Security Council Recognizes Need to Ensure Steady, Predictable Flow of Financing to Regional Organizations Undertaking Peacekeeping under United Nations Mandate

22 October 2010
SC/10067

Security Council Recognizes Need to Ensure Steady, Predictable Flow of Financing to Regional Organizations Undertaking Peacekeeping under United Nations Mandate

22 October 2010
Security Council
SC/10067
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6409th Meeting* (AM)

Security Council Recognizes Need to Ensure Steady, Predictable Flow of Financing

to Regional Organizations Undertaking Peacekeeping Under United Nations Mandate

In Presidential Statement, Council also Welcomes African Union’s Enhanced

Important Peacekeeping Role, Pledges Further Cooperation with Pan-African Body 

Recognizing that the African Union was contributing towards the maintenance of international peace and security by undertaking peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council, members of that 15-nation body today reaffirmed the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for regional organizations when they took on peacekeeping under a United Nations mandate.

In a statement (document S/PRST/2010/21) read out by Patrick Mugoya of Uganda, which holds its presidency for the month, the Council reaffirmed the importance of and its commitment to strengthening its partnership with the African Union Peace and Security Council, consistent with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, through reviewing the degree of cooperation between them with regard to conflict prevention, resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, including the maintenance of constitutional order and the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Africa.

In its statement, the Security Council underscored the importance of expedited implementation of the 2006 United Nations-African Union 10-year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union, in particular the operationalization of the African Union Standby Force and the continental early warning system.  It welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Joint United Nations-African Union Task Force on Peace and Security on 25 September, and encouraged it to focus on strategic and country-specific issues of interest to both organizations.

Noting that while the African Union was taking critical measures to enhance its institutional capacity to undertake peacekeeping operations with the support of United Nations and key partners, the issue of securing sustainable, predictable and flexible financing remained a key challenge, and the Council expressed its determination to continue working towards more predictable and maintainable solution to those funding challenges.  The Council called on the African Union to work towards implementation of a long-term and comprehensive capacity-building strategic framework in consultation with the United Nations and other international partners.

At the outset of the meeting, which was presided over by Eriya Kategaya, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uganda, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “the work of regional organizations under Chapter VIII of the Charter is indispensable”, with the development of the African peace and security architecture critical to an effective long-term approach to conflict prevention and resolution, requiring the sustained support of the international community.

He said that the African Union and African subregional organizations had already made great efforts to prevent, mediate and resolve conflicts on the continent, with its personnel often paying the highest price.  The relationship between the Union and the Organization had yet to reach its full potential, however.

Solutions must be found to provide stable and flexible resources to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the Council, with African-led operations receiving the same support as all United Nations peacekeepers, including reimbursement, he said.  By the same token, African Union peacekeepers should uphold the same professional standards as United Nations personnel.

Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, said the Union had demonstrated determination and willingness to deploy peacekeeping operations in Africa.  It had done so in Burundi and Sudan in the past and was doing so in Somalia today.  The validity of such an approach had been demonstrated.  “At the same time, we are faced with serious resource, logistical and capacity constraints, which have hampered the ability of the operations deployed to fully discharge their mandated tasks and achieve their objectives.”

He said importance of finding a lasting solution to the funding of African Union-led peace support operations could not be over-emphasized.  Experience had demonstrated that using United Nations assessed contributions was the most viable response to the challenge, especially when the operations concerned were undertaken with the consent of the Security Council.  He called on the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole to approach that issue with the urgency and flexibility required, adding that the Council’s responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security should be exercised in full, including with respect to its financial implications.

“Making peace happen in Africa, a continent which, in spite of the significant advances made over the past years, still accounts for the highest proportion of conflicts worldwide, requires no less from the world body and its relevant decision-making organ on peace and security matters,” he said.  There was a need to demonstrate leadership and vision and to guard against the deceptive comfort that the status quo offered.  The African Union was determined to fully play its role, consistent with the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter.

Although speakers welcomed progress made in enhancing the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations as set out in the Secretary-General’s report (see Background) and urged further strengthening the relationship, in particular between the Security Council and its African Union counterpart, a main focus of today’s statements was the issue of providing stable and flexible financing for African Union peace support operations authorized by the United Nations.

Odein Ajumogobia, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, said in that regard that the will to act resolutely to address the complex challenges faced in Africa was lacking.  When the African Union undertook a peacekeeping operation authorized by the United Nations, it fulfilled a dual responsibility — to the people of Africa and to humanity at large — but the demands placed on it far outweighed its resources and capacity to effectively respond.  It was therefore imperative that the Security Council endorsed a financing option that guaranteed predictability, sustainability and flexibility of funding.

The representative of South Africa said that to ordinary Africans, it must seem that many innocent people had to die before the Security Council assumed its responsibility to protect and maintain stability on the continent.  Indeed, it had been said that the Security Council “moves with the speed of a cheetah in responding to crises elsewhere, but moves with a speed of an elephant to respond to conflicts in Africa”.  The African Union must be seen as a partner of the Council in maintaining international peace and security, he said, urging the Security Council to move away from the current ad hoc, short-term arrangements to a more strategic vision. 

The representative of Turkey said that in order to enable the African Union to fulfil all its goals regarding peace and security, assessed contributions of the United Nations should be considered to support African peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council in the future.  Lebanon’s representative characterized the African Union’s request to the Council that it consider assessed contributions for United Nations mandated operations as “eminently” justified.

