Secretary-General Stresses Need for Collective Action amid Proposal to Fund African Peace Operations from Assessed Contributions
Robust and coherent cooperation among the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations will be key in tackling increasingly complex global challenges, delegates stressed in the Security Council today, with many expressing support for a proposal to formally finance African Union-led peace operations with United Nations assessed contributions.
Opening the day-long debate, Secretary-General António Guterres warned that modern-day threats are increasingly multidimensional, interlinked and unpredictable. “We have the obligation to act — not in isolation, but collectively,” he said. Noting that he has prioritized the prevention of conflict since taking the helm of the United Nations in 2017, he said the international community still overwhelmingly manages conflicts and crises rather than investing in prevention. Meanwhile, redoubled efforts and stronger partnerships are needed to tackle the root causes of conflict, from competition over resources to inequality, to poor governance and the exploitation of ethnic and religious divisions.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and one of several regional leaders briefing the Council today, agreed that the world currently faces grave threats, citing climate change, migration and the rise of xenophobia, as well as transnational crime and terrorism – all of which can turn latent tensions into open conflict and are particularly acute in Africa. Emphasizing that the Council’s credibility and legitimacy depend on its ability to deal effectively with such crises, including through sustained preventive action, he cited the reluctance of some Member States ‑ perceiving early intervention as a breach of sovereignty ‑ as a major obstacle.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, outlined the challenges confronting that body, including the devastating civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. They led ECOWAS to shift its mission towards the prevention, management and containment of crises, in addition to providing assistance to States in post-conflict recovery, he said. The Community now employs an “Early Alert and Response” system and, when preventive diplomacy fails to yield the desired results, works with political actors to defuse crises through mediation, as it has done in Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire and the Gambia.
More than 60 speakers took the floor to share their experiences with, or future visions for, structured cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. Many hailed success stories, including the 2017 ECOWAS intervention that helped to avert a potential crisis in the Gambia, and the counter-terrorism efforts currently pursued by the “Group of Five” (G-5) Sahel joint force. In addition, some speakers expressed support for a draft resolution, currently under negotiation by Council members, that would use United Nations assessed contributions to finance African Union-led peace operations.
Ethiopia’s representative ‑ one of three African Council members helping to drive negotiations on that text ‑ expressed hope that today’s debate will build the momentum needed for its adoption. The need for predictable, flexible, and sustainable financing of Council-mandated operations led by the African Union has long been recognized, he said, emphasizing that the timing is perfect for a decisive step forward. He added that the African Union has demonstrated a real commitment to sharing the burden by injecting $75 million into the African Union Peace Fund - with the ultimate goal of $400 million by 2021 ‑ while also demonstrating determination to fulfil the Council’s conditions relating to conduct, discipline and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Marcel Amon-Tanoh, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Council President for December described the Council’s openness to considering the proposed draft resolution as a “step in the right direction”. Emphasizing that no single organization can bear the full burden of managing threats to collective global security, he called for a more inclusive approach, bringing together a wide array of actors. He cited Côte d’Ivoire’s own experience of rebuilding after civil conflict as a positive example. In 2013, he recalled, the ECOWAS intervention in Mali, with support from French military forces, successfully prevented terrorist groups from capturing Bamako, the country’s capital.
China’s delegate also expressed full support for the draft resolution, noting that the United Nations has steadily enhanced its cooperation with regional and subregional organizations. However, many such organizations are dogged by inadequate capacities and lack funds, he pointed out. “Cooperation should yield win-win results, both multilaterally and bilaterally,” he said, calling for a recommitment to multilateralism. The United Nations, for its part, should make better use of the resources at its disposal, including by providing more training, logistical support and funding to other organizations, he added.
However, several speakers advocated a more cautious approach to partnerships, emphasizing the need for clearly maintained divisions of labour and separate financing streams. The representative of the United States said regional and subregional organizations have the potential to step up their good work independently of any Council discussion of new funding modalities. Sometimes, “all that is needed is political will and an invitation”, he added. Expressing regret that no consensus has been reached on the proposed draft resolution on financing African Union-led peacekeeping missions, he stressed that the Council must always remain autonomous and the text should therefore reflect both its primacy and its oversight functions.
