Stronger United Nations Partnership with African Union Possible Due to Revamped Regional Arrangements, Security Council Presidential Statement Says

SC/12370
24 May 2016
7694th Meeting (AM)

Stronger United Nations Partnership with African Union Possible Due to Revamped Regional Arrangements, Security Council Presidential Statement Says

Adoption of African Peace and Security Architecture Road Map (2016-2020) Welcomed

A stronger, more forward-looking peace and security partnership between the United Nations and the African Union was now achievable following the adoption of a new road map for African efforts and recent reviews of the international peace and security architecture, the Security Council said in a statement issued during an all-day debate today.

The presidential statement (document S/PRST/2016/8) welcomed the adoption of the African Peace and Security Architecture Road Map (2016-2020) following briefings by Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; Tété António, Permanent Observer of the African Union; Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and his Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan; and Macharia Kamau (Kenya), Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission.

Through the statement, the Council said that recent reviews of United Nations peace operations and implementation of Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security also pointed towards harmonizing the efforts of the two entities in order “to achieve a coherent, and coordinated continuum of engagement” by preventing conflict while building, keeping and sustaining peace, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.

Also by the statement, the Council welcomed the enhanced peacekeeping role of the African Union and its subregional groups, consistent with Security Council decisions.  It paid tribute to the sacrifice made by those serving with African-led peace operations, and acknowledged the progress made in cooperation between the regional bloc and the United Nations

The Council reiterated its intention to boost consultations with the African Union in that regard, and to plan collaborative field missions “to formulate cohesive positions and strategies on a case-by-case basis in dealing with conflict situations in Africa”.  It welcomed international and bilateral support for building the bloc’s peace and security capacities, reiterating, however, the responsibility of regional organizations to secure their own resources.  Recognizing the challenge of securing “predictable, sustainable and flexible resources”, the Council encouraged further dialogue on options for addressing that issue.

Before the Council’s issuance of the presidential statement, briefers noted that yesterday had marked the tenth anniversary of annual security consultations between the Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.  “I am more hopeful than ever that efforts to strengthen the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations will remain critical to the continued quest for security and stability in Africa,” said Mr. Menkerios.  Among the progress made in strengthening cooperation, he and other briefers highlighted the development of the African Standby Force and measures to strengthen early response to incipient conflicts.

Mr. Ladsous noted that 9 out of 16 United Nations peacekeeping operations were in Africa and that almost 50 per cent of all uniformed peacekeepers came from African Union Member States.  Paying tribute for the contributions and sacrifices of peacekeepers and their countries, he said peacekeeping cooperation with the regional bloc had shifted from “support and capacity-building” to a partnership based on unity of purpose and effort.

Mr. António suggested that African Union peace operations would be better able to pave the way for those of the United Nations if afforded predictable, sustainable and flexible funding through assessed contributions from Member States, but also through greater mobilization of resources on the continent.  African Heads of State and Government had recently committed to financing 25 per cent of the cost of African peace operations.

Mr. Kamau said the Peacebuilding Commission had worked closely with the African Union and its regional economic communities to increase synergies and enhance the coherence and complementarity of joint peacebuilding efforts.  The Commission intended to use momentum from Council resolutions to further enhance and institutionalize that cooperation.  “We will aim to arrive at an agreed framework for regular consultations, exchange of information and analysis, and opportunities for joint initiatives aimed at sustaining peace,” he said, adding that he looked forward to a visit to West Africa, where he would stop in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Senegal to call attention to peacebuilding priorities in the context of the post-Ebola recovery.

Following those briefings, some 42 speakers took the floor to welcome stronger cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union on peace and security issues.  Many stressed the need for the two organizations to delineate their roles clearly according to their comparative advantages.  In that regard, many stressed the need for support to African mediation and early response efforts, including deployment of the African Standby Force.

Some speakers prioritized the prevention of conflict, with Venezuela’s representative urging much greater use of African Union capacity in that regard, as opposed to reliance on international intervention and coercive pressure, which, he maintained, had been counterproductive in many crises, especially in Libya.

Echoing that sentiment, South Africa’s representative recalled that the Security Council’s failure to support the African Union in pursuing a political solution in Libya had resulted in a power vacuum, while in Western Sahara, its reluctance to formally engage with the regional bloc had demonstrated that its commitment to a strategic partnership with the African Union Peace and Security Council was long on rhetoric, but short on substance.

Ethiopia’s representative recalled the bitter experiences of the 1990s and the utter failure by the international community to come to the rescue, especially during the horrendous genocide in Rwanda.  The partnership was not without its challenges, she said, emphasizing that a number of strategic and operational issues must be seriously addressed.

Also speaking today were representatives of Uruguay, France, Ukraine, Japan, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand, Russian Federation, United States, Spain, China, Senegal, Egypt, Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic countries), India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Thailand, Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, Romania, Canada, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Rwanda, Djibouti, Portugal, Turkey, Nigeria, Belgium, Sudan (on behalf of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development) and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the European Union.

The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 3:30 p.m.

Briefings

HERVÉ LADSOUS, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, noted that today marked the tenth anniversary of annual consultations on peace and security between the United Nations and the African Union, saying it was a time to measure progress.  A prime indicator of progress was the development of the African Standby Force, which was ready to deploy following strong cooperation between the two organizations.  While further building of the partnership could only come about through concrete collaboration, the African Peace and Security Architecture Road Map 2016-2020 signalled a move away from ad hoc activity-based responses towards a more strategic position, he said.

The role of the United Nations had changed from “support and capacity-building” to a partnership based on unity of purpose and effort, he said, adding that its key coordination mechanism was the United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force.  That entity increasingly encouraged proposals on coordinated messaging, shared information, joint analysis and monitoring of upcoming elections and crisis situations in Africa.