France’s representative, however, said that the United Nations should preserve primary responsibility for the operations it financed.  Earmarking assessed funds for operations not led by the Organization was therefore a problem, and could not be a cornerstone of financial support for African Union peacekeeping, he cautioned, but pointed to the European Union Trust Fund for Peacekeeping in Africa as one of the elements to ensure predictable, sustainable and flexible financing.

The representative of the United Kingdom stressed that building African Union management capacity was essential as part of the transition to a more predictable funding process.  While acknowledging the need for steady and flexible funding for the long term, he also emphasized the need for a broader strategic framework between the Council and the African Union aside from the debate over financing.  Concrete plans were needed to address specific conflict situations, such as Somalia, and more attention needed to be paid to conflict prevention, where the African Union’s partnership was critical.

The representatives of China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russian Federation, Japan, United States, Gabon, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, Finland, Algeria, Portugal, Kenya, Australia, Ethiopia and the Sudan also spoke, as did the Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union.

The meeting was called to order at 10:15 a.m. and adjourned at 1:40 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/21 reads as follows:

“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 Charter of the United Nations and the relevant statutes of the regional organizations.

“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 sub-regional 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.

“The Security Council welcomes the continuing important efforts and enhanced peacekeeping role of the African Union and its sub-regional organisations, consistent with Security Council resolutions and decisions, to prevent, mediate and settle conflicts in the African continent, and, taking into account the increasing importance of conflict prevention, notes with appreciation the positive efforts made towards peace and security in Africa.

“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, in a manner consistent with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.

“The Security Council recalls the Statement of its President (S/PRST/2009/26) in which it requested the Secretary-General to submit a progress report on United Nations support to the African Union when it undertakes peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations, following his report (A/64/359 – S/2009/470) which detailed ways in which effective support could be provided by the United Nations, including an assessment of the recommendations contained in the Report of the African Union-United Nations Panel (A/63/666 – S/2008/813).

“The Security Council welcomes the progress report of the Secretary-General on support to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations (S/ 2010/514). 

“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of and its commitment to strengthening its partnership with the African Union Peace and Security Council, consistent with Chapter VIII, through reviewing the degree of cooperation between them with regard to conflict prevention, resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, including the maintenance of constitutional order, the promotion of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Africa, as stressed in the communiqués of their members including that of July 09, 2010 (S/2010/392).

“The Security Council reiterates the need for further enhancement of regular interaction, coordination, and consultation between the United Nations and the African Union on matters of mutual interest. The Security Council welcomes, in this regard, the inaugural meeting of the joint United Nations-African Union task force on peace and security held on September 25, 2010 and encourages the task force to focus on strategic and country-specific issues on the continent of interest to both organizations.

“The Security Council welcomes the establishment, on July 01 2010, of the United Nations Office to the African Union which integrates the mandates of the former Liaison Office, the Peacekeeping Support Team, the Planning Team for AMISOM, as well as the support elements of UNAMID Joint Coordination Mechanism as a concrete step in the strengthening of cooperation between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission.

“The Security Council underscores the importance of expediting the implementation, in close consultation with other international partners, of the 2006 United Nations-African Union Ten-year Capacity-Building Program 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 fulfill their commitments as endorsed by the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.

“The Security Council reiterates that regional organisations have the responsibility to secure human, financial, logistical and other resources for their organisations, including through contributions by their members and support from partners. The Council welcomes the valuable financial support provided by the African Union’s partners towards its peacekeeping operations including through the African Peace Facility, and calls upon all partners to render more support.

“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 mandate.

“The Security Council notes the Secretary-General’s observation in his report that while the African Union is taking critical measures to enhance its institutional capacity to undertake peacekeeping operations with the support of United Nations and key partners, the issue of securing sustainable, predictable, and flexible financing remains a key challenge. The Security Council expresses its determination to continue working, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter, towards a more predictable and sustainable solution to these funding challenges.

“The Security Council notes the continuing efforts by the African Union 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 to work towards implementation of a long-term and comprehensive capacity-building strategic framework in consultation with the United Nations and other international partners.

“The Security Council notes the Secretary-General’s intention to submit a report within six months which will, inter alia, define the United Nation’s Secretariat strategic vision for UN-AU cooperation in peace and security. The Council looks forward to this report which should take into account the lessons learned from the various experiences particularly in UNAMID and AMISOM.”

Background

For its deliberations today, the Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’ report on United Nations support to African Union peacekeeping authorized by the Security Council (document A/65/510-S/2010/514), which examines progress made in strengthening the strategic relationship between the United Nations and the African Union, the operational relationship between the two organizations and the key challenges in financing the African Union peace support operations.  The report also highlights initiatives taken by the African Union Commission to reform and enhance its financial management and accountability mechanisms, both in general and specifically with respect to peace support operations.

In his report, the Secretary-General notes that today’s complex challenges require a revitalized and evolving interpretation of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, which addresses cooperation between the world body and regional organizations; cooperation that has become more and more important in addressing and resolving conflicts around the world.  Initiatives by the African Union and its subregional organizations, with United Nations support, have made significant contributions in alleviating conflict through mediation, peacekeeping and peace enforcement, often with limited resources and in the most difficult and dangerous situations.  “Africa’s needs are great, but so are the contributions that Africans have made for many years to keeping the peace in their region and beyond,” the Secretary-General writes.

According to the report, successful collective action relies on an effective and strategic partnership between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.  Over the past years, communication and collaboration between the two bodies has been enhanced.  The African Union is the only regional group with which members of the Council hold an annual consultative meeting.  Discussions during such gatherings have focused on overall support by the United Nations for the 10-year capacity-building programme for Africa, and how best to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing the African Union’s peace and security capability.

