United Nations


General Assembly
Security Council

Distr. GENERAL  

1 November 1995


Fiftieth session  Fiftieth year
Agenda items 10 and 86



Improving preparedness for conflict prevention and
peace-keeping in Africa

Report of the Secretary-General


1.   In "An  Agenda for  Peace" (A/47/277-S/24111), I drew  attention to the
untapped  potential  of   regional  organizations  in  the  maintenance   of
international  peace and security  and in  the "Supplement to  An Agenda for
Peace" (A/50/60-S/1995/1),  I stressed  the importance  of helping  regional
organizations develop  a capacity  for preventive  action, peacemaking  and,
where  appropriate, peace-keeping.   The  Security  Council, in  a statement
issued by its President on 22  February 1995 (S/PRST/1995/9), encouraged  me
to  consider  ways   and  means  of  improving  practical  cooperation   and
coordination  between the  United  Nations and  regional  organizations  and
arrangements and drew particular attention to  the needs of the Organization
of African Unity (OAU).

2.   In  its report  of 22  June 1995  (A/50/230), the Special  Committee on
Peacekeeping  Operations welcomed  the efforts  of certain  Member States to
elaborate concrete proposals for improving  the capacity to  respond rapidly
and effectively  to emergency situations  in Africa,  in particular  through
cooperation with  OAU. These  proposals included matters  such as  training,
the  identification  of  equipment needs,  and  planning  of the  logistical
resources necessary  for the  deployment of  conflict prevention  and peace-
keeping personnel.  The Committee  invited me to develop these proposals for
consideration by the General Assembly.

3.   The present report is  submitted in response to these requests from the
Security Council and the Special Committee.

95-33231 (E)  061195/...
4.  The founders  of the United  Nations, in Chapter VIII of the  Charter of
the  United Nations, envisaged an important role  for regional organizations
in  the maintenance of international peace and security.  It is increasingly
apparent that the United Nations cannot  address every potential and  actual
conflict  troubling  the  world.    Regional  or  subregional  organizations
sometimes  have  a comparative  advantage  in  taking  a  lead  role in  the
prevention and  settlement of conflicts and to assist the  United Nations in
containing  them.   In  this  connection,  the  increase  of United  Nations
activities in the area of peace and security  in Africa has been marked by a
parallel increase in  the activities  of OAU  and subregional  arrangements.
The establishment of the  OAU Mechanism on  Conflict Prevention,  Management
and  Resolution in June 1993 was an important  step forward in strengthening
African capacity in  preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and, where  possible,
peace-keeping.  These efforts, however, have  been severely constrained by a
lack of resources.   Recent initiatives on the  part of the United  Nations,
OAU and subregional arrangements, as  well as by States  outside the region,
have been  geared  towards addressing  these  constraints  with the  aim  of
strengthening African capacity to respond to crisis situations.

5.   These initiatives are  a positive  development.   Yet in order  to have
maximum  effect, they must  be developed  and coordinated  within an overall
framework.  The present report, which  was prepared in consultation with OAU
officials,  is a  first  step  towards this  end.   In this  connection, the
initiatives and  recommendations  outlined  herein  are  relatively  modest.
They  focus mainly on building a strong foundation necessary to support more
ambitious initiatives which can be undertaken at a later stage.


6.    OAU  and  subregional arrangements  in  Africa  have taken  an  active
interest  in examining  possibilities for  regional measures  of  collective
security.   During its  sixty-second ordinary  session, held  at Addis Ababa
from 21  to 23  June  1995, the  OAU  Council  of Ministers  reiterated  the
primary role of the United Nations in maintaining world peace and  security.
Yet  it noted  that, while  preventive  diplomacy  should always  remain the
priority,  Africa  should seriously  endeavour  to  develop and  enhance its
capacity  to participate  in the  field  of  peacekeeping, either  under the
aegis of the United Nations or, in exceptional circumstances, that of OAU.

