace and security on the continent needed to be assisted by a sustained support to the resource base and capacity of the African Union.


In that context, the African Group reiterated the importance of a more developed and effective partnership between the United Nations and the regional organizations, especially the African Union.  The Group also underlined the importance of the African Union-United Nations Panel on the modalities for support to African Union peacekeeping operations, as laid out in the “Prodi Report” as a qualitative and decisive step towards improving that partnership concerning peacekeeping operations in Africa.  The Group further expressed the African Union’s readiness to pursue its consultations and close cooperation with the United Nations in order to ensure a “predictable, sustainable and flexible funding of the African Union-led peace support operations”, he said.


BUKUN-OLU ONEMOLA ( Nigeria) said regional organizations were a critical and integral component of the broader strategy for maintaining and strengthening global peace and security within the ambit of Chapter VIII of the Charter.  Encouraged by the close collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union in achieving peace and security in Darfur and Somalia, he said the Security Council should build on lessons learned from those endeavours to strengthen future cooperative work.  The African Union required robust support for its existing peace and security architecture, which consisted of the Peace and Security Council, the Continental Early Warning system, the Panel of the Wise, the African Standby Force and the Special Fund.


He said Africa needed sustainable, flexible and predictable funding for peacekeeping operations, as well as for facilitating the building of the continent’s peacekeeping capacity and institutional mechanisms.  If genuinely implemented by all stakeholders, the Secretary-General’s recommendations would lay a solid foundation for viable support to the African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations.  The use of United Nations assessed funding to support such operations and the establishment of a voluntary funded multi-donor trust fund would be of immense assistance.  A trust fund should also be established for capacity-building, development of African Union’s logistic capacity, and the establishment of a joint United Nations-African Union team to examine implementations of the Panel’s proposals.  He urged the Council to adopt a presidential statement approving the five financing mechanisms proposed.


Concluding Remarks


In response to speakers’ questions and remarks, Mr. ANTONIO, Observer of the African Union, thanked all Council members and other speakers who had shown once again their solidarity with Africa.  Taking note of concrete proposals made, he reaffirmed the will of the African Union to live up to its part of responsibilities.  He agreed with Mr. Prodi that the issue of peacekeeping operations was only part of the problem.  There was also the need to address a comprehensive approach.


As participants in today’s debate had spoken about the need to move ahead with a plan for capacity-building for the African Union, he assured the Council that that issue was taken up by the African Union.  He said the African Union’s strategic plan had four pillars:  peace and security; development; shared values; and capacity-building.  Today’s deliberations reflected the need for a multilateral approach.


Mr. LE ROY, thanking all delegations for their support of the Secretary-General’s report, said he was committed to working with the African Union and its Commission.  He would update the Council by April, at which time a joint African Union and United Nations task force would be set up and the United Nations presence in Addis Ababa would be restructured to make it more cohesive.  The fact that he was invited to participate in the upcoming meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council was yet another example of the strengthened and ongoing cooperation between the two organizations.


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