The Secretary-General suggests that, in order to ensure that substantive issues are addressed in those annual meetings, a preparatory and follow-up mechanism is required.  Consideration might be given in utilizing the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa to serve as an informal secretariat of the joint meetings.  The Security Council and the Peace and Security Council might also wish to consider establishing a working group of experts.

The report notes that on 1 July, the United Nations Office to the African Union was established in Addis Ababa, headed by Assistant Secretary-General Zachary Mubri-Muita.  It integrates the mandates of the former United Nations Liaison Office to the African Union, the African Union Peacekeeping Support Team and the United Nations planning team to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) Joint Support Coordination Mechanism.  Plans are moving ahead expeditiously to get the United Nations Office to the African Union fully up and running.

The report goes on to describe the operational relationship between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission in the areas of:  conflict prevention and peacemaking; peacekeeping; mission support; support to current operations; training; development of a long-term road map for the African peace and security architecture; and country-level cooperation.  The Secretary-General observes that it is critical that the Secretariat and the African Union Commission work together to ensure that efforts are complementary and subject to realistic benchmarks and timelines.  The African Union should identify interim mechanisms to expeditiously employ peace support operations until such time that the African standby force is operational.

Although the African Union is taking crucial measures to enhance its institutional capacity to undertake peacekeeping operations, securing sustainable, predictable and flexible financing remained a key challenge.  According to the report, Council authorized African Union peace support operations continue to be funded primarily through voluntary contributions, in particular through the European Union’s African Peace Facility and through United Nations assessed contributions.  The African Union has called for the Secretariat to consider authorizing the use of United Nations assessed contributions in undertaking Council authorized peace support operations.  Under existing rules and procedures, United Nations support requires a case by case authorization by the Council, after which the General Assembly determines the scope of the support package and the level of assessed contributions to be provided.

The Secretary-General remarks that the current financial framework for partnership in peacekeeping operations is not conducive to building a sustainable long-term strategy.  The support package for AMISOM, for instance, should be identical to the support provided to United Nations peacekeeping operations and action should be taken to ensure parity between the reimbursement rate for the Somalia mission’s contingent personnel and United Nations contingent personnel.  “I am committed to finding a solution to the lack of sustainable funding for reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment for AMISOM, and to securing a long-term commitment to provide troop allowances to AMISOM personnel,” he states in his report.

The Secretary-General stresses that a more predictable and sustainable mechanism must be found to ensure that the African Union can fulfil the goals set out in the African peace and security architecture.  Efforts must also be made to enhance contributions to the African Union’s Peace Fund and to ensure that those funds are predictable and sustainable.

“While military capability may be part of any potential solution, durable peace on the African continent cannot depend on the deployment of military force alone,” the Secretary-General writes.  “We must look for long-term strategies at the continental, national and, above all, local levels that support the efforts of political leaders to develop effective governance and capacities to produce the essential stability.”

Opening Remarks

ERIYA KATEGAYA, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister for East African Community Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General and opened the meeting, welcoming progress being made in cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union (AU).  The African Union had already shown its competence in performing a critical role in peacekeeping, but sustainable, predictable and adequate financing in operations mandated by the United Nations was still needed for the Union to become the most effective partner of the Organization that it could be. 

BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that “the work of regional organizations under Chapter VIII of the Charter is indispensable”, with the development of the African peace and security architecture critical to an effective long-term approach to conflict prevention and resolution, requiring the sustained support of the international community.

Introducing his latest report on the issue (see Background), he said that the African Union and African subregional organizations had already made great efforts to prevent, mediate and resolve conflicts on the continent, with its personnel often paying the highest price.  The report provided an update on the work of the United Nations to support the African Union in overcoming challenges it faced in undertaking peacekeeping operations. 

Thanking leaders of the African Union for their commitment to peace and security and close cooperation with the United Nations, he commented that the relationship had yet to reach its full potential, although a United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa was opened in July and the first meeting of the United Nations-African Union joint task force on peace and security took play in July, in order to explore ways to enhance responsiveness to prevent conflict rather than simply responding to crises.

He said that building African capacity was only part of the picture and solutions must be found to provide predictable, sustainable and flexible resources to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the Council, with African-led operations receiving the same support as all United Nations peacekeepers, including reimbursement.  By the same token, African Union peacekeepers should uphold the same professional standards as United Nations personnel, and the United Nations Secretariat had been working with its African counterparts to define guidelines and strengthen capacity to protect civilians and minimize casualties among them.

In the months ahead, he said, he would submit a report that would help to define a strategic vision for United Nations-African Union cooperation on peace and security.  “Let us all work together towards effective mechanisms for a long-term approach to conflict prevention and resolution, and a reliable system for peacekeeping under the Charter,” he said.

Briefing

RAMTANE LAMAMRA, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, said the United Nations was at the forefront of those providing the financial, logistical and technical support required for AMISOM.  Its support package for that Mission was invaluable.  Yesterday’s discussions in the Council on Somalia and today’s debate were intertwined as the joint undertaking on Somalia offered a template of how the African Union-United Nations strategic partnership should evolve. 

Continuing, he said that two years ago the Panel headed by former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi had submitted a forward-looking report on how best to enhance the relationship between the African Union and the United Nations.  It had pointed out that while Africa peacekeeping mission had demonstrated an aptitude for rapid deployment, the lack of capacity hampered their ability to effectively implement their mandates over extended periods of time.  Since the submission of that report, significant progress had been made towards the implementation of its recommendations.