However, the most active area of cooperation had been in the trend of growing cooperation on the ground, he said.  It included, for example, the development of strategic concepts of operations for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as the planning for operations in Mali and the Central African Republic.  The fact that 9 out of 16 United Nations peacekeeping operations were in Africa, and that almost 50 per cent of all uniformed peacekeepers came from African Union member States demonstrated that the bloc was the most important peacekeeping partner of the United Nations, he said, paying tribute to the peacekeepers and their countries for contributions and sacrifices they had made.

Noting the Secretary-General’s call for more predictable and sustainable financing and support for African peace operations authorized by the Security Council, he said that the United Nations-African Union Joint Review on Financing and Support to African Union Peace Operations would be launched this week.  It would assess support models used to date and feed into the process carried out by Donald Kaberuka, High Representative for the African Union Peace Fund, to enhance predictable financing.  Reviews had demonstrated the critical importance of predictable financing, but funding was only one part of a broader partnership, he emphasized, pledging the continuing commitment of the United Nations to supporting African Unions efforts to build capacity in mission planning and support, as well as standards and performance.

TÉTÉ ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said nowhere was the increasingly significant role of regional and subregional organizations in the international peace and security landscape more apparent than in Africa.  The drafting of the African Peace and Security Architecture had allowed the African Union and its mechanisms to become key players in the maintenance of peace and security on the continent.  That had had a positive impact on the African Union’s strategic partnership with the United Nations, which continued to expand in the context of Chapter XIII of the Organization’s Charter.  Among other things, the partnership allowed the two entities to maintain regular consultations, illustrating the shared will to foster greater synergies.

Participants in yesterday’s tenth annual consultative meeting between the African Union Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council, he recalled, had placed particular emphasis on the principle of mutual respect, consideration of the comparative advantages of the two Councils, the need to adopt clearly established working methods, a focus on a strategic and global approach, and a spirit of shared responsibility and burden-sharing.  The review of United Nations peace operations conducted in 2015 had offered an opportunity to review the relationship between the two organizations, he said.  While African Union peace operations would be better able to pave the way for those of the United Nations, regional missions suffered from a lack of predictable, sustainable and flexible funding, he emphasized.

He went on to suggest that the use of assessed contributions from the United Nations budget should be considered as a viable option going forward, stressing that Africa must also mobilize greater resources on the continent in order to finance its own peace operations.  In that regard, African Heads of State and Government had recently committed to financing 25 per cent of the cost of African Union peace operations, meaning that 75 per cent of them — those mandated by the Security Council — would be supported by the United Nations.  With the strategic partnership between the two organizations in “constant evolution”, they should ensure the optimal use of available resources in an effort to resolve conflicts no matter when or where they occurred, he said.

HAILE MENKERIOS, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, noted that, despite the progress made, “real and numerous” threats to international peace and security remained in Africa.  In that context, recent reviews of the international security architecture recommended strengthening the partnership with the African Union, he said, noting that his Office was a critical bridge in that effort.  Consultations had been enhanced, positions harmonized and volatile situations addressed across the continent, from the Lake Chad Basin to Somalia, Burundi and the Sahel.  Recent joint efforts to de-escalate political tensions in Comoros demonstrated the value of having the international community speak with one voice, he said, noting that additional joint efforts in Burundi — also involving the East African Community — was promoting inclusive dialogue to reduce tensions there.

Recalling that the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council had held their tenth annual consultations yesterday, he commended the growing relationship between the two entities as synergies were built, positions coordinated and mutually supportive resolutions adopted.  In addition, the United Nations Secretariat was working with the African Union Commission to systematize working-level consultations, share information, support joint training and carry out joint early warning and conflict-prevention exercises through a new framework that emphasized a holistic approach.  Regarding the recommendations of the High‑Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the related report of the Secretary-General, he said the collective challenge was to support and strengthen the mutual security architecture, particularly through the African Standby Force and the African Union’s capabilities in preventive diplomacy and mediation.  “I am more hopeful than ever that efforts to strengthen the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations will remain critical to the continued quest for security and stability in Africa,” he said.

MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, warned against allowing situations to deteriorate into violent conflict before reacting.  “Rather than wait until a crisis breaks out and then make a default recourse in response, we need to integrate sustaining peace in our security, development and human rights agenda,” he emphasized.  In that regard, the Peacebuilding Commission was expected to become a more efficient and flexible convening platform for policy dialogue.  It would also continue to strengthen national ownership and leadership in its engagement because “we are convinced that the responsibility for sustaining peace is shared between Governments and all other national stakeholders”.

The Peacebuilding Commission had worked closely with the African Union and the regional economic communities in Africa to increase synergies and enhance the coherence and complementarity of joint peacebuilding efforts, he said.  It had worked closely to complement joint efforts to sustain peace in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic and Burundi.  The Commission had also intensified its focus on thematic, cross-cutting and regional peacebuilding challenges during its regional discussions on peacebuilding in West Africa, which had provided a unique opportunity to look at growing cross-border challenges beyond the confines of specific countries.  The discussions had also addressed the challenges inherent in working with several partners, including the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Development Bank and others.

He went on to state that the Commission intended to use momentum from resolutions adopted in the Council to further enhance and institutionalize cooperation with the African Union.  “We will aim to arrive at an agreed framework for regular consultations, exchange of information and analysis, and opportunities for joint initiatives aimed at sustaining peace,” he said, adding that he looked forward to a visit to West Africa, where he would stop in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Senegal to call attention to peacebuilding priorities in the context of the post-Ebola recovery.  Emphasizing that all effective peacebuilding must include the participation of young people, he declared:  “It is our responsibility to provide youth with the opportunity to play their role in peacebuilding.”  Women also had a rich role to play, he added, stressing the importance of including gender-related issues in all discussions pertaining to peacebuilding.