7.   In  its  22  June report  (A/50/230), the  Special Committee  on Peace-
keeping   Operations   reaffirmed   the   important   role   that   regional
organizations  and   arrangements  could   play  in   contributing  to   the
maintenance  of  international  peace  and  security.    It  encouraged  the
strengthening  of  cooperation  between  the  United  Nations  and  regional
organizations,  in accordance  with Chapter  VIII  of  the Charter  and with
their respective  mandates, scope and composition,  in order  to enhance the
capability of  the international  community to respond  rapidly to  disputes
and conflicts.

8.  The  United Nations and OAU cooperate  in a number  of areas in conflict
prevention, management  and resolution.  The  two organizations now  consult
regularly on key African questions with  a view to coordinating  initiatives
and  actions  on  a  broad  spectrum  of  political  issues,  including  the
prevention and  resolution of conflicts in  Africa.  Since  1990, the United
Nations  and  OAU have  cooperated  on  initiatives  to  prevent, manage  or
resolve,  conflicts in  many parts  of  Africa, including  Angola,  Burundi,
Lesotho, Liberia,  Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra  Leone, Somalia, South  Africa
and Western Sahara.   Yet, there is a  need to strengthen further mechanisms
for   coordination,   consultation   and  cooperation   in   the  respective
headquarters  as well  as  in the  field.    The  establishment of  the  OAU
Mechanism makes  it possible to move towards a more  systematic framework of
cooperation.   The OAU Secretary-General  and I have  discussed the need  to
build closer  ties between the  organizations, with a view  to enhancing our

mutual capacity for the maintenance of  peace and security and  coordinating
our efforts in this regard.

9.  The  degree to which the United  Nations and OAU  are now simultaneously
involved in  complementary efforts to prevent,  manage or resolve  conflicts
now  warrants  the  posting  of  a United  Nations  liaison  officer at  OAU
headquarters.  This would go  a long  way towards  facilitating an efficient
use of resources  and the coordination of efforts  in some of Africa's  most
delicate and challenging  situations.  In addition, subject to  availability
of the necessary resources, the two  organizations have agreed to  establish
a staff  exchange programme  to assist  OAU to strengthen  its Mechanism  on
Conflict  Prevention   and   Management   and   Resolution   and   reinforce
collaboration between  the two organizations,  both at  Headquarters and  at
the field level.

10.   The  OAU  Mechanism  is in  the  process  of upgrading  its  automated
information  capability and  is now  developing  a  database to  assist with
early  warning. Subject to funding,  it is proposed  that the United Nations
assist in  organizing  an OAU  situation  room  to receive  and  disseminate
information, to  stay abreast  of political  developments in  Africa and  to
monitor ongoing  efforts to  prevent, manage  and resolve  conflicts.   This
would involve  initially a short-term  visit by a small  technical team from
United Nations  Headquarters, followed  by ongoing  staff exchanges  between
the  two  organizations.    Consideration  could   also  be  given  to   the
possibility  of   the  United   Nations  and   OAU  using   national  media,
particularly  radio  programmes,  to  disseminate   information  on  current
efforts by the two organizations to prevent and resolve certain conflicts.

11.   Regional  organizations have  traditionally been  active in preventive
diplomacy and  peacemaking.   Where  the  United  Nations  and one  or  more
regional  organizations  have  cooperated  in  dealing  with  a   particular
dispute,  the   forms  of  such  cooperation   have  varied,  ranging   from
consultation and  coordination to the appointment of a joint representative.
In other  cases, ad hoc  groups of States have supported  the efforts of the
United Nations  or taken  the lead  themselves in  peacemaking.   Preventive
diplomacy  and  peacemaking  are  fields  of  activity  in  which   regional
organizations are often well  placed to achieve results and where a  measure
of devolution to the regional level would seem to be most appropriate.

12.   The  key to  closer  cooperation and  coordination between  the United
Nations and OAU  in preventive diplomacy lies  in a structured  and constant
exchange of  information on emerging crises  at a  sufficiently early stage.
Consideration could  be given  to joint  reviews of  potential and  existing
conflicts  with  a  view  to  coordinating  initiatives  and  actions.    To
facilitate  this process,  effort  would  need to  be made  to  mobilize the
financial  and technical  assistance necessary  to build  the  institutional
capacity of  the OAU secretariat  in these areas  and to  further strengthen
the Mechanism.