Highlighting the “ever-close” working relationship between the African Union Commission and the United Nations Secretariat, he said that the launching on 25 September of the Joint African Union/United Nations Task Force on Peace and Security had marked a milestone.  The establishment in July of the United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa was also worth mentioning.  In August, at the initiative of the African Union Commission, and within the framework of the Year of Peace and Security in Africa, a retreat had been held in Cairo between senior officials of the African Union and United Nations, which had given new impetus to more effective coordination and harmonization.  That retreat had adopted the “Cairo Call for Peace” which, among other things, called for establishment of regional forums of mediators.  The Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council had now institutionalized their yearly consultative meeting.

He said that even on the challenging issue of funding African Union-led peace support operations, some slow progress had been made.  The logistic support package financed through United Nations assessed contributions had been a key factor in the operations of AMISOM.  The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur had gone a step further as it had been an unprecedented hybrid operation, funded and managed by the United Nations.

There was, however, room for improvement in the two organizations’ joint endeavours, he said.  The collaboration between the African Union Commission and the United Nations Secretariat required an action-oriented approach geared towards achieving tangible results.  He hoped the Joint Task Force would provide the required tools to see to it that the commitments made at the highest level would be implemented.  The effectiveness of the relationship between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council should also be enhanced through, among other ways, regular consultations between their respective Chairs, harmonizing agendas, better synchronization in terms of decision-making, joint field missions and more substantive discussions at the yearly meetings.

Turning to the issue of funding of African Union-led peace support operations, he said the organization had demonstrated determination and willingness to deploy, and had done so in Burundi and Sudan in the past and in Somalia today.  The validity of such an approach had been demonstrated.  “At the same time, we are faced with serious resource, logistical and capacity constraints, which have hampered the ability of the operations deployed to fully discharge their mandated tasks and achieve their objectives.” The importance of finding a lasting solution to the funding of African Union-led peace support operations could therefore not be over-emphasized. 

Experience had demonstrated that support using United Nations assessed contributions was the most viable response to the challenge, especially when the operations concerned were undertaken with the consent of the Security Council.  He called on the Security Council and the wider United Nations to approach that issue with the urgency and flexibility required, building on the support packages extended to African Union Mission in Somalia and AMISOM.  The Council’s responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security should be exercised n full, including with respect to its financial implications.

“Making peace happen in Africa, a continent which, in spite of the significant advances made over the past years, still accounts for the highest proportion of conflicts worldwide, requires no less from the United Nations and its relevant decision-making organ on peace and security matters,” he said.  There was a need to demonstrate leadership and vision and to guard against the deceptive comfort that the status quo offered.

The African Union was determined to fully play its role, consistent with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter.  It would pursue efforts to enhance capacity and accelerate the full operationalization of Africa’s peace and security architecture.  The ongoing AMANI training exercise to test the Africa Standby Force procedures and the African Peace and Security Architecture study assessments were clear illustrations of that determination.  The African Union would endeavour to make conflict prevention a centrepiece of its actions, building on the normative framework on issues relating to governance, human rights, democracy, disarmament and arms control and border management, among other things.  “We will step up our efforts to resolve existing conflicts, while consolidating peace where it has been achieved in order to prevent the relapse into violence.

Statements

ODEIN AJUMOGOBIA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, said the will to act resolutely to address the complex challenges faced in Africa was lacking.  He hoped therefore that today’s debate would lay a strong foundation of the actions required to substantially enhance the peacekeeping capacity of the African Union and contribute to the observance of the “Year of Peace and Security in Africa”.

When the African Union undertook a peacekeeping authorized by the United Nations, it fulfilled a dual responsibility — to the people of Africa and to humanity at large.  Africa constituted 70 per cent of the matters on the Council’s agenda.  Yet, at best, the African Union was but a cog in the wheel of the collective security system.  The demands placed on it far outweighed its resources and capacity to effectively respond.  The consequences of such deficits included mission failure, increased instability, retarded economic development and reluctance among potential partners to contribute to what was perceived to be a failing system.

“Without a truly strategic relationship, vision and clear guidance, our enormous investments in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding will continue to be short-term and ad hoc,” he said.  The annual consultative meetings of the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council would require a preparatory and follow-up mechanism, using the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention in Africa.

Although financing African Union peacekeeping operations remained a daunting challenge, financing options were not difficult to identify.  “The problem persists because we the stakeholders have failed to adopt the far reaching and revolutionary alternatives required,” he said.  It was imperative that the Security Council endorsed a financing option that guaranteed predictability, sustainability and flexibility of funding for African Union peacekeeping operations mandated by the United Nations.

Too frequently, African Union member States were able to muster sufficient troop numbers to address crisis situations, only to have lack of equipment and logistical support let them down, he said, stressing that developing the capacity of peacekeeping personnel was not a substitute for adequate equipment, logistics and training.  He was therefore encouraged by several initiatives, including the prospect of having access to the United Nations Logistics Base capacities and the United Nations Strategic Deployment Stocks. 

He encouraged the African Union to continue with its institutional reform process, as well as with development of a long-term capacity building road map.  The United Nations Secretariat could play a key role in pulling the framework together to improve technical support to the Union.  Initiatives like the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre to train and prepare African Union troops for the planned Africa Standby Force should also be supported.  He strongly urged the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts to find sustainable funding to bring the support package for AMISOM to the level of that for United Nations peacekeeping operations.  “The African Union can only play an effective role in response to crises if there is sufficient political will and commitment of both its own Member States and the international community as a whole,” he said in conclusion.

LI BAODONG ( China) said the international community must deal with new challenges to peace and security in Africa.  The African Union had been playing an increasingly important role in facing them and its operations required more support from the United Nations.  China welcomed the steps already taken towards stronger cooperation between the two organizations, particularly in mediation, conflict prevention and security-sector reform.