Statements

ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay) noted that asymmetric threats posed by non-State actors were growing as budgets faced increasing difficulties, which made relationships with regional and subregional organizations more important than ever.  Such alliances must respect the competencies of each actor concerned, he said, calling for a clearer framework for such partnerships.  In addition, they must ensure strict respect for impartiality, since there had previously been some challenges in that area.  The United Nations should ensure dialogue with regional organizations before it mandated a peace operation, and particularly when a regional operation had already been deployed, he said, emphasizing also the importance of harmonizing norms in such critical areas as the protection of civilians.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) noted that the Council had just returned from Somalia, where AMISOM was the most tangible example of cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union.  “Regional organizations have become essential partners,” he said.  Organs of the African peace and security architecture were increasingly shouldering their responsibility under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, as had been seen in Burundi and in the Central African Republic, he said, adding that dialogue with regional and subregional organizations should become “a reflexive instinct” for the United Nations.  Describing his country as one of the African Union’s main partners, he said France contributed to the training of thousands of its military personnel and had deployed national operations in the Sahel and the Central African Republic, in support of both African Union and United Nations forces.  The European Union had also played a decisive role, having provided some €1.1 billion to AMISOM since 2007.  Indeed, there was a “true tripartite partnership” linking the European Union, United Nations and the African Union, he said, emphasizing the need for particular attention to coordinating transitions between missions, training regional contingents to United Nations standards, and sensitizing them in the area of human rights.

VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine), associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said the African Union had demonstrated its ability to take the lead in the effective resolution of conflicts.  Over the years, the African Union and its member States had been able to step in promptly to help maintain peace and security, or ensure a measure of stability in crisis situations.  Its presence had the extra benefit of providing international peace operations with political legitimacy and leverage.  Regrettably, however, there had been cases in which the African Union and the United Nations had been unable to reach a shared understanding on how to address certain conflicts.  Challenges remained in developing their strategic relationship, he said, recalling that the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations recommended deepening it through consultative decision-making and common strategy.  Ukraine looked forward to the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission finalizing a Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security that would serve as a blueprint for early and continuous engagement between the two entities before, during and after conflict.

YOSHIFUMI OKAMURA (Japan) said that in order to make the Africa peace and security architecture more effective under today’s challenging circumstances, it was important to make full use of comparative strengths, expertise and knowledge.  In that regard, the United Nations Office to the African Union played a critical role by providing technical advice on matters of capacity-building and operational support.  However, further efforts to build institutional capacity would be crucial to bringing coherence to the consolidation of peace in Africa, he emphasized.  “That said, partnership with the United Nations Office to the African Union cannot substitute for ownership on the part of the African Union,” he said, citing AMISOM as a good example of ownership.  “It is Africa which knows Africa’s problem best, and Africans who are the keenest for a solution, and Africa which will ultimately find the way forward,” he emphasized.

PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) said “when we cooperate we make a real difference, but when we don’t, we both lose”.  Recounting last the Council’s visit to Somalia, he emphasized that it was critical to continue international security support to that country in order to maintain progress.  There was need for greater coordination of international assistance, more predictable support and stronger action by the Government.  Somalia demonstrated what could be achieved through partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, but much more could be done across Africa, particularly in conflict prevention and early response.  For that, sustainable and predictable funding, accountability and transparency would be critical, he stressed.

RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia), associating himself with the statement to be delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, affirmed that yesterday’s discussions between the two organizations had been fruitful, saying they had also demonstrated the need for closer consultations in many areas and a clearer division of responsibility, making use of comparative advantages.  Preventive diplomacy and the early sharing of information were particularly important in that regard.  Pointing out a lack of the necessary resources for African efforts, he said the United Nations could assist further in mobilizing funds, while also noting his own country’s contributions.  Lessons learned and best practices should be regularly shared between the two organizations so as to increase effectiveness on the ground, he said.

ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola), while welcoming the tenth annual opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union on peace and security, said it was unfortunate that peace and sustainable development in Africa remained mere aspirations for a large part of the continent.  Emphasizing the critical importance of enhancing the peace and security efforts of both entities, he said the new African Peace and Security Architecture Road Map 2016-2020 aimed to do that by targeting all phases of conflict prevention and management.  The Security Council could support that endeavour by helping the African Union’s efforts in preventive diplomacy and mediation, and by addressing root causes of conflict through shared analysis of developing threats, among other forms of cooperation.  Mutual respect and complementarity between the two bodies was also critical, he said, adding that the Council should be integrally engaged in the development and deployment of the African Standby Force.