The Russian Federation’s representative, recognizing the need for a conversation about predictable and sustained financing in African peace operations, nevertheless expressed concern about the current draft resolution. He emphasized that his delegation will not support non-consensual elements, including a declaration of shared commitments, warning the international community not to equate the protection of civilians with human rights. He went on to state his delegation’s opposition to “robust” peacekeeping mandates, emphasizing that the United Nations cannot afford involvement in such scenarios.
Other speakers shared experiences from Europe to Latin America to the Middle East. Lebanon’s representative described her country as a concrete example of successful multi-level cooperation. Enormous effort is required to preserve peace, forge national reconciliation and solidify the foundations of democracy following civil turmoil, she said, noting that Arab assistance and international support proved indispensable for Lebanon. The situation in the country’s southern region remains generally calm, thanks to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), she added.
Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, recalled that her own country’s locally-led peace process benefited hugely from the sustained support of the European Union. Ireland’s membership in the bloc later helped to end a protracted and violent conflict, she said, highlighting the crucial role that women can play in such efforts. “If women are included in peace processes, the agreements they reach are more durable.”
Striking a similar tone, Liechtenstein’s representative recalled Europe’s successful political and economic integration following the Second World War. Today, however, tensions are rising and the bloc’s security situation is deteriorating, he noted. Regional efforts to defuse conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia and elsewhere should continue, even as the region “seems to drift further apart from a consensus on the fundamental principles of our common European security”, he said. Spotlighting the recent dangerous escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine, he called upon the parties to exercise utmost restraint, while expressing strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Also speaking were representatives of France, Equatorial Guinea, Sweden, Peru, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Netherlands, Rwanda, Senegal, Japan, Colombia, Italy, Pakistan, Venezuela (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Guatemala, Namibia, Portugal, Argentina, South Africa, Singapore, Germany, Norway (on behalf of the Nordic countries ‑ Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden), Mali, Belgium, Kenya, Estonia, Morocco, Cuba, Slovakia, Iran, Indonesia, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Brazil, Ghana, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Sudan, Republic of Moldova, Viet Nam and Nigeria.
An observer for the European Union delegation also delivered a statement.
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m.
ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, Secretary-General of the United Nations, emphasized that today’s world was facing many complex, multidimensional, interconnected and unpredictable threats. The number of countries experiencing violent conflict was now higher than the past thirty years and low-intensity conflicts had increased by 60 per cent in the last decade. “We have the obligation to act — not in isolation, but collectively,” he stated, recalling that since taking up his post at the United Nations helm, he has prioritized prevention of all matters of conflicts, to natural disasters to pandemics and the foreseeable dangers posed by new technology.
However, the international community is still overwhelmingly managing conflicts and crises rather than investing effort in preventing them in the first place, he observed, stressing that prevention is an end in itself and should never be seen as the instrument of any other political agenda. More so, it makes economic sense. A recent study by the World Bank concluded that prevention would save some $34 billion in damage in countries that are able to avoid war. Underlining the importance of good offices, mediation, strengthened peacekeeping and peacebuilding, he said his “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative has been adopted by 151 Member States to date, illustrating a strong sign of their support for the central role of United Nations peacekeepers in preventing conflicts and proactively supporting peace.
Beyond the Organization’s peace and security pillar, the entire United Nations system is also working to tackle the root causes that make communities and societies vulnerable to violence and conflict, he continued. Competition over the control of power and resources, inequality and exclusion, as well as the marginalization of women, young people and minority groups, poor governance and the instrumentalization of ethnic and religious divisions are often at the root of such conflicts. They are interlinked and made worse by climate change, migration, transnational crimes and global terrorism. Spotlighting the importance of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to address those challenges, he added that nations must work together. “Strong, resilient societies are enriched, not threatened, by diversity,” he said.
Stronger investments in education, improvements in social cohesion and more assistance to countries emerging from conflicts was needed, he stressed. For its part, the United Nations supports such efforts in many countries and regions of the world, working closely with its regional and subregional partners. “Our relationship with the African Union is demonstrating the way forward,” he said, noting that the two organizations have joined forces to implement their respective development agendas, 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter emphasizes that regional and subregional organizations possess the proximity, experience, local knowledge, flexibility and relationships needed to engage more rapidly and effectively when situations deteriorate, he added.
Recalling that joint action between the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations and neighbouring countries helped prevent a political crisis in the Gambia two years ago, he went on to point to several other recent success stories. When crises broke out in Mali and the Central African Republic, ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) were the first to deploy troops and engage in mediation. In the aftermath of contested elections in Honduras in 2017, the United Nations maintained close contacts with the Organization of American States (OAS) to ease tensions and facilitate dialogue.