Reliable financial support was still needed for African Union peacekeeping operations, which faced funding constraints, he said.  All countries concerned should honour their commitments to provide support and consider the Secretary-General’s proposals with a view to putting predictable and sustainable mechanisms in place to finance African Union efforts in peace and security.  Implementation of the 10-year plan for building the regional body’s capacity should also be accelerated, he said, adding that his delegation looked forward to receiving the Secretary-General’s report on such issues.  China had been providing support to the African Union through bilateral and multilateral channels, he said, pledging that it would continue to do so in the future.

IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) stated that further enhancement of cooperation between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union must result in concrete action, using the illustrative example of the cooperation between UNAMID and AMISOM to underscore that point.  Furthermore, he said that closer cooperation between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission would strengthen the latter’s institutional capacities to plan, deploy and manage peacekeeping operations as well as minimize duplication of efforts.

He noted the Secretary-General’s report, which focuses on developing the capacities of the African peace and security architecture, and stressed that the operationalization of the African Union Standby Force and the continental early warning system had to continue to be priority areas for joint engagement.  “Despite many positive developments, the challenge of predictable, flexible and timely financing” remained a concern,  he said. In that context, Bosnia and Herzegovina was encouraged that the African Union Commission had implemented significant reforms and welcomed the extension of the African Union resource mobilization to 12 per cent of its regular budget.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) noted with satisfaction the resolve of the African Union to bear responsibility for peace and security in Africa, saying that the rational utilization of such regional organizations was critical, so that the United Nations could focus on global issues.  The African Union needed to be further strengthened, including through support by the international community.  He welcomed steps that had already been taken to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union and subregional organizations in Africa.

A rational approach required thorough analysis of all efforts and all aspect of support.  In that regard, he said yesterday’s Security Council meeting on AMISOM had been “useful and serious”.  The African Union Standby Force was an important element, he added, noting Russian assistance to African Union peacekeeping, including training of staff.  He pledged his country’s continuation of such support in the future.

ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) welcomed the strengthening of strategic partnerships between the Council and regional organizations in such a way that supported international peace and security.  In that context, he welcomed steps already taken to enhance cooperation with the African Union.  The standby force and the ten-year programme to bolster the African Union’s capacity were essential elements of that effort.  He looked forward to the operationalization of the United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa, and welcomed efforts to strengthen preventive diplomacy and mediation in a number of African countries and in the ten-year capacity-building plan.

Challenges that remained included that of financing, he said, noting that it seemed to be agreed that predictable, sustainable and flexible financing was needed, with voluntary contributions not meeting that standard.  He fully shared the conclusions and recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report in that regard, so that the African Union could fulfil all its goals in peace and security.  Assessed contributions of the United Nations should be considered to support African peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council in the future.  Investments in the African Union would pay off, and Turkey was prepared to do its fair share in that regard, he pledged.

TSUNEO NISHIDA (Japan) said that his country believed that the conflict prevention and peacekeeping efforts in recent years by the African Union and its subregional organizations, as well as the tangible outcomes attained as a result of those efforts made under African ownership, merited high praise.  The international community needed to extend further cooperation to support that positive trend.  If the African Union fulfilled its unique role and made the best possible use of its competencies and advantages in the field of conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding, it would be to the benefit of the entire international community.  Japan believed that effort must continue to seek appropriate paths to expand the role of the African Union and to strengthen the partnership between it and the United Nations. 

In that regard, he welcomed the enhanced relationship between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.  He proposed regular action-oriented follow-up meetings through the platform provided by the Security Council Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.  He went on to say that Japan had committed itself to assisting in capacity-building of the African peace and security architecture through the African Union Peace Fund.  Japan also contributed to efforts for national and regional capacity-building, including the support programme for peacekeeping training centres in Africa, and it stood ready and committed to continue its support in that field. 

He said the United Nations had an important role to play in support of activities that contributed to the protection of civilians.  In that regard, Japan hoped that the United Nations would cooperate further in that area.  He added that the international community should pay tribute to the sacrifices that African nations had been making and continue to extend its assistance to them. Japan recognized the importance of securing predictable, sustainable and flexible funding and, as a result, had been taking an active part in discussions on that need.  It would continue efforts to that end.

MARTIN BRIENS ( France), associating with the European Union, said the African Union had operated peace support forces under the most difficult of circumstances, as in Sudan and Somalia.  France was committed to backing the maintenance of peace by African regional and subregional organizations by, among other means, contributing €300 million over three years, and through training.  The European Union’s peace fund had committed €95 million to AMISOM but could not finance lethal equipment due to legal requirements.

He said United Nations support for African Union peacekeeping required innovative responses, since the challenges in security nowadays consisted of such new forms of cross-cutting threats as terrorism, insurgencies and trafficking.  The gamut of peacekeeping and political mediation tools was often not well adapted to the situation, and the United Nations should preserve primary responsibility for the operations it financed.  Assessed funding by the Organization of operations it did not lead was a problem, and could not be a cornerstone of financial support for African Union peacekeeping, he cautioned.  The European Union Trust Fund for Peacekeeping in Africa was one of the elements to ensure predictable, sustainable and flexible financing.

BROOKE ANDERSON (United States) applauded the African Union’s contributions, had improved security and saved lives across the continent, and expressed support for strengthening the strategic relationship between the United Nations and the regional body.  The United States supported, among other things, continued assistance for the development of the African Union early-warning system and for dealing with such challenges as drug-trafficking and post-conflict reconstruction.