PHILLIP TAULA (New Zealand) said that one of major strengths of the African Union and its subregional organizations was that they had dedicated significant resources and energy to identifying emerging crises and agreeing on collective responses to prevent conflict.  Good examples were the African Union’s early efforts in Burundi and the leadership of ECOWAS on Burkina Faso.  The United Nations and the African Union Commission cooperated well at the institutional level to identify early warning indicators and develop recommendations for early action, but lack of trust on many issues among key actors — the United Nations, the African Union, subregional organizations and Member States — was a major obstacle to more effective cooperation, he said, noting that it was often rooted in differing analysis of conflicts and concerns about respect for sovereignty.  Expressing hope for greater cooperation on emerging issues in coming months, the growing tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular, he said key focus areas should include:  early joint analysis of all emerging situations; active support for the sharing of information between the two secretariats; regular informal discussions between the two Councils; and the deployment of joint African Union-United Nations field missions, where possible, at both secretariat and Council levels.  In that regard, there was a strong case for a joint mission in the near future to support effective implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan, he said.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) emphasized that recognition of the Security Council’s primacy in the maintenance of international peace and security was the basis of the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.  It was clear that regional and subregional organizations in Africa often had deeper knowledge of, and were better adjusted to, local situations, and the Russian Federation therefore supported the principle of “Africans solution to African problems”.  Despite many efforts, however, the continent remained unfortunately vulnerable to a number of crises, including emerging challenges to peace and security and a historic number of displaced persons.  In that regard, more attention must be paid to combating terrorism, transnational organized crime and drug syndicates, he stressed, adding that priority attention should also be paid to strengthening the African Standby Force.  Chapter VIII of the Charter provided a firm legal basis for increased cooperation between the two organizations, and for the drafting of the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, he said, proposing that the General Assembly meet to debate and analyse the funding of African Union missions through assessed contributions.  Describe his country’s many active contributions to African Union missions, he noted that the Russian Federation had also been a leader in writing off the continent’s debt.

SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said “we have a great deal to gain from enhanced communication” between the African Union and the United Nations.  It was both pragmatic and right to seek out African views on conflict-resolution and conflict-prevention tools, and formal sessions between the two organizations should be supplemented by informal “brainstorms sessions”.  The United Nations would not always be able or best-positioned to respond to crises, and the African Union could be a particularly effective partner in conducting offensive operations where there were grave threats against civilians.  The United States hoped for progress on the long-stalled issue of financing, and for African Union member States to fulfil their commitments to fund 25 per cent of that bloc’s peace missions.  Greater African Union capabilities would mean more effective peacekeeping missions, she said, noting that her country had trained more than 250,000 peacekeepers since 2005.  Concerning prevention, she said differences often emerged on concrete cases, and the two organizations must, therefore, “get better” at dealing with the political drivers of conflict.  “Member States must be quick and unified in their response when the roots of conflict begin to grow.”  On rising tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she emphasized that it was critical to show a unified front, recalling situations in which the United Nations and the African Union had unfortunately been “embarrassingly divided”, causing operations to lag.

ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), affirming that the African Union was a crucial partner for the Security Council, said it was for that reason that the realization of recent proposals to better fund African peace operations and strengthen mutual consultations was critical.  Better and more focused communications between the organizations was needed, and joint field visits should again be considered.  Commending African contributions to implementing resolution 1325 (2000), he suggested closer cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union on women, peace and security, adding that climate change and nuclear non-proliferation were two additional areas in which they could work together.  As Chair of the 1540 Committee, Spain was active in generating joint efforts on implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), he said.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), affirming his country’s close cooperation with Africa and its appreciation of regional organizations, said much conflict on the continent Africa resulted from its colonial past, adding that the African Union was an important institution to help overcome that legacy.  Praising the bloc’s peace and security efforts, he called upon the Security Council to give it a more active role to play rather than relying heavily on Chapter VII solutions in Africa.  Counterproductive interference in Africa and pressure promoted by certain Council members had caused destabilization in Libya and elsewhere,  while Council action on the refugee crisis and on the situation in Western Sahara had not involved adequate African input, he noted.  The two Councils needed a stronger relationship based on mutual responsibilities, comparative advantages, enhanced synergies and coordinated strategies.

LIU JIEYI (China) affirmed that cooperation on peace and security between the United Nations and the African Union had indeed grown stronger in the past 10 years, but such cooperation must be carried out with respect for the United Nations Charter, with the Security Council maintaining primary responsibility in international peace and security.  The principles of non-interference and peaceful settlement of disputes must also be respected.  Welcoming the efforts of joint consultative mechanisms in eliciting comparative advantages for the peaceful resolution of crises, he emphasized the importance of heeding lessons learned and best practices in peacekeeping.  China was intent on increasing its cooperation with Africa and had participated in some 16 peacekeeping operations on the continent, he said, pledging further support in many areas, including making the African Standby Force operational and full implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 framework.

FODÉ SECK (Senegal) said the potential of the cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations had not been fully tapped, and while peace and security was first and foremost the Security Council’s responsibility, it clearly could not handle that heavy task on its own.  Regional and subregional organizations were closer to the ground and understood better the dynamics of conflict, as the African Union had demonstrated in Mali, Somalia and elsewhere, he said.  The development of its peace and security architecture was a demonstration of its firm commitment to tackling issues of peace and security, and the African Standby Force had also demonstrated its aptitude.  Given the current major peace and security challenges and the growing demand for peace operations, both the African Union and the United Nations must find new ways to ensure lasting and sustainable funding, he emphasized.

AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt), Council President for May, spoke in his national capacity, describing the African Union as proof of the comparative advantages of regional organizations.  They could play a role in mediation and in the settlement of conflicts, and were always ready to deploy peacekeeping operations in the early stages.  Indeed, the situations in Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic were the best evidence that the continent was ready to carry the burden of applying African solutions to African problems, he said.  Noting that the three 2015 reviews of United Nations peace operations had opened a new chapter in the formulation of a vision based on the concept of sustained peace, he called for a “paradigm shift” in the way in which the world viewed peace and security.  It was critical to move away from dealing with conflicts as they erupted, and to move instead towards preventive diplomacy and the primacy of political solutions, he said, stressing also the need to provide predictable and sustainable funding for all operations of the African Union, in particular those mandated by the Security Council.