“These efforts should and must be replicated elsewhere,” he stressed, calling for intensified cooperation on prevention with all United Nations regional and subregional partners. Pointing out that the reforms proposed under his tenure aim to improve such coherence, he warned that the current global political realities — including rising pessimism and a lack of trust — threaten multilateralism, a threat which must be urgently reversed.
MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said that the international order is facing diverse and grave threats, including climate change, migration and the rise of xenophobia, and transnational crime and terrorism. Such threats can translate latent tension into open conflict and are particularly acute in Africa. As well, such challenges transcend borders and continents. Indeed, the credibility and legitimacy of the Security Council relies on its ability to deal effectively with international crises. Sustained action is needed in conflict prevention, one of the issues in which there is broad consensus within the international community. However, this consensus faces obstacles when put into practice, including the reluctance of Member States that perceive early intervention as a breach of sovereignty. A reactive culture has also contaminated international action in a number of arenas.
Since the adoption of the Protocol relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, that bloc has bolstered its capacity to prevent, settle and manage conflict, he continued. Its peace support operations have also proven to be effective tools to curb escalation. Nevertheless, the issue of financing such operations has been on the Council’s agenda for nearly a decade. International mechanisms for crisis response are not adaptive to the current landscape. Realities on the ground have become so complex that waiting for peace is often too difficult and the international community cannot provide help to people in danger. In those cases, hybrid organizations can take rapid action to curb violence and foster conditions for lasting peace, he emphasized. Member States must ask what would have happened if the international community had not chosen innovation and stuck to conservation approaches. Yet, Member States must go further, and drawing upon lessons of the past, adopt the revised draft resolution on the financing of African Union peace support that ensures lasting and predictable financing of support operations.
The Council must more effectively shoulder its responsibility to maintain international peace and security, he continued, adding that the revised resolution would also cement the partnership between the United Nations and African Union and distribute the financial burden involved in maintaining peace. African leaders have agreed to finance 25 per cent of the agenda for peace and security on the continent and have taken measures to provide better accountability. Those nations are determined to play a heightened role in peace and security, but such action must be reciprocated by the Council. The resolution lays down a framework that does not impose financial burdens, but bolsters the authority of the Council, providing them with more oversight of African Union peace operations. He urged the Council to seize the opportunity to overcome peace and security challenges.
JEAN-CLAUDE KASSI BROU, President of the Economic Community of West African States Commission, said today’s debate provides an opportunity to more closely examine the strengthening of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. Recalling the devastating civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, he said they led ECOWAS to revise its guiding framework, adopting two main documents which allow the Community’s intervention to prevent, manage and contain crises in the subregion, and support States in post-conflict recovery. An additional protocol, adopted in 2001, enabled ECOWAS to assist in establishing good governance structures, he added. Emphasizing that preventive diplomacy is always the first step on the path to averting the consequences and costs of full-blown conflicts, he said that while preventive activities are often less visible, they are nevertheless a crucial aspect of the Community’s work.
Citing examples of such early interventions, he said ECOWAS carried out preventive measures in relation to election processes in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali and Nigeria. The Community developed a rapid-response system based on various economic, social and related indicators, and the new “Early Alert and Response” plan now being expanded across the subregion. Concerning the management of crises — efforts undertaken when preventive diplomacy does not yield the desired results — he said ECOWAS works with political actors to defuse crises and, in some cases, those efforts lead to the deployment of peace operations. Citing the Community’s mediation efforts in Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire and the Gambia, he emphasized the critical role of broad partnerships in all such efforts.
“We are coordinating our activities to make sure they are more visible and more effective,” he continued, also citing the improved alignment of ECOWAS with the African Union, the Sahel States group and other critical partners. The political support of the United Nations and the African Union — especially in the deployment of peacekeeping missions — has also been essential, with joint missions dispatched to such places as Burkina Faso and Mali. As for post-conflict recovery efforts, he said ECOWAS is presently helping the Gambia implement reform of its security sector and various other post-conflict Governments improve the management and safety of their weapons and munitions stockpiles, he said. It also helps to provide basic goods and services to vulnerable populations, facilitates social reintegration and accelerates income-generation activities, all of which are critical to ensuring that peace lasts, he noted.