The Somalia peace process had moved forward because of AMISOM’s efforts, she said, adding that her country would continue its strong bilateral support for the Mission.  However, predictable, sustainable and flexible financing of African Union peace support operations remained a key challenge.  The United States had a broad commitment to support the vision of an African Standby Force, she said, citing the backing it was providing to the current simulation exercise.

She said the United Nations Office to the African Union would help improve the coordination of the world body’s support, especially in the area of financial management, adding that the African Union Commission also needed more predictable and sustainable funding.  Other areas requiring additional support should be identified, she said, citing logistics and mission management.  Possibilities for better links between the respective capabilities of the two organizations should be explored further, including access for the African Union to the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.  She welcomed the greater attention paid to civilian protection and the prevention of gender-based violence in regional peace support activities, which could be enhanced through support for civilian elements of African Union peacekeeping operations.

EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET (Gabon), welcoming the active cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, said that there had been positive trends in a number of areas because of the ten-year capacity-building programme.  He welcomed, in particular, the close cooperation between the two organizations in UNAMID, which he said had made a significant contribution in Darfur.  He also welcomed the support package for AMISOM, cooperation in South Sudan and elsewhere, as well as the growing interactions between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council. 

Such cooperation should be further strengthened through predictable, sustainable, flexible and sufficient funding, he said, particularly for operations that were authorized by the Security Council.  He welcomed the European Union facility in that context, as well as the contributions provided by the United Nations.  He invited the setting up of a trust fund managed by the Organization.  Support for the African Standby Force was also crucial.  He maintained that the African Union must focus, in the long-term, on its strategic framework to increase capacity with the support of the international community.  The ultimate goal was to build an Africa free from conflict.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) concurred with the urgency to increase United Nations support to the peacekeeping efforts of the African Union.  She welcomed steps that had already been taken in that direction and encouraged the Secretary-General to continue to explore initiatives for further support and invited him to include his proposals in his report to the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations at the end of the year.  She pledged that Brazil would continue to be an advocate for Africa’s interest in that Committee as well as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Welcoming the support package provided by the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM, she said that the work of the planning team now part of the United Nations Office to the African Union might become even more instrumental as the African Union’s proposal to increase the authorized strength of AMISOM to 20,000 was being considered.  She supported that proposal, as well as proposals to raise the standards for AMISOM to those of United Nations peacekeeping operations, providing it with the “enablers and capabilities” needed to fulfil its mandate.  In regard to all African Union peacekeeping missions, she said that the requirement for case-by-case authorization by the Council and subsequent approval by the General Assembly was a challenge that could and should be effectively addressed.  If there was political will, those procedures would allow adequate support to African-led peacekeeping, she said.  In conclusion she stressed the importance of an integrated approach to conflict prevention, mediation and peace-building.

NAWAF SALAM (Lebanon) said the African Union played a primary role in peace and security on the continent, and the Security Council depended on its close regional knowledge and ability to act swiftly.  In the maintenance of international peace and security, the African Union played a primary role in Africa, among other ways, through conflict prevention and mitigation.  A strategic relationship between the United Nations and the African Union was therefore necessary to enable the Union’s success in those endeavours.  Welcoming steps to increase cooperation, including the annual meetings between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council and the establishment of the United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa that pooled the many support mechanisms for peace operations in Africa. 

He urged the United Nations to step up its assistance to the African Union, including to the African Union Standby Force, and current operations.  He welcomed the joint work by the Secretariat and African Union Commission to set up guidelines for protection of civilians.  Success of African Union peacekeeping operations, however, depended on the provision of adequate resources, as predictable, sustainable and flexible financing was a major challenge.  Such financing should not be done through voluntary contributions, as that route did not guarantee sustainability of operations.  The African Union acted on behalf of the Security Council, after all, and the African Union’s request to consider using assessed contributions was therefore “eminently justified”.

GUILLERMO PUENTE ( Mexico) welcomed the positive steps taken in strengthening the strategic relationship between the United Nations and the African Union.  Efforts to establish regular interaction and better coordination in areas of mutual interest should be redoubled, however.  United Nations efforts to provide support and training in such areas as mediation and peacekeeping must be supplemented by the review process of peacekeeping operations in order to strengthen conflict prevention and the promotion of development.  The multidimensional nature of conflicts made peacekeeping operations in Africa more complex.  Moreover, there was the ever-present risk of destabilization in some regions as a result of political violence, human rights violations and illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons.

He said support to capacity-building of the African Union must go beyond training, and logistical assistance and material support were key.  The successful deployment of an operation required the necessary resources for mandate implementation.  Predictable, sustainable and flexible financing mechanisms were of particular importance.  He endorsed the Secretary-General’s remarks in that regard.  The effectiveness of peace operations on the ground should be enhanced through the promotion of comprehensive regional and local measures on issues such as mediation, protection of civilians and the rule of law.

MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) agreed that the African Union had made significant contributions to peacekeeping in Africa.  It must be acknowledged, however, that a truly strategic relationship between the African Union and United Nations was just beginning, he said, welcoming steps in that direction, such as the opening of the joint office in Addis Ababa.  He looked forward to the upcoming report on progress in the ten-year African capacity-building programme.  Building African Union management capacity was essential in that effort, as part of the transition to a more predictable funding process. 

He said that the European Union already provided funding in that way, as did the United Kingdom.  He realized, however, the needed for predictable, flexible and sustainable funding for the long term.  He highlighted, in addition, the need for a broader strategic framework between the Council and the African Union aside from the debate over financing.  Concrete plans were needed to address specific conflict situations, such as Somalia.  In addition, more attention needed to be paid to conflict prevention, where the African Union’s partnership was critical.