ANNIKA SÖDER, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, spoke on behalf of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway), emphasizing that it was essential to start implementing measures to ensure that the United Nations-African Union partnership became sustainable and delivered results.  The partnership should be mutually reinforcing, focusing not only on narrow peacekeeping aspects, but also on preventing conflict and inclusive peacekeeping, she said, adding that it should also address the need for predictable and sustainable funding arrangements.

Describing the African Peace and Security Architecture Road Map 2016-2020 as an important and concrete step forward, she said her country would welcome interaction between that mechanism and the African Governance Architecture.  Sweden would also welcome advancement of resolution 1325 (2000), including the incorporation of women and a gender perspective in mediation processes.  Convinced that regional ownership was a precondition for legitimacy and effectiveness, the Nordic countries would continue to support efforts for a reinforced strategic relationship between the United Nations and the African Union, she said.

TANMAYA LAL (India), surveying the breadth of cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, as well as the advantages of regional precursors to United Nations missions, noted the mixed results of peacekeeping operations in Africa, emphasizing the importance of learning lessons from their outcomes.  Besides its peacekeepers currently serving in eight United Nations missions in Africa, India had made many other contributions to the continent’s peace, security and development, he said, emphasizing that it was particularly active in training.  India stood ready to contribute to further peacekeeping operations, in accordance with its abilities and experience, he pledged.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said the strategic United Nations-African Union partnership should make effective use of the strong links between the regional bloc its subregional bodies.  As one of the largest troop-contributing countries, with the overwhelming majority of its current 7,298 peacekeeping contingent deployed in Africa, Pakistan was ready to explore further avenues of cooperation with the bloc, as well as individual African countries.  Non-permanent Council members from Africa were of critical importance in highlighting the continent’s security priorities, she said, voicing support for expanding the number of African Council seats on the basis of periodic elections and fixed rotation.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) said the concept of peace and stability in Africa must be widened from State-centred security to people-oriented security, alongside a broadened concept of human security in general.  Improving the African peacebuilding architecture would require greater internal coherence among United Nations entities, as well as with international financial institutions and regional banks, in addition to closer cooperation between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.  A regular funding flow for African missions would also be needed.  Noting that Kazakhstan had signed a third-party cost-sharing agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to enhance partnership with 45 countries in Africa, he said that, in order to achieve the aspirations of the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, partnerships must be strengthened not only in the military sphere, but also in the diplomatic and development arenas, making use of all forms of cooperation.

GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized the need to implement the 10-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union and the joint action plan for United Nations peacekeeping support to the African Union, he reiterated the Movement’s principled position that the establishment of any peacekeeping operation, or the extension of an existing one, should be done in strict observance of the purposes and principles of the Charter, including consent of the parties, non-use of force except in self-defence, and impartiality.  He went on to stress that respect for the principles of sovereign equality, political independence and territorial integrity of all States, and non-intervention in matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of States must also be upheld.

VIRACHAI PLASAI (Thailand) highlighted elements of the African Union-United Nations partnership that should feature prominently in the future:  peace operations, peacebuilding, women, peace and security and counter-terrorism.  The African Union should be provided with adequate and predictable funding, especially when acting under Security Council authorization.  At the same time, other funding avenues, including intergovernmental assistance, international and regional financial institutions and domestic resource mobilization, should be explored.  In order to ensure coherence and complementarity among different United Nations agencies and partnership mechanisms on Africa, the United Nations Office to the African Union and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa could play an important strategic and coordinating role in that regard, he said.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union delegation, said the United Nations should act as an enabler of peace and work towards a more effective multilateralism as the only viable solution to the borderless challenges prevailing today.  To that end, the United Nations must build stronger partnerships with regional and subregional actors.  Securing a more effective partnership between the United Nations and the African Union would require predictable, sustainable and flexible resources, as well as the involvement of women and youth.  “Our approach is based on finding political solutions by involving African partners rather than military interventions,” he added.

PAUL MENKVELD (Netherlands) noted that, while the African Union’s growing role in crisis situations was encouraging and inspiring, the process turned arduous when missions were rehatted.  A more institutionalized and practical form of cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations could help, but that would require commitment on both sides, setting out what each might expect from the other.  Security sector reform was an example of the merit of increased triangular collaboration among the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union, he said, adding that a permanent African presence on the Security Council might not be without merit.

CARLOS SERGIO SOBRAL DUARTE (Brazil), recalling the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, said the elaboration of an African Union framework for determining the conditions for freezing assets was an opportunity to discuss the idea of using such resources to fund peace and security efforts.  The Peacebuilding Commission should be given a more active role, with its diversified membership allowing for discussion of a broad range of views.  Noting that the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could benefit greatly from a holistic, prevention-centred approach, he said a better understanding of the impact of illicit financial flows in conflict areas was essential.

CAITLIN WILSON (Australia) said local and regional actors, such as the African Union, were often well-placed to sound early warnings of emerging threats to peace.  Welcoming growing African leadership in maintaining peace and security, she emphasized that more could be done.  Australia called for efforts to formalize early engagement in order to enhance communications and the sharing of information; joint analysis and coordinated threat assessments, as well as joint early-warning assessment missions; stronger operational and policy coherence between organizations; improved links between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council; and better facilitation of transitions between regional and United Nations peace support operations, when required.