13.   The  two organizations  could  explore  possibilities for  engaging in
regular  joint peacemaking  activities  in Africa,  especially  through  OAU
involvement  with,  and  participation   in,  United  Nations   initiatives.
Successful  peacemaking will depend  on the  capacity for  sustained support
and assistance.  Ideas  could be exchanged on  how the United  Nations could
help  to  mobilize financial  and logistic  support to  specific peacemaking
activities of  OAU and  for the  development of  training programmes on  the
settlement of  disputes.   In certain  instances, the  United Nations  could
provide support to OAU  to enhance its capacity in a preventive diplomacy or
peacemaking  mission.   Moreover,  the two  organizations  could  co-sponsor
national  and regional  seminars  to facilitate  dialogue  among  contending
groups  and parties  and to  contribute  to  agreements and  arrangements to
prevent, control or resolve conflicts.

14.   OAU  has initiated  training  in  electoral assistance  and democratic
transition   activities  which   could  be   strengthened  with   additional
information and  support from  the United  Nations.  An  important step  was

taken in this regard  when OAU became  a member of the Electoral  Assistance
Information Network established  in October 1992,  coordinated by the United
Nations Electoral Assistance Unit.   The United Nations  could also make  it
possible for  OAU to benefit from  United Nations  programmes concerned with
good governance, peacebuilding and participatory democracy.


15.   A number of  practical difficulties, including  a lack of  experienced
personnel,  insufficient  material resources  and  the  slow  deployment  of
troops  and equipment,  has  affected the  implementation  of  peace-keeping
mandates,  especially  in  the start-up  phases.    These  difficulties were
dramatically  underscored in  the painfully  slow  expansion of  the  United
Nations Assistance Mission for  Rwanda (UNAMIR).  At  a time when  scores of
people  were  being  massacred  every  day,  it  took  about  three  months,
following the  authorization of  UNAMIR's expansion  under Security  Council
resolution 918  (1994) of  17  May  1994, to  obtain the  necessary  troops,
prepare  them for deployment, procure essential equipment, and transport the
troops  and equipment  to  the mission  area.   This  delay  compromised the
operational capabilities  of the mission.   Any effort  to examine means  of
strengthening  capacity  for  peace-keeping  in  Africa  should,  therefore,
address these constraints as a priority. 

16.   It  must  be recognized,  however,  that  these  difficulties are  not
confined  to  operations in  Africa  but  affect,  in  varying degrees,  the
implementation of all peace-keeping operations.   In my report on  effective
planning,  budgeting and  management of  peace-keeping operations  (A/48/945
and  Corr.1), dated  25 May  1994, I  presented a  number of  proposals  for
improving the capacity  of the United Nations  to prepare for  and implement
peace-keeping  operations.  The  General Assembly  has endorsed  many of the
suggestions  presented  in  that  report  and  is  scheduled  to  resume its
consideration of  the matter  at its  present session.   At  the same  time,
additional  measures  should  be  considered  to  enhance  the  capacity  of
individual Member States, as well as  regional organizations, to participate
in peace-keeping operations.

17.   While the  role of  OAU and  the subregional  organizations in  peace-
keeping operations  is  likely  to remain  limited, at  least  for the  near
future,  regional efforts, as  foreseen under  Chapter VIII  of the Charter,
can  assist in  enhancing the  capacity  of  the international  community to
address conflicts  in Africa.  Improving preparedness  for peace-keeping  on
the continent  should,  therefore,  be  viewed as  a  cooperative  endeavour
between the United Nations, OAU and  subregional organizations, with a  view
to optimizing the use of available resources.