CHRISTIAN EBNER (Austria) welcomed the steps undertaken by the African Union and the United Nations Secretariat to further enhance their cooperation in maintaining peace and security.  He said further consideration should be given to the proposal for the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention in Africa to serve as an informal Secretariat for the yearly meetings of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, calling it a valuable idea.  Working-level exchanges should also be intensified and followed up on.  For such purposes, he hoped that the African Union made full use of the United Nations office in Addis Ababa.

Supporting intensified cooperation between the African Union and European Union as well, he commended the African Union Commission for its leadership in strengthening African capabilities and said it was important for all African Union member States to lend their full support to those efforts.  Capacity-building should focus on strengthening national ownership and the most urgent needs in such areas as security sector reform and the rule of law.  To provide financing for operations authorized by the United Nations, he maintained that all existing options should be considered.  In addition, for such operations to be successful, a clear definition of the responsibilities of each organization was paramount, with accountability at the core of United Nations support to African Union peacekeeping.  He stressed, finally, that conflict prevention and resolution were the most cost-effective approaches to stopping conflict.

PEKKA HAAVISTO, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Sudan of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, associating himself fully with the statement made on behalf of the European Union, said that African Union peacekeeping had made a difference in two of the most challenging conflicts in Africa and more must be done to build African capabilities.  He warmly welcomed closer cooperation between the African Union, United Nations and European Union towards that end.  While the African Union and subregional organizations had a key role in the management and resolution of African crises, co-operation and support from international partners was important. 

Outlining Finland’s support of European Union and United Nations efforts in that field, for example supporting the AMANI AFRICA exercise and a pre-deployment course for African police officers targeted for Darfur and Somalia, he said that, with other Nordic countries, it was examining ways to enhance support to the development of the East Africa Standby Force.  Finland contributed to fight against piracy in Somalia and the training of Somali security forces through the European Union, but stressed that those efforts would have little impact without peace progress and a stronger AMISOM presence.  Therefore, Finland was planning additional funding to support the United Nations Political Office for Somalia. 

He said he hoped that the forthcoming report of the Secretary-General would be able to provide more clarity on the question of more predictable funding for United Nations-mandated African-led operations.  In that regard, he also welcomed the management reforms within the African Union Commission as well as the efforts of the Commission to strengthen the African Union’s own resource base.  “The crisis prevention, peacekeeping and development efforts of African organizations deserved all possible support from international partners,” he said.  For that purpose, he commented:  “It would be in the interest of all of us if Africa were more strongly represented in the Security Council.”

MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria) welcomed the increased cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations on an equal and harmonized footing.  Africa was now becoming a stakeholder in its own peace support efforts.  African leaders were determined to carry out peace support actions on the ground, he said, as illustrated by the decision taken during the 2009 Special Summit of African Union to increase the part of its budget devoted to peacekeeping operations from 6 to 12 per cent. 

He said that African Union operations were hampered by a lack of resources and capacity while demands for urgent response had increased.  The African Union had therefore requested, as far back as 2007, that the United Nations consider the possibility of financing through assessed contributions so that success of its missions could be enhanced.  He also noted that much remained to be done in terms of setting the parameters for roles and division of labour between the United Nations and the African Union, and he added that the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on the matter would provide guidelines for cooperation in those areas. 

BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) said that to ordinary people in Africa, it must seem that many innocent people had to die before the Security Council assumed its responsibility to protect and maintain stability on the continent.  Some had quipped that the United Nations Security Council “moves with the speed of a cheetah in responding to crises elsewhere, and moves with a speed of an elephant to respond to conflicts in Africa”.  The African Union must be seen as a partner of the Council in the maintenance of international peace and security.  Cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council was essential in establishing sustainable peace on the continent. 

He urged the Security Council to move away from the current ad hoc, short-term arrangements to a more strategic vision.  The United Nations must urgently seek ways of ensuring predictable, sustainable and flexible financing of African Union peacekeeping operations undertaken on behalf of the international community.  Regarding AMISOM, he reiterated the call by the African Union for the Council to:  endorse the newly authorized strength of that mission; authorize an enhanced support package for it funded through United Nations assessed contributions; impose a naval blockade and a no-fly zone over Somalia; approach the issue of piracy in a holistic manner; and commit to “re-hatting” AMISOM into a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said the United Nations relations with regional, subregional and other international organizations should become truly strategic partnerships.  The Union welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposal aimed at widening and strengthening United Nations cooperation with the African Union, a relationship that had improved in recent years.  The launch of the African Union-United Nations Joint Task Force on Peace and Security was an important mechanism to enhance strategic cooperation in preventing and resolving conflicts, he said.

He commended the African Union’s efforts and was pleased to see that the Secretary-General’s report recognized the European Union’s role supporting the deployment of African Union peace-support operations, among other things, as detailed in the Joint Africa-European Union Partnership for Peace and Security.  That partnership was underpinned by a financing architecture of more than €1 billion, making long-term programming possible.  The upcoming third Africa-European Union Summit in Libya next month would be an opportunity to take stock of the first three-year peace and security partnership action plan, and would lay the foundations of a road map based on a joint assessment of the African peace and security architecture.  The European Union was ready to step up its contribution to the work of the United Nations, as presented in the Secretary-General’s report, and to share lessons learned.

JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union, said that success of African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations required an effective and strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union that not only envisaged direct support but also support for capacity-building.  Such a partnership could also reinforce the United Nations’ political capacities in the area of preventive diplomacy.  There must be persistence, flexibility and sustained political commitment from all involved, he added.