EPHRAIM LESHALA MMINELE (South Africa) emphasized that interactions between the United Nations and the African Union must be consistent.  “We should avoid a practice where the United Nations is selective in its approach and where the relationship is merely utilized in times of political convenience.”  In Libya, the Security Council’s failure to support the African Union in pursuing a political solution had resulted in a power vacuum, while in Western Sahara, its reluctance to formally engage with the regional bloc had demonstrated that its commitment to a strategic partnership with the African Union Peace and Security Council was long on rhetoric, but short on substance.  Africa had demonstrated the political will and commitment to rid the continent of conflict and war, and it was the responsibility of the United Nations to provide predictable, sustainable and flexible financing for African Union peace support operations, especially those undertaken on behalf of the Security Council with a United Nations mandate, he stressed.

ION JINGA (Romania), associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union delegation, commended various “far-sighted” international initiatives that had been instrumental in fostering peace and sustaining security.  “No other region in the world takes as much time in the Security Council as Africa,” he noted, calling for discussions to deepen the United Nations-African Union partnership.  Romania had 10,000 troops in Africa and its contribution would soon increase with the deployment of additional forces to the United Nations missions in Mali and the Central African Republic.  Romania had invested in pre-deployment training and an advanced French-language course that could provide training for peacekeepers in Africa.  African solutions must be found to African problems, he said, urging greater cohesion between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

MICHAEL BONSER (Canada) outlined the strides made towards improving collaboration in peace and security since the signing of the 2006 Declaration on Enhancing United Nations and African Union Cooperation.  “But there is more work to be done,” he said, citing such threats to international security as terrorism, organized crime and armed conflict.  Emphasizing his country’s support in ensuring that African-led efforts evolved and rose to meet all challenges, he said it was imperative that the United Nations and the African Union continue to foster and deepen their strong partnership across the conflict cycle, from prevention, to management and resolution, and ultimately to post-conflict reconstruction.

ALMAZ TESFAHUNEGN HAILU (Ethiopia), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said Africa was determined to take charge peace and security matters on the continent, recalled the bitter experiences of the 1990s and the utter failure by the international community to come to the rescue, especially during the horrendous genocide in Rwanda.  Over the past decade and more, the African Union and its various subregional mechanisms had been much more proactive in responding to crisis situations.  The United Nations had been providing political backstopping, financial and logistical support, as well as capacity-building assistance to the African Union for the promotion and maintenance of peace and security.  Ethiopia called for a division of labour between the two organizations based on their respective comparative advantages.  Nevertheless, the partnership was not without its challenges, she said.  A number of strategic and operational issues must be seriously addressed, which could only be done if the partnership was institutionalized, taking into account the principle of shared responsibility.  The three African Council members were the “linchpin” of the relationship between the two organizations, and the regular cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council was encouraging.  However, there was undoubtedly much room for making their interactions more efficient, she said, calling for more substantive and frank dialogue in that regard.

BARUN DEV MITRA (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said financial burden-sharing was a fundamental concern that called for a flexible yet predictable approach.  Bangladesh, a troop-contributing country and strong proponent of regional cooperation and integration, stood ready within its means to assist United Nations-African Union cooperation in a number of ways, including training for African peacekeepers and technical assistance to African stand-by forces.  It could also contribute to the evolving discourse on the role of women and girls in peace, security and development, as well as share with interested African countries its experiences with developing a criminal justice system as a means of promoting post-conflict reconciliation.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) urged all concerned Member States and the United Nations system to focus more on conflict prevention, integration and partnerships.  It was important for peacemaking and peacekeeping to be driven by credible political solutions, with sustained financial support.  Underscoring the importance of regional organizations in preserving peace and stability, he described how the vision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had contributed greatly to the peaceful management of disputes in that region while assuring collective well-being.  With 1,537 of its soldiers and police taking part in eight United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa, he said Indonesia would continue to offer training on peacekeeping and peacebuilding to personnel from a number of African countries.

MABONEZA SANA (Rwanda) stressed that efforts to improve strategic cooperation should emphasize ways in which both bodies would have more regular interactions with executive representatives of those organizations on matters directly linked to peace and security in Africa.  He stressed that the challenge today was to instil a positive evolution, moving from ad hoc partnerships to a more structured and strategic frameworks of partnerships.  There was a need to enhance coordination, develop a more efficient communication and hold timely consultations on matters.  It was also important to address the challenges related to financial resources and technical capacity that often compromised the goals and ambitions of many regional and subregional organizations.  Regional organizations should be encouraged to assume ownership of their initiatives as much as possible and strive towards self-reliance.

MOHAMED SIAD DOUALEH (Djibouti), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the changing nature of conflict on the continent and the operational questions raised posed an additional layer of complexity to the cohesiveness of the global chains.  Discussions had centred on how to engage with non-State actors that did not respect humanitarian law and how to deal with the rise of illegal activities and violent insurgencies.  Hence, it was critical to ensure peacekeeping missions, the United Nations and the African Union were all on the same page rather than complete over “who goes first and who leads in which process”.  A certain level of inter-organizational cooperation could serve as a tool to make sound decisions.  The deployment of blue helmets clearly demonstrated the commitment of African States to work together with the United Nations to uphold the Charter.  Calling on States to continue with their contributions to various missions, he said that Africa was home to 70 per cent of the world’s conflicts and therefore required sufficient international support and attention.

CRISTINA MARIA CERQUEIRA PUCARINHO (Portugal), associating herself with the statement of the European Union delegation, said the African Union’s goal of a continent free of conflict should not be impossible to achieve.  Strengthening the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations was crucially important in order to meet that goal, she stated, noting how such cooperation would make a difference in addressing such issues as transnational crime and terrorism.  With regard to mediation efforts, cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union had to be tailored in ways likely to result in sustainable solutions, she said, emphasizing the role of women in post-conflict processes and the continued availability of resources to ensure sustainable peace.

