Mr Chairman

Mr Secretary General

Excellencies

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I will read this statement on behalf of the Security Council. The message reads - and I quote.

 

“The members of the Security Council are delighted to take part in commemorating this important day for Africa. The Council expresses its congratulations to all African Countries and to the African People on this solemn occasion.

 

The commemoration of the 42nd Anniversary of the Africa Day is a good opportunity to look back on the achievements and the challenges met. But also an opportunity to look at the challenges the Continent are facing.

 

The visionary launching of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) forty-two years ago has had tremendous positive influence on the African Continent, including strengthening of the role of African States on the International Arena.

 

The establishment of the OAU’s successor the African Union (AU) in 2003 and emergence of AU institutions has not only further promoted shared values and aspirations. It has also fostered a sense of common identity and growing partnership among African Nations.

 

The creation of the AU Peace and Security Council and the decision to establish an African rapid reaction stand-by force and an early warning system have created a new structural dynamic, making the African Union a partner of the United Nations in resolving the problems faced by Africa in matters of international peace and security.

 

The Security Council expresses its appreciation for the contribution the African Union is making in promoting peace and stability in various parts of the African Continent. And it welcomes in particular the leading role of the African Union in efforts to settle crisis.

 

The Security Council applauds the vital leadership role the African Union is playing in the regions of Darfur in Sudan and the work on the ground of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). The Council has again this month expressed its readiness to continue to support the AU with a view to further strengthen its efforts to foster peace.

 

The Security Council strongly supports, as well, the role played by the AU through its mediator, President Mbeki of South Africa, in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

The establishment of the African Union will allow for better coordination of regional mechanisms to foster peace and security, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty in Africa, as set forth in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

 

The Security Council recognizes the importance of strengthening cooperation with the African Union in order to help build its capacity to deal with collective security challenges, including mounting rapid and appropriate responses to emerging crisis situations, and the development of effective strategies for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building.

 

At the same time the Security Council reiterates its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

 

The Security Council values its cooperation with the African Union and expresses its full support for the peace initiatives conducted by the African Union.

 

Finally Mr Chairman; the Security Council hopes that the member states of the United Nations will continue to support and cooperate with the African Union”.

 

Thank you Mr Chairman