MARCEL AMON-TANOH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire and Council President for December, spoke in his national capacity, noting that the rising number of conflicts around the world continues to test the United Nations and the global multilateral architecture. Innovative, inclusive approaches “that go off the beaten path” are required to address today’s complex challenges, including by preventing conflict. Emphasizing that no single organization can bear the full burden of managing threats to collective global security, he said a more inclusive approach that brings together a wide array of actors is now crucial to confronting those multifaceted challenges. All countries must exercise national ownership over their responses to threats, he stressed, citing Côte d’Ivoire’s own experience as a positive example. Following the end of the Ivorian crisis in 2011, the country invested heavily in reducing inequalities, promoting the rule of law and good governance, and ensuring that young people have decent jobs, he stated.
He went on to recall the closure of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) in 2017, saying that the country’s “Priority Plan for Peacebuilding” seeks to restore social stability and State authority while accelerating national reconciliation. ECOWAS is increasingly playing a lead support role in such endeavours, he said, recalling that President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, then ECOWAS Chair, was instrumental in mobilizing the international community’s engagement in Mali. That ultimately led to military engagement by France, which prevented terrorist groups from capturing Bamako, the capital. He underlined that, while peacekeeping remains an essential tool of the United Nations, it faces serious challenges, including negative perceptions by host countries and their people, imprecise mandates and inadequate resources. Noting that several resolutions demonstrate the Council’s willingness to consider new financing proposals for African Union-led peace operations — including through United Nations assessed contributions — the latter proposal is “a step in the right direction”, he said.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) urged the strengthening of synergies between the Organization on the one hand and regional bodies on the other, calling for special emphasis on strategic cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union. At the same time, Member States must invest more in conflict prevention and in supporting peace and reconciliation processes in the aftermath. For better prevention and more effective responses to challenges on the ground, the international community must break down silos between interventions, he said, explaining that this is neither a political game nor an attempt to please everyone, but a requirement for the attainment of common goals. Regional organizations are closer to the ground, with a more nuanced understanding of events, he said, adding that they also possess precious human resources. France places special importance on the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union and is committed to supporting the development of that relationship, he emphasized. He went on to commend the efforts of regional organizations in the Gambia, where a post-electoral crisis was contained, and in Madagascar, where a major crisis involving political elections was prevented. Highlighting his country’s support of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, he urged support for African peace operations and for the draft resolution on African peace operations.
JOB OBIANG ESONO MBENGONO (Equatorial Guinea) said regional organizations have the comparative advantages of local knowledge, understanding the local culture and being closer for rapid deployment. However, they need institutional support that would allow them to undertake large-scale operations. While the African Union has demonstrated the flexibility of its peace operations architecture, which can adapt to security challenges that are constantly in flux, its funding must be increased, he said, adding that the United Nations should continue to provide training to countries in need. Concerning transparency and respect for human rights, he called for measures to prevent sexual abuse, and welcomed the African Union’s draft norms and conduct of discipline. At the same time, the international community must promote Africa’s social and economic development because social disparities, poverty and inequality exacerbate current conflicts, he said, also emphasizing that women must play a role in mediation and be integrated into peace processes. Peace operations should be financed by the United Nations through contributions made on a case-by-case basis, he added, expressing support for the African Peace Fund and hope that it will raise $100 million by early 2019.