A.  Personnel and training

1.  United Nations stand-by arrangements

18.    The most  important element  in  any  peace-keeping operation  on the
ground  is  trained  and  adequately  equipped  personnel.    Enhancing  the
capacity of  African  States to  provide  such  personnel would  be  helpful
regardless   of  whether  the  operations  in  which  they  participate  are
conducted by  the  United Nations,  OAU,  a  subregional organization  or  a
multinational coalition. 

19.  The United Nations stand-by arrangements comprise a system of  national
forces  and other capabilities,  which Member  States maintain  at an agreed
state of readiness  as a  possible contribution to  a United Nations  peace-
keeping operation.  These arrangements provide  a framework within which  to
register  the  current  peace-keeping capacity  of  African  States  and  to
enhance their  preparedness to respond more  quickly and  effectively when a
peace-keeping operation is required.  The  United Nations is now  collecting
detailed  information  on the  personnel  and  equipment  available  through

stand-by  arrangements,  with a  view  to  enhancing planning  and  ensuring
timely deployment. Subject to the agreement  of the countries concerned,  it
is proposed to share  information with OAU, which  can play a  valuable role
in  securing,  from  its  Member  States,  the  troops  and  other resources
necessary for a  peace-keeping mission.  Individual African Governments  may
also wish to share with  OAU and each other the details of their involvement
in the United Nations stand-by arrangements.

20.    The  Stand-by  Arrangements  Management  Team  of  the  Department of
Peacekeeping  Operations of the  Secretariat is currently giving priority to
consultations  with  relevant  Governments  with a  view  to  increasing the
number of African participants  and, with regard to the 10 African countries
that have already agreed to participate, to  obtaining essential information
on capabilities and volumetrics,  as well as gaps in the area of  equipment.
In addition, consideration is being given to the possibility of a  readiness
seminar, which the Stand-by  Arrangements Management Team could conduct with
OAU and relevant Governments.

21.    Once units  are  identified  for  stand-by  arrangements,  it is  the
responsibility of the contributing countries to  maintain them in an  agreed
state of  readiness  so that  they can  be called  upon when  needed.   This
involves training  the proposed troops in  the background  of United Nations
peace-keeping, standard  procedures and  guidelines for action,  as well  as
the use of specialized equipment standard to such missions.

22.  Under established policy, the  countries participating in peace-keeping
operations  are expected  to provide  fully  equipped  units that  are self-
sufficient  for a period  of 60  days following their deployment  to a given
theatre  of  operations.    However, some  contributing  countries  have had
difficulties in  ensuring that their troops  are deployed  with the required
equipment.   These  difficulties create  significant deployment  delays  and
undermine  the  operational capability  of  peace-keeping  operations.    In
crisis situations,  such as Rwanda, this  can have tragic consequences.  The
concept of stand-by arrangements  makes it possible to plan for and organize
equipment requirements  to support  troops well  in  advance of  deployment,
ensuring  that all  recommended items  are  available  and ready  for timely
shipment  when needed.   In this  connection it is my  intention, within the
framework of the stand-by arrangements, to promote bilateral  "partnerships"
among nations with complementary strengths,  according to which  one country
would make the necessary troops available,  while another would provide  the
equipment required to  meet anticipated shortfalls in specialized and  heavy
equipment needs.   These partnerships would include training in  the use and
maintenance of the equipment on a bilateral basis.

23.   In promoting  peace-keeping partnerships,  the first  step is to  know
exact equipment needs, as  well as the  type and quantity of equipment  that
might  be available in  addition to  (or exclusive  of) troop contributions.
This is  the kind of information  that the  Stand-by Arrangements Management
Team is  now eliciting in  its discussions  with participating  Governments.
In this  way it  is establishing  a "preparedness  database" detailing,  for
each  Member  State  interested in  contributing  troops  to participate  in
peace-keeping operations, the specifics of their available troops  (numbers,
type  and  configurations)  and  related  equipment  holdings,  noting   any
shortfalls.    Full  advance  knowledge  of  the  available  resources   and
outstanding   requirements  will  allow  for  arrangements  to  be  made  to
alleviate  the shortfalls  and thereby  better prepare  the Organization for
future  deployments,  helping  to  ensure  full  self-sufficiency  of  a new
operation in  its crucial  early stages.   While  increasing  the number  of
African  States participating  in the  stand-by arrangements  is an  ongoing
process in  the short and  medium term, I  invite those  African States that
are  already  participating to  cooperate  with  the  Stand-by  Arrangements
Management Team  to compile a complete  picture, by the  spring of 1996,  of
specialized and heavy equipment needs.