Welcoming recent steps taken to improve cooperation between the two organizations, he said that capacity-building in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as well as management, were crucial areas to be supported.  Praising the work being done in that regard by the African Union, as well as the United Nations, he urged the African Union and its member States to continue such efforts so that they could assume the ownership of their own peace and security.  There were major and difficult challenges, including the imbalance between the number of deployed forces and the vastness of the territories under their purview. Financing of the African-led missions was also challenging.  African Union operations authorized by the United Nations required more predictable, sustainable and flexible financing.  Welcoming the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General in that regard, he said a certain measure of pragmatism and realism would be necessary to address that issue.

SOLOMON K. MAINA ( Kenya) said that while the African Union continued to play a role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding in Africa, many challenges remained, most notably in the deployment and management of peacekeeping operations.  Capacity-building was vital for strengthening Africa, not only to enable the African Union to address immediate peacekeeping operations, but also to focus on conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding.  In that regard, Kenya welcomed the creation of the United Nations Office to the African Union, he said, noting that the consolidation of the various United Nations offices in Addis Ababa would help greatly in streamlining channels of interaction between the United Nations and the African Union.  Indeed, the cost-efficiency of reducing duplication and the pooling of resources was a prime example of the evolution of qualitative agreement between the two parties.

Regarding funding for peacekeeping efforts, he said the Prodi Panel report, among others, sought ways in which the United Nations could improve its effectiveness in deploying and managing African Union peacekeeping operations.  It was the regional organization’s hope that the strengthened partnership would lead to a better understanding of the dynamics involved, and to a way forward in that matter.  In closing, he recalled the Secretary-General’s observation in the current report that “Africa’s needs are great but so are the contributions that Africans have made to keep the peace in their region and beyond.”  It was therefore only right and just that the United Nations and international partners “walk the path with Africa” as the continent sought solutions to the conflicts that had sadly ravaged it for so long, he said.

GARY QUINLAN (Australia) stressed that the topic of cooperation with regional organizations in peace and security was at the very heart of how the system of international relations conceived by the United Nations Charter in 1945 remained relevant to contemporary challenges.  In that context, he welcomed progress in strengthening both the strategic and the operational partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, for which the annual consultative meeting between the African Union Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council had been particularly important.  The relationship between the African Union Council and the Peacebuilding Commission also needed to evolve into a strong and effective partnership.  Australia was pleased to have participated in the inaugural meeting between the two.

He said that it was important for the broader international community to recognize the difficult but impressive role the African Union and its troop contributing countries were taking on in Africa, and to take the necessary steps to support them.  It was in the interest of all that the African Union continued to develop its capabilities in that area.  Australia would continue to give practical support to the efforts of the African Union Commission to develop guidelines on the protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations.  Outlining Australia’s other wide-ranging support to African peacekeeping, he said that the country looked forward to remaining engaged with the African Union to support its work and strengthen its capacity, having recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Union Commission, opened an embassy in Addis Ababa and appointed a Defence Attaché for that purpose.

On the difficult question of providing predictable, flexible and sustainable financing for the African Union’s peace and security capability, he noted that the problem was not unique to African Union financing but impinged on other United Nations initiatives, such as those in peacebuilding.  Australia would continue to work with Member States in addressing the issue. He said that such financing issues must be collectively considered as a priority if Member States were serious about the responsibilities that they had assumed under the United Nations Charter.

GRUM ABAY (Ethiopia) said it was critical to harness the synergy in the African Union and the United Nations, maximizing the relative advantages that each could offer.  Peace-making and peacekeeping had become a shared responsibility in which the global community had significant roles to play and working with regional organizations would assist the United Nations in attaining its objectives, he said.  There was a need to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations-African Union ten-year capacity-building programme in a consistent manner, which would enable the continental organ to realize its potential to the maximum and to stand on its own.

Supporting the Secretary-General’s proposal, he said the time had arrived to elaborate clearer principles and to take practical measures to address challenges of the United Nations partnership with the African Union.  The work already begun by UNAMID and AMISOM illustrated a model collaboration that the two organizations needed to adopt.  As the Security Council recognized the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of funding to strengthen the African Union peace and security architecture, he said Ethiopia supported the use of United Nations-assessed funding to support United Nations-authorized African Union peacekeeping operations, based on the Secretary-General’s report.

DAFFA-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN (Sudan) said that the founding fathers of the United Nations meant for there to be a legally-binding role in peace and security for regional organizations.  For that reason, he welcomed the mutual visits organized thus far between the United Nations Security Council and its African Union counterpart, as well as other steps for closer working relationships between the two organizations.  Yet, he noted that “all of us yearn for greater cooperation”, and were aware of the need to step up the number of regular reports presented to the Security Council by the African Union.  He agreed with the Secretary-General regarding the need to strengthen the partnership of the two organizations, based on the ten-year capacity-building programme, as well as on work with all bodies dealing with peace-building.  Conflict prevention should be a priority.

In regard to peacekeeping, UNAMID created a model of cooperation between the Secretariat and the African Union Commission and demonstrated the importance of regional capacity-building, as well as lasting and predictable finance.  Operations led by the African Union faced many challenges, and the inability to rely on voluntary contributions meant that the basis for such operations was unstable.  For example, support provided before peace agreements were reached was often very different from that provided afterward for implementation of those agreements, as had occurred in the case of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in South Sudan.  A broader mechanism that dealt with the preparatory work for meetings between the respective Security Councils was also needed.  He welcomed the contribution of the African Union to peacekeeping in Africa, particularly in his country.

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*     The 6408th Meeting was closed.

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.