CARL ORRENIUS SKAU (Sweden) said that while the Security Council has a mandate to investigate any situation which might lead to a dispute, it still spends the majority of its time and resources trying to manage conflicts on the current agenda. A culture of complacency surrounding conflict prevention has real costs and, in the long-term, risks undermining the credibility of the United Nations. Regional organizations are crucial partners in this respect, as they are often the first to identify initial signs of potential conflicts, have a good understanding of the issues and carry credibility at local levels. His country has long supported an enhanced partnership between the United Nations and African Union, he said, adding that additional financial and political support is needed to realize the full potential of this collaboration. However, efforts to enhance African capabilities must go beyond military strength. Instead, the focus must be on prevention and early investments, as deterring conflict saves lives and is the economically better option.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) called for the development of a legal arsenal in the Security Council based on Chapter VIII and urged all Member States to prioritize mediation and prevention as well as sustainable development as an important means of tackling the root causes of conflict. Underscoring the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission, which helps prevent the recurrence of conflicts by bringing on board regional and local partners, he said all coordination mechanisms in preventive diplomacy must remain fluid and flexible. Predictable and sustainable financing from traditional contributors, innovative new sources and the private sector will also be crucial, he said, voicing support for the proposal to fund African Union-led peace operations through United Nations assessed contributions where appropriate.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait), recalling that the first United Nations peacekeeping operation in Africa was deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960, noted that the continent now hosts the majority of peace operations as well as several hybrid missions. Spotlighting Africa’s complex subregional reality — with deep economic and political dimensions — he said cooperation between such African organizations, such as ECOWAS, ECCAS, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), are essential. However, financing remains the greatest challenges facing many peace operations, he observed. To that end, he expressed support for the draft resolution currently being negotiated on financing African Union-led peace operations through United Nations assessed contributions. Meanwhile, host Governments must recommit to maintaining, building and sustaining peace.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) said preventing conflict has not yet been given sufficient attention, possibly because of a lack of political will. However, each situation is different and requires an impartial approach. Member States must stop interfering in internal affairs and stop lecturing others on democracy and human rights. Some Council Members, believing that peace, security and human rights are linked, are asking for broadening of mandates. However, the international community should not equate the protection of civilians with human rights. While Member States agree it is important to strengthen the security of peacekeepers, some advocate for robust mandates. The United Nations cannot afford to get involved in these types of scenarios. Current challenges require a collective approach. Regional organizations must aim for peaceful and political resolution of conflicts. The leadership of African Union can play a key role in that regard. Welcoming the initiative of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) joint force to combat organized crime, he highlighted the assistance and training his country is extending to African peacekeepers. While there is a need to have a conversation about predictable and sustained financing in African peace operations, the Russian Federation would not support non-consensual elements, including a declaration of shared commitments, he said.
KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) said that, in regards to resolving conflict and sustaining peace in the long-term, the role of States is paramount. Indeed, the best solutions are home-grown. By addressing the needs of the people, States can significantly reduce the chances of conflict. At the same time, regional organizations, such as the African Union, have a comparative advantage in addressing conflict and have often been in the driving seat. They are in a good position to support conflict prevention and mediation as they understand the local context and dynamics. As well, in peace support operations, regional organization can mobilize quickly to restore stability. Concerning financing of African Union peace operations, the United Kingdom supports United Nations assessed contributions up to a ceiling of 75 per cent on operations authorized by the Council, she noted. Coordinated efforts must be made based on comparative advantages to increase all efforts towards sustained peace. There is a broad commitment within the Council to strengthen its partnership with the African Union. However, when regional efforts fail, the Council has a responsibility to act to restore international peace and security as a last resort to prevent escalation.
TAYE ATSKE SELASSIE (Ethiopia), expressing hope that the debate will build the necessary momentum for the adoption of the draft resolution, underscored that the need for predictable, flexible, and sustainable financing has long been recognized; the timing is perfect for the Council to take decisive steps forward. The African Union has demonstrated real commitment to share the burden by mobilizing continental resources to inject $75 million in the African Union Peace Fund toward the goal of $400 million endowment by 2021. Regarding the African Union’s ability and commitment to fulfilling the United Nations accountability standards, he stressed that the fledgling African Union peace support operations cannot be expected to be perfect in a short span of time. In comparison, even with 70 years of experience, United Nations peacekeeping still needs reform to be fit for purpose. The African Union has shown clear determination in fulfilling the conditions set out in Council resolutions, including the policy documents on the prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse as well as the conduct and discipline for African Union peace support operations. The Joint Declaration to be signed by the United Nations Secretary-General and the African Union Chairperson today will help facilitate this continuous cooperation. Without making progress on the financing issue — only one aspect of strategic partnership between the two organizations — “we cannot explore the full range of possibilities for cooperation across the conflict cycle” from prevention and mediation to peacekeeping and peacebuilding, he stressed.
SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia) said the international community must also shoulder its responsibility to ensure that partnerships with regional and subregional organizations are effective. Calling for more solidified bonds and stronger partnerships in Africa, in particular, he welcomed the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security and said peacekeeping remains a useful tool to combat such challenges as terrorism and humanitarian crises. Citing the G-5 Sahel joint force as a positive example, he also hailed ECOWAS’s preventive diplomacy in such countries as the Gambia. “We must take on board the African vision and their recommendations,” he stressed, voicing support for a more equitable partnership based on mutual support. New financing modalities should also be sought, he said, expressing support for the provision of more predictable, sustainable and flexible funding for African Union-led peace operations.