GÜVEN BEGEÇ (Turkey) said cross-cutting issues, including gender and youth mainstreaming in peace and security, the possible consequences of climate change and natural resource management, and the flow of migrants all highlighted the significance of the continent’s unique roadmap to success.  Efficient early warning systems and maintaining coordination among partners was vital, as well.  The United Nations and African Union partnership must continue expanding to encompass all areas including institutional capacity-building, security sector reform, protection of civilians and human rights, and combating organized crime.  He also outlined various ways his country was contributing to peace and security in Africa, including through collaboration, the participation in various regional summits and financial assistance.  Turkey had also provided personnel and contributed financially to seven of the existing nine peacekeeping missions in Africa.

ANTHONY BOSAH (Nigeria) underscored that regional and subregional organizations contributed an understanding of local and regional conflicts and their root causes, which in turn contributed to a mutually beneficial partnership with the United Nations.  New and emerging security challenges were increasingly transnational in character and often beyond the capacity of any one country to resolve.  That made the collaboration between the United Nations and regional organizations all the more pertinent.  More work remained to be done on how the United Nations could better support arrangements for further cooperation with the African Union.  Those could also serve to deepen and broaden dialogue and cooperation between the Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.  He also expressed concern over the increasing gap between the demand for the involvement of the United Nations in conflict situations and the United Nations’ ability to respond effectively.

JOÃO VALE PEDRO DE ALMEIDA, Head of the European Union Delegation, welcomed progress made in enhancing the African Union’s crisis management capacity.  The intense participation of African countries in peace operations be they United Nations missions, hybrid or African Union-led missions, was absolutely crucial, he emphasized, acknowledging the daily risks taken by those peacekeepers.  The European Union would remain committed to tackling conflicts and building on the experiences of Common Security and Defense Policy missions and operations, such as those in Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and the Central African Republic.  As well, the European Union and its African partners had also laid the ground for cooperation on a number of security threats and forms of organized crime, such as arms, drugs, trafficking in persons or piracy.

He went on to state that in the last 10 years, the European Union provided nearly €2 billion to African Union-led operations.  The Union provided institutional support, as well, with several programmes related to regional mediation efforts in South Sudan and Burundi.  Meanwhile, its emergency response mechanism monitored ceasefires and recently helped fund the deployment of African Union human rights observers to Burundi.  However, some of the new threats, such as the fight against terrorist groups, would require additional resources and would take time.  “This situation warrants urgent additional support from African, non-African partners and the United Nations,” he stressed.

PASCAL BUFFIN (Belgium), associating himself with the European Union, said that the development of increasing partnership between the United Nations and the African Union had led to specific progress in peace missions and the transfer of knowledge and sharing of technical capacity.  Those developments were encouraging and reflected a shared vision.  The European Union remained one of the largest contributors to efforts of peace and security on the continent, he said, stressing the need for more conversations on funding to take place at the United Nations. Supporting electoral processes in Africa was critical, especially in regards to providing assistance and facilitating dialogues between Governments and opposition.  He also welcomed initiatives taken by the African Union to implement the Security Council resolutions on women in peace and security.  More so, cooperation, politically and logistically, must be strengthened with the view of putting an end to the continent’s conflicts.

HASSAN HAMID HASSAN (Sudan), affirming the importance of Chapter VIII, said that the partnership between the African Union and United Nations had become strong and widespread.  More coordination between the two organizations was needed, particularly in support to African Union efforts in peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities.  Highlighting the cooperation between the African Union Commission and the Secretariat as evidenced by the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), he maintained that the time had come for a road map for the exit of the mission since much of Darfur had returned to normalcy.  The situation in Darfur had also demonstrated the importance of African mediation.  However, he called for more pressure to be put on those groups who refused to sign onto the peace process in Darfur.  He appealed to the Security Council to give regional organizations a greater space to exercise their capabilities in peace and security.

IGNACE GATA MAVITA WA LUFUTA (Democratic Republic of the Congo) stressed that his country’s Head of State respected the country’s Constitution and would not alter it.  On elections, he said that it was critical that they be organized only under conditions of security.  He was therefore surprised by Council members’ criticism, which he said expressed double standards.  By making human rights mechanisms operational, the Government had shown its intention to respect those rights, as it had by allowing freedom of speech to be exercised by the media and by all political parties, including those of the opposition.  The State guaranteed the rights of all and had the duty to protect them.  That did not allow defiance of juridical laws.  When necessary, the courts acted to punish violations.  No one was above the law.  Tolerance of impunity did not consolidate democracy, he said.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2016/8 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 subregional organizations in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security and consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations can improve collective security.

“The Security Council commends the increased contribution of the African Union to the maintenance of peace and security, and welcomes the continuing important efforts and enhanced peacekeeping role of the African Union and its subregional organisations, consistent with Security Council resolutions and decisions, to prevent, mediate and settle conflicts in the African continent, paying tribute in this regard to the courage and sacrifice of those serving with African-led peace operations.

“The Security Council acknowledges the progress made in the ongoing cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, and stresses the importance of further strengthening cooperation and developing an effective partnership with the African Union underpinned by mutual consultations between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council in their respective decision-making processes and common strategies for a holistic response to conflict, as appropriate, based on respective comparative advantage, transparency and accountability to address common security challenges in Africa in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, including Chapter VIII and the Purposes and Principles

“The Security Council commends the efforts of the African Union to further strengthen its capacity, including through the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and welcomes the continued UN-AU cooperation on different components of the APSA, including on early warning, preventive diplomacy, mediation, electoral assistance, peacekeeping, conflict prevention and resolution, promotion of human rights and the rule of law, protection of women and children in conflict and post-conflict, and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

“The Security Council welcomes the development of the new APSA Road Map (2016‑2020), which aims at mapping out a way forward to enable the consolidation of gains made, and address the most pressing challenges, so as to make APSA fully operational.  The Security Council notes that the Road Map contributes to achieving greater coordination and synergy between the AU and African subregional organizations, as well as among all APSA pillars, and is geared towards effective measures on conflict prevention, management, resolution and post-conflict reconstruction and development.