24.   In the  meantime, the United Nations is  working with Member States to
identify means  of ensuring  that troops have  the proper equipment  and are

trained in its use  before deployment.   In this connection, some  potential
troopcontributing countries are  visited by United Nations mobile  logistics
teams,  which  assist   in  determining  heavy  and  specialized   equipment
requirements,  before the  countries concerned  are called  upon  to provide
troops for  an operation.  This has been  a very useful  undertaking in  the
case of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III).

25.    As a  means  of  overcoming  delays  in  deployment of  peace-keeping
operations,  the possibility  has been  raised  of  the United  Nations pre-
positioning equipment in Africa for use by African contingents.  This  would
require the  United Nations to procure  either the estimated equipment or to
solicit equipment donations  from other  Member States;  both options  carry
substantial financial implications for the Organization.   I have not as yet
received indications that  Member States are prepared to undertake,  through
the United  Nations, the up-front  costs of equipping  the contingents of  a
peace-keeping  operation.    Given  this,  and  the  fact  that  the precise
equipment needs of potential African troop-contributing countries are  still
being discerned in ongoing discussions with  a number of African Governments
regarding  their participation in  the stand-by arrangements, this issue may
be revisited at a later time.

26.   Meanwhile, the  recent establishment at  Brindisi, Italy, of  a United
Nations  Logistics Base has  provided a  facility for  the refurbishment and
storage of surplus equipment from closed  peace-keeping missions, to be used
in support of other operations as the need  arises, and from where it can be
shipped  to virtually  any port in Africa  within two to three  weeks.  Most
recently, the  Brindisi facility has  greatly facilitated the  establishment
of UNAVEM III. However,  as the bulk of  the equipment at  Brindisi is  non-
military and  as such  intended for  the infrastructure  of missions  rather
than for support  of troop contingents, the  primary focus for  provision of
those  equipment   requirements  will   continue  to   be  the   partnership
arrangements  described above.   Upon  the  request of  these  partnerships,
consideration  could be given,  on a  case-by-case basis,  to storing peace-
keeping equipment thus provided at Brindisi  on a spaceavailable and at-cost

2.  Training

27.   While  the  primary  responsibility  for the  training  of troops  and
officers   for   peace-keeping   operations   rests  with   their   national
Governments,  the  United Nations  has  developed  valuable  training  tools
designed  to  assist  Member   States  and  regional   institutions  in  the
development  of  peace-keeping skills.    There  are  a  number of  training
activities that  could  be pursued,  in  the  context of  strengthening  the
capacity for  peace-keeping in Africa, both  within and  outside the context
of stand-by arrangements.

28.   The United Nations conducts  regional peace-keeping  workshops, one of
which is scheduled  to be held in Egypt  in February 1996, with  invitations
issued to  current and  potential African troop-contributing nations.   This
workshop is  designed  to  exchange  information and  to  identify  training
needs,  on  the  basis  of  which  appropriate  training  exercises  will be
organized.   It is  anticipated that one  of the  areas to  be developed  is
joint peace-keeping  seminars, co-sponsored by  national staff colleges  and
the  United  Nations,  with  a  view  to  increasing  general  knowledge and
understanding  of  peace-keeping  for  mid-level  and  senior  military  and
civilian  officers.    These  seminars,  based  on  manuals  and  guidelines
developed by  the United Nations, could  include command  post exercises and
related simulations.  In these seminars,  particular emphasis will be placed
on involving African countries that are part of the stand-by arrangements.

