Take Visionary Approach to Long-term Goals, But Keep Focus on Immediate Challenges, Secretary-General Advises African Union Security Organ

23 September 2013

Take Visionary Approach to Long-term Goals, But Keep Focus on Immediate Challenges, Secretary-General Advises African Union Security Organ

23 September 2013
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Take Visionary Approach to Long-term Goals, but Keep Focus on Immediate

Challenges, Secretary-General Advises African Union Security Organ

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting on United Nations-Africa Union cooperation, in New York on 23 September:

I am pleased to address this important African Union Peace and Security meeting.

Let me start by saying that I have condemned in the strongest possible terms the recent terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.  The United Nations stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Kenya at this difficult time.  We are always grateful to Kenya for providing our headquarters in the capital.  And Kenya’s contributions to UN-AU operations embody the partnership we are here to discuss.

Africa continues to make major strides in consolidating peace and security, and boosting economic growth.  Overall, the number of African conflicts is on the decline.  We have seen encouraging progress in Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries.

The African Peer Review Mechanism and the AU peace and security architecture are increasingly effective.  The United Nations is especially grateful for the AU’s leadership in mediation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.  The AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council are working evermore closely together.

I welcome the AU’s recent authorization of the African-led peace support operation in the Central African Republic.  As we adjust our presence on the ground, we can optimize our operations through dialogue involving the Economic Community of Central African States (ECOWAS).

I commend the AU and ECOWAS for the excellent work of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).  The Malian authorities now need to focus on addressing the root causes of the crisis, starting with the full implementation of the Preliminary Agreement signed in June.

I also applaud the remarkable progress achieved through our strategic partnership in Somalia.  I am confident that the African Union Support Mission and the UN Support Office there will continue to strengthen our collaboration.

Our unprecedented efforts to help Sudan and South Sudan show that we can optimize our respective strengths by working in partnership.  I am grateful for the progress made by the African Union High-level Panel led by President [Thabo] Mbeki, and am encouraged by the advances made during the recent Summit between President [Omer Hassan A. al-]Bashir and President [Salva] Kiir, as well as the resumption of oil flows between the two countries.

To further bolster our peacekeeping partnership, I will work for closer interaction between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission.  I am also committed to working with the AU to ensure predictable and sustainable financing for AU peace support operations, including the African Standby Force, and I welcome the work of the High-level Panel on Alternative Sources of Financing the African Union.

The vital partnership between our organizations can contribute to achieving truly collective, effective and equitable security.

I am impressed with how the African Union has celebrated 50 years of history by adopting a vision for the coming 50 years.  At the same time, I note that Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, has said that we must act “with a view towards building the future today”.

I count on all of you to take this visionary approach to long-term goals while keeping a practical focus on immediate challenges.  The United Nations will always remain your steadfast partner.

Thank you for your engagement.  I look forward to your views on furthering our common goals.

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