MA ZHAOXU (China) said the world is presently in a “state of flux” with challenges that cross nations’ borders. The United Nations has steadily enhanced its cooperation with regional and subregional organizations to address those threats. However, new challenges are on the rise and some of those organizations remain dogged by inadequate capacities and lack of funds. Calling for efforts to strengthen multilateralism, he emphasized that “cooperation should yield win-win results, both multilaterally and bilaterally”. He urged Council members to leverage the unique role and intimate knowledge of regional and subregional organizations. Through all cooperative efforts, the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of States must be fully respected. Meanwhile, the United Nations should make better use of the resources at its disposal, including providing more training, logistical support and funding to regional and subregional organizations. Hailing the role being played by such regional forces as the one deployed in the Sahel, he recalled that China is the second largest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions and voiced his full support for the use of the Organization’s assessed contributions to fund African Union-led peace operations.
KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) said the international community should focus more on conflict prevention. That will entail strengthening the United Nations system as a whole and making investments in sustaining peace. Such investments should ensure early action, as stability can be uncertain, fragile and vulnerable to new shocks. Preventing conflict remains the primary responsibility of States, he said, but stressed that regional organizations are also vital. Measures must be employed to rebuild trust through preventive diplomacy as well as strategic cooperation among the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations. There is also a need to share best practices and draw up forward-looking strategies in tackling the increasingly transnational nature of causes, consequences and contributing factors of conflict. These include terrorism, armed group activities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime and illicit trafficking of conventional weapons.
JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) said that local ownership, sense of responsibility and inclusive participation are crucial to successful conflict prevention and resolution. She also emphasized the importance of closer cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union as a prerequisite for the effective resolution of challenges in Africa. Such challenges should be approached horizontally in the future, she said, citing such key areas as compliance, reporting, accountability and sustainability. She went on to emphasize the important role of the European Union in supporting the African bloc in terms of conflict prevention and political solutions through its substantial financial assistance. Stressing the positive role played by field operations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), she said that preventing conflict is more cost-efficient than managing it, underlining the importance of early warning and early action. Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations provides invaluable regional perspectives and expertise as well as best practices and standards for implementing strategies and frameworks, she said.
JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States), while reiterating his delegation’s commitment to working closely with regional and subregional organizations, said the Council must nevertheless always maintain its autonomy. Such bodies can do much to address crises independently of the Council’s discussions on new funding modalities, he said, adding that, sometimes, “all that is needed is political will and an invitation”. Welcoming the recent cooperation among OAS members in addressing the crises in Nicaragua and Venezuela, he said that such steps should be the beginning rather than the end of efforts to improve lives. He went on to welcome the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in addressing humanitarian concerns in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, and the enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, while expressing regret that no consensus has yet been reached on the draft resolution on the funding of African Union-led peacekeeping missions. In that regard, he said there is room for Council members to agree to language on the Council’s primacy and oversight. However, he warned against rushing forward to the use of United Nations assessed contributions. There is no need to wait for such a text, or for the development of a new funding mechanism, to push forward work on the ground, he said, emphasizing: “There is plenty to be done right now.”
KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), associating himself with the European Union, underlined the role of regional organizations in preventing the outbreak of conflict. Calling for deeper cooperation between them and the United Nations, he emphasized the need to further institutionalize crucial joint risk assessments on such emerging issues as climate change. By signing the Action for Peacekeeping Declaration, more than 150 countries committed to significantly improving partnerships, he recalled, adding: “Joint fact-finding missions should be the rule, rather than the exception.” The time has come for a resolution to strengthen peacekeeping cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, he said. The principles of complementarity and comparative advantage should guide all partnerships, he said, underlining also the need to enhance the role of the Peacebuilding Commission – a critical “hinge” between the Council on the one hand and regional and subregional partners on the other.
KATHERINE ZAPPONE, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs of Ireland, highlighted the more than 50 “unprecedented and courageous” Security Council resolutions on Cote d’Ivoire that helped that country overcome and resolve conflict. The assessment of peace and stability in one country largely depended on the stability of the region, she said, also citing the mediation by ECOWAS in the post-election crisis in the Gambia. As well, Ireland’s own locally-led peace process benefitted hugely from the sustained support of the European Union, she pointed out, adding that their membership in the bloc helped them to end a protracted violent conflict. She also spotlighted several initiatives, including the African Union’s Continental Early Warning Systems, the Panel of the Wise and special envoys of the Secretary-General, as well as ad hoc mediation panels. “If women are included in peace processes, the agreements they reach are more durable,” she pointed out, expressing support for the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Noting Ireland’s commitment to the highest standards of its peacekeepers, she referred to the United Nations Voluntary Compact on the Elimination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. While seeking Security Council membership for the period 2021-2022, she said that her delegation would prioritize support for increased participation for women and youth in all mediation and peacebuilding activities.