29.     Units  from   African  countries  participating   in  the   stand-by
arrangements should  be kept in a relative state of  preparedness and should
be trained to the  same standards, use the same operating procedures and  be
equipped  with  compatible communications  equipment  as  specified  in  the

United Nations tables of organization and  equipment, provided to all Member
States.   In this  connection, African  States  could set  aside or  earmark
ready  contingents  to  be  given  specialized  training  in   peace-keeping
operations.   It is proposed  that, initially, key  members of these  units,
such   as  staff   officers,  logisticians,   communications   officers  and
commanders,  take   part  in  joint   peace-keeping  exercises  at   regular
intervals.    At  a  later  stage,  whole units  might  take  part  in these
exercises, so  that they are ready  for deployment at  short notice and  are
already  accustomed to working  together upon  arrival in  the mission area.
As part of the  stand-by arrangements, consideration is also being given  to
creating a  pool of general staff  officers who would  be trained by  United
Nations training  assistance teams for  immediate deployment  and to quickly
set up a  force headquarters, once  a new  peace-keeping operation has  been

30.  Various training  materials, covering general aspects of peace-keeping,
have  been developed  by  the Secretariat  and issued  to all  the permanent
missions  to  the  United  Nations  to  assist  Member  States  in preparing
civilian  police and  military personnel,  in accordance with  agreed common
standards, skills, practices and procedures to participate in  peace-keeping
missions.   Some  of the  key  elements include  a United  Nations  military
observers course and handbook, a United  Nations civilian police course  and
handbook, a  junior ranks  handbook, a  command and  staff college  training
module and a peace-keeping training manual.

31.  The United Nations has  recently established training assistance teams,
made  up of experienced  peace-keepers, provided by Member  States on an as-
needed  basis, to  assist interested countries and  regional institutions to
develop  training  programmes and  train  national  and  regional  trainers.
These  teams  are also  available  to  train  headquarters  staff of  United
Nations peace-keeping  operations.  To date,  such exercises  have been held
successfully for the headquarters staff of the United Nations  peace-keeping
operations in  Haiti and Angola.   During 1996,  emphasis will  be placed on
the selection  and  preparation  of  training assistance  teams  drawn  from
experienced African peace-keepers.  The United  Nations is also preparing  a
training  exercise for  senior  military  and civilian  officers  who  could
potentially be  called upon  to serve  in peace-keeping  operations.   These
programmes  would be of assistance in training African personnel, as well as
personnel  from  other  regions,  subject   to  the  fulfilment  of  funding

32.   Several  Member States  have  recently  indicated their  intention  to
strengthen and/or establish national  or regional training centres in peace-
keeping.   The United  Nations, in coordination  with OAU, can  support such
efforts  through  assistance  to  designated  staff  colleges  and  regional
centres in the evaluation of training  needs and the development of training
programmes  to meet  these needs;  ensuring that  common training standards,
including  a  common  terminology,  are   met;  the  provision  of  training
material;  and assistance  in the  coordination  of  external support.   The
United Nations is prepared to provide  experts, or national experts seconded
to the United Nations, as well as training  assistance teams to assist these
efforts.  One request  for assistance has already been received and is being

33.   It  should  be  noted, in  this  connection, that  some assistance  in
peacekeeping  training  is  already  being provided  on  a  bilateral basis.
These efforts  should be coordinated  with the  training programmes proposed
above.  Towards this end, the United Nations  is collecting information from
Member  States on  the  training they  are  conducting and  to  which  other
nations  are  invited to  send  candidates.   In  this context,  the  United
Nations  acts  as  a   clearing-house,  or  central   collection  point,  of
information  on  these  activities,  in  order   to  assist  Member   States
interested in  building peace-keeping capacity or  in providing support  for
such activities.  This  information will now be shared routinely with OAU in
order further to coordinate efforts.

B.  Planning and financing

34.   Before a  peace-keeping operation  is authorized,  the United  Nations
generally   conducts  technical  survey   missions,  during  which  detailed
operational plans,  including an  assessment of  resource requirements,  are
formulated.  As  far as possible, senior civilian and military personnel for
the  proposed operation are identified  and appointed at  an early stage, so
that  they can  be associated  with the  planning  process.   Key personnel,
provided   by  African   countries  under   the  United   Nations   stand-by
arrangements,  will be included  in these  technical planning  teams for the
operations in which they will be participating.