“The Security Council notes that the reviews of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, of UN Peace Operations and of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security provide an opportunity to build a stronger, forward-looking partnership between the two organizations, in line with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, and to further harmonize their efforts to achieve a coherent and coordinated continuum of engagement throughout conflict and post-conflict phases with a view to sustaining peace, which should be broadly understood as a goal and a process to build a common vision of a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account, and which encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict.

“The Security Council recalls its resolution 2282 (2016), and reiterates that cooperation with regional and subregional organizations is critical to contributing to the prevention of the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of conflict and addressing its root causes, and further stresses the importance of partnership and cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, to improve cooperation and coordination in peacebuilding, to increase synergies and ensure the coherence and complementarity of such efforts.

“The Security Council notes that shared information and analysis between the United Nations, African Union and its subregional organizations is important for developing joint strategies and coordinating action on conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and encourages strengthened cooperation in this area.

“The Security Council recognizes the potential role that the African Union can play in post-conflict peacebuilding, recovery, reconstruction and development processes, noting in this regard the utility of  the AU Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Framework Policy (2006) and the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) launched in 2012 for mobilizing support from within the continent for countries emerging from conflict, as well as the initiative to establish an African Union Centre  for Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUCPCRD).

“The Security Council recognizes that regional and subregional organizations are well positioned to understand the root causes and the triggers of armed conflicts in their respective regions and encourages initiatives to strengthen the use of preventive diplomacy within the African Union and its subregional organization and to enhance the coordination and complementarity of their efforts, including through the establishment of a Mediation Support Unit at the African Union Commission.

“The Security Council welcomes the United Nations partnership with the African Union in the field of peacekeeping, including support to the African Union’s efforts to develop policy, guidance and training, in particular in the areas of security sector reform, post-conflict reconstruction, women, peace and security, and protection of civilians, including child protection and prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, in armed conflicts and post-conflict situations, and underscores the need to enhance the United Nations and African Union pre-deployment joint planning and joint mission assessment processes, as appropriate, to promote common understanding and increase effectiveness of peacekeeping missions, and to improve planning for AU-led peace operations and when relevant the management of transitions from AU-led to United Nations peacekeeping missions.

“The Security Council recognizes that the success of peacekeeping operations increasingly depends on strong collaboration between the United Nations and the AU and, in this regard, encourages the Secretariat to consult with the African Union, especially when transitioning from an AU-led to United Nations peacekeeping operation.  The Security Council recognizes that the experience and expertise of troop- and police-contributing countries in theatres of operation can greatly assist the planning of operations and stresses the importance of effective consultations among the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat.  The Security Council reiterates the importance of a more effective relationship between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council including through achieving more effective annual consultative meetings, the holding of timely consultations, and collaborative field missions of the two Councils, as appropriate, to formulate cohesive positions and strategies on a case-by-case basis in dealing with conflict situations in Africa.

“The Security Council reaffirms the vital role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and post-conflict reconstruction, and stresses the need for the United Nations and the African Union to work to ensure that women and gender perspectives are fully integrated into all peace and security efforts undertaken by the two organizations, including by building the necessary capacity.  The Security Council welcomes the efforts of the African Union to implement resolution 1325 (2000), including through the appointment of an African Union Commission Chairperson’s Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, and through the five-year Gender Peace and Security Programme (2015-2020), and encourages the African Union to pursue further implementation.

“The Security Council stresses the importance of further strengthening cooperation with the African Union in order to assist in building its capacity in conflict prevention, crisis management and resolution, as well as post-conflict peacebuilding , and encourages all member states and international partners to continue to contribute, and as appropriate more actively, in this regard.

“The Security Council acknowledges  the substantive contribution of the  Ten-year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union, that expires in 2016, towards enhancing the institutional and technical capacities of the African Union, including in the area of peace and security and notes the adoption of the Framework for a Renewed UN/AU Partnership on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda 2017-2027 (PAIDA) during the AU summit in Johannesburg, in June 2015, as the successor programme to the 10-Year Capacity-Building Program for the African Union, aiming at promoting closer and more effective partnership between the UN, AU and its subregional organizations and supporting the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063.

“The Security Council reiterates that regional organizations have the responsibility to secure human, financial, logistical and other resources for their organizations, including through contributions by their members and support from partners and welcomes the valuable financial support provided from partners in this regard.

“The Security Council recognizes that one major constraint facing the African Union in effectively carrying out the mandates of maintaining regional peace and security is securing predictable, sustainable and flexible resources, and encourages further dialogue on options for addressing this issue.

“The Security Council welcomes the African Union’s appointment of an AU High Representative for the Peace Fund and recognizes the benefit of joint planning missions and assessment visits in determining the needs of regional peace support operations.

“The Security Council notes the ongoing work by the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission to finalize, in 2016, a Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, which will provide a blueprint for early and continuous engagement between the two organizations before, during and after conflict and with a view to finding political solutions to the crises on the continent.

“The Security Council looks forward to receiving the annual report of the Secretary-General, as initially requested by the Security Council in December 2014, on ways to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on issues of peace and security in Africa including the work of the United Nations Office to the African Union.”

For information media. Not an official record.