VALENTINE RUGWABIZA (Rwanda) noted that the African Union last month launched its Peace Fund, which focuses on mediation, preventive diplomacy, capacity building and peace support operations. While African Union member States are primarily responsible for financing the Fund, strengthening cooperation with partners like the United Nations remains imperative for peace and security activities. The current international peace and security architecture is under eminent pressure, given the complexity of challenges the world is currently facing. As such, she appealed for an enhanced formed of partnership based on the United Nations and African Union’s respective authorities, competencies and capacities. This cooperation must also observe the principles of burden-sharing, consultative decision-making, comparative advantage, division of labour and mutual accountability.
CHEIKH NIANG (Senegal), highlighting the efforts of the African Union and ECOWAS to resolve conflicts on the continent, said that the growing number of conflicts in the world made it necessary to support regional and subregional entities. Out of the 46 registered conflicts, 18 are international in nature. These conflicts made population movements more frequent. Underscoring the importance of Chapter VIII on regional cooperation, he said that no African country can rise to the challenge on its own, as they continue to face poverty, exclusion, poor governance, monopoly of power and human rights violations. Therefore, partnership is vital to addressing and managing crises. In addition, prevention lowers the cost of resolving conflicts, he stressed, citing the Secretary-General who said that “prevention is not a priority but the priority”. Early warning mechanisms must be built into regional and subregional security architectures. Recently, the cooperation among the African Union, United Nations, and ECOWAS defused a potentially dangerous situation in the Gambia.
KORO BESSHO (Japan), highlighting how Southeast Asian countries had grown steadily through ASEAN, underlined the value of regional and subregional organizations. Japan joined efforts to promote Africa’s peace and stability and development through the launch of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 1993, which aimed to develop multi-layered cooperation with States, regional and subregional organizations and the United Nations. The seventh Conference will be held in Yokohama, Japan in 2019. It was no coincidence that the African Union Peace Fund and TICAD were born in the same year. He said he was encouraged that the Security Council is considering practical steps to establish a mechanism to finance African Union peace support operations partly through United Nations assessed contributions. The Council discussions should seek operational improvements and accountability for both United Nations peacekeeping and African Union peace support operations.
GUILLERMO FERNÁNDEZ DE SOTO (Colombia) said history illustrated how the commitment of all States to multilateralism is the seed that produces the robustness of international institutions. His country has always been a strong proponent of peaceful solutions to conflict, which is reflected in a State-level foreign policy doctrine. Threats to international peace and security today are distinct in trend, he said, noting that many are internal or domestic that flare up in response to attacks on democratic principles and structures. However, all conflicts have repercussions for entire regions, not just the country affected by strife. It is vital to strengthen the multilateral system to respond to threatening situations so that it can achieve its goals. Nonetheless, the added value of a regional response cannot be seen as a substitute for national ownership and leadership.
MARIA ANGELA ZAPPIA (Italy) underscored the importance of the United Nations Charter’s Chapter VIII in strengthening ties between the United Nations and regional organizations, such as the African Union, welcoming the progress that the Secretary-General and the Chairperson made on that front in 2017. Noting the reconciliation efforts between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as the peace agreement in South Sudan, she highlighted the need to find “African solutions to African problems”. Moreover, Italy embraces the idea of financing African Union peace support operations through United Nations assessed contributions. Emphasizing the importance of alleviating Africa’s underrepresentation in the Security Council, she pointed out that cooperation among the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations facilitated the peaceful transfer of power in the Gambia.
NABEEL MUNIR (Pakistan) expressed support for providing predictable, sustainable and flexible funding of African Union-led peace operations, especially those authorized by the Security Council. Sequenced, prioritized and adequately resourced Council mandates are a prerequisite for success, with the Secretariat highlighting resource gaps that the Council must then resolve, he said. The safety and security of peacekeepers must be kept in mind when mandates are crafted, he added, emphasizing that troop-contributing countries can provide valuable inputs. He went on to caution against reforms that change the nature of peacekeeping or dilute its basic principles. “We must not fudge the distinction between peacekeeping and ‘peace enforcement’,” he cautioned, explaining that such fudging risks making the United Nations a party to conflict while damaging multilateralism, neutrality and impartiality.