35.    Existing  mechanisms  for  financing  United  Nations   peace-keeping
operations  do  not   allow  for  concrete  preparatory  activities  to   be
undertaken  in  advance  of  a  mission  being  authorized  by  the Security
Council.  Accordingly, the  financial aspects of  enhancing preparedness for
peace-keeping in Africa  must be considered.   Certain proposals made in the
present report, especially the idea of  "partnerships", would take the  form
of  bilateral assistance  (some of  which  is  already occurring)  and would
represent no  direct cost to  the Organization.  However, to  be of  maximum
usefulness  to the international  community, there  is a  need to coordinate
such activities.  The United Nations  stand-by arrangements provide a useful
framework within which to do this.

36.   Most of the  proposals in  the present  report, falling  in the  broad
categories of stand-by  arrangements, training and mechanisms for  assisting
and  cooperating  more  closely  with  OAU,  have  direct,  albeit   modest,
budgetary  implications for the  United Nations.   In due course,  it may be
necessary to institutionalize  these activities, which would be reflected by
placing them under the  regular budget.  In  the meantime, I  invite Members
to  contribute to  a  trust  fund  that  would  be  dedicated  to  enhancing
preparedness for conflict prevention and peace-keeping in Africa.

C.  Cooperation with OAU and subregional organizations

37.   In regard to  building capacity for  peace-keeping, there are  several
avenues, as  described  throughout  the present  report, through  which  the
United Nations  can  assist  States  members  of  OAU.    Should  OAU  or  a
subregional  organization decide, with the support of  the Security Council,
to undertake a peace-keeping operation or  to deploy military observers, the
United  Nations  could  provide  planning  and logistic  expertise  to  help
prepare  the exercise  and  evaluate  the necessary  logistic and  financial
requirements.   The United Nations and  OAU, or  a subregional organization,
could  also  consider  co-deployment  of  peace-keeping  operations,  as  is
currently the  case  in Liberia.    Should  such operations  be  considered,
closely coordinated planning  would be  an essential prerequisite for  their
success.    Moreover,  the  lessons  learned  from  the  Liberian experience
clearly  show that,  unless such  operations are established  on a  firm and
reliable  financial  basis,  their  effectiveness  and  credibility  can  be
undermined.   The fact that  the Economic  Community of West  African States
(ECOWAS) has  had to  rely on  voluntary contributions  to meet many  of the
logistic requirements of its force has undoubtedly been a  major obstacle to
the discharge  of its  responsibilities under  the peace  agreements.   This
lesson should  be taken into account in considering the financial aspects of
peace-keeping activities under regional or subregional arrangements.


38.  The  key to enhancing  preparedness for conflict prevention  and peace-
keeping in  Africa  lies  first  and  foremost  with the  countries  of  the
continent.   Member  States outside  the  region  can assist,  especially if
practical  solutions  and  the  resources required  to  implement  them  are
clearly  identified.   The United  Nations stands  ready, for  its part,  to
participate in this process. 

39.   OAU  has  made  significant strides  in recent  years in  building its
capacity for the maintenance of peace  and security, especially with  regard
to preventive  diplomacy and peacemaking.   Given the  varied capacities and
the differences  in the structures,  mandates and decision-making  processes
of  OAU and  the United  Nations, it  would  not be  appropriate to  try  to
establish a rigid  model for cooperation between  them.  Nevertheless, it is
possible  to identify  certain  principles  on which  cooperation should  be
based,  including  agreed  mechanisms  for  consultation,  respect  for  the
primacy of the United Nations as set  out in the Charter, a  clearly defined
division of labour to  avoid overlap, and a coordinated approach by  members
of OAU and the  United Nations in dealing with  problems of interest to both

40.  It is  also possible, indeed imperative, to continue to strengthen  the
capabilities of  OAU and  to institutionalize  mechanisms to give  practical
effect to the  principles cited  above.  Towards that  end, I have made  the
following proposals in this report:

  (a)  To post a  United Nations liaison officer at OAU headquarters to help
ensure  effective coordination of  the efforts  of the  two organizations in
the areas of conflict prevention, management and resolution;

  (b)   To send a  technical team on  a short-term visit  to assist the  OAU
Mechanism in organizing a situation room;

  (c)  To establish  a staff exchange programme to assist OAU to  strengthen
its Mechanism and to reinforce collaboration between the two  organizations,
both at  headquarters and  at the  field level.   This could  include, inter
alia, bringing OAU planners and  logisticians to the United  Nations so that
they  may familiarize  themselves with  the  way  in which  the Organization
plans and fields peace-keeping operations;

   (d)  To share routinely with OAU information  from States Members of  the
United Nations  on the  peace-keeping training  they are  conducting and  to
which other countries are invited to send candidates.

41.  The United Nations will continue to have a central role with regard  to
peace-keeping  in Africa.    The region's  preparedness  for  peace-keeping,
whether as part  of a United Nations,  OAU or subregional operation, depends
initially on the willingness of African  Governments to contribute troops to
such an operation.  The next  step is to  identify any gaps in the areas  of
training  and  equipment  that  would  impede  the  ability  of  these troop
contributors  to   participate  effectively.      The  third   is  for   the
international  community  to assist  in  meeting  those  requirements.   The
stand-by arrangements system  provides an appropriate framework for  African
Governments   that   are  interested   in  participating   in  peace-keeping
operations to  make that  known in specific  terms, to make  known areas  in
which their  capacity must  be  enhanced if  they  are  to make  an  optimal
contribution  to  such operations  and for  those needs  to be  matched with
assistance from those in a position to provide it.  

42.   Although peace-building  is largely  a political  task, its  essential
ingredients also  include economic  and social  development, the  protection
and promotion  of human  rights, good  governance and  institution-building.
Frequently  these activities  must accompany peace-keeping if  the latter is
to be successful  and the larger goal of  lasting conflict resolution is  to
be achieved. 

43.  In  the light of  the above,  I have proposed  in the present report  a
number  of  modest  but  practical  measures,  which  can  be  summarized as

  (a)   To  give priority  to  strengthening  African participation  in  the
United Nations stand-by arrangements and to compile, as soon  as possible, a
complete  picture of the  specialized and  heavy equipment  needs of African

  (b)     On  the   basis  of   this  information,   to  promote   bilateral
"partnerships" to match troops with equipment;

  (c)    Subject  to  the  agreement  of  the  States  concerned,  to  share
information regarding their participation in the stand-by arrangements  with

  (d)   To carry out by  the end of 1995  a distribution  campaign of United
Nations peace-keeping  training materials and to  conduct, early  in 1996, a
regional peace-keeping training workshop in Africa;

  (e)  To  conduct a  peace-keeping training-of-trainers  seminar, a  United
Nations  training assistance  team seminar  and a  civilian  police training
seminar in the first half of 1996;

  (f)   To  begin  organizing,  at regular  intervals,  joint  peace-keeping
exercises for key officers of African  contingents participating in stand-by
arrangements; and,  in the longer  term, to be  a catalyst  for joint peace-
keeping exercises for African units participating in stand-by arrangements.

44.    In  the  final  analysis,   the  success  of  preventive   diplomacy,
peacemaking,  peace-keeping and  peace-building  in Africa,  irrespective of
the  level of  preparedness and  the  effectiveness of  cooperation  between
organizations, depends on the political will  of the parties in  conflict to
resolve their  differences peacefully.   It  also depends  on the  political
will  of Member  States, and,  in particular,  of the  Security Council,  to
support  such operations and ensure that they are provided, from the outset,
with   the  human,  material  and  financial  resources  necessary  for  the
implementation of  their mandates.   It  is only  on this  basis that  these
instruments for conflict resolution and management  can be effective in  the
post cold war era.



This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org