SAMUEL MONCADA (Venezuela), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said all peacekeeping tasks should be supported by adequate resources and assume full national ownership. Regional and subregional organizations should receive support from the United Nations because they often have a better understanding of events on the ground, which gives them an advantage in addressing and resolving conflicts in their respective areas. He stressed the need for the Peacebuilding Commission to forge ties with regional organizations, and for integrated peacekeeping strategies tailored to national priorities.
OMAR CASTAÑEDA SOLARES (Guatemala) underscored that the role of regional and subregional organizations in maintaining global security and peace has long been recognized. Since the end of cold war, regional and subregional entities have grown in mandates and capacity to address political human rights and security issues. This, in turn, reflects the need for nuanced cooperation between these entities, which help prevent escalation of conflict and re-emergence of conflicts. The number of these entities has grown to 33, including the Organization of American States, which plays a vital role in regional military and defence issues. He also underlined the complementarity of the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining global peace and security, aims that are entrusted to this Council.
NEVILLE MELVIN GERTZE (Namibia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, noted that the Prevention Mission of SADC — which his country currently chairs — has generated a stable and secure environment to pave the way to carry out constitutional and institutional reforms, as recommended by the Community. Crucial elections will be held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in less than a month, an important step for the country, region and continent, as that country is important to the region’s social and economic development. The Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, signed in April 2017, provides guidance for deep cooperation between the two organizations at all levels in peace and security. Peace support operations, led by African countries and authorized by the Security Council, are an essential and vital component to ensure peace and security on the continent. Highlighting African leaders’ decision to take financial responsibility for 25 per cent of the continent’s peace activities, he voiced his full support of the call by the African Union and the African members of the Council for these peace support operations to have access to United Nations assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis. This would ensure sustainable and predictable finance for their operations, he said.
AMAL MUDALLALI (Lebanon) described her country as a concrete example of how multi-level cooperation can play a decisive role in conflict resolution, post-conflict economic reconstruction and peacebuilding. In the aftermath of civil turmoil, enormous work is required to preserve peace, forge national reconciliation and solidify the foundations of democracy. For Lebanon, Arab assistance and international support proved indispensable, she said, adding that the situation in the south of the country remains generally calm thanks to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). It is obvious that the complementarity of international and regional structures is something that the international community should build upon, she noted.
NUNO VAULTIER MATHIAS (Portugal) said that because conflict prevention is enshrined in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, he fully supports the reform of the Organization initiated by the Secretary-General, who is emphasizing the primacy of prevention by leveraged diplomacy. The year 2019 will herald a new era for collective security efforts with the United Nations at the centre of conflict prevention efforts. It is necessary to move beyond peacekeeping by incorporating early warning and mediation mechanisms to prevent the outbreak of conflict. His Government advocates a comprehensive partnership approach, which takes into account the need to shore up local ownership, he added. Portuguese-speaking countries have a role to play, as they are on four different continents. “Shared language means shared value,” he noted. Regarding the performance of peace operations, he called for a greater gender balance in military and police components, as well as a greater participation of youth in peace operations.
ARIEL DAVID GONZÁLEZ SERAFINI (Argentina) said the United Nations has the primary responsibility for global peace and security, which it strives to maintain through a vast range of tools. In so doing, the Organization should address the root causes of conflicts and incorporate sustainable development, human rights and rule of law in its efforts. Regional and subregional organizations are valuable in maintaining security, which should be coordinated by the Security Council. Politics is also important in resolving conflicts, as it can serve to improve ties between regional and subregional bodies. Using his country’s regional organization — the Organization of American States — as an example, he said its efforts have shown how close partnerships can be waged between United Nations agencies, regional and subregional organizations in preventing conflicts, maintaining peace, strengthening institutions and promoting sustainable, peaceful development.
GEORG HELMUT ERNST SPARBER (Liechtenstein) recalled that after the Second World War, Europe underwent a successful political and economic integration that led to the formation of the European Union — an important player in ensuring stability and peace. Unfortunately, there have been rising tensions and a deteriorating security situation across the region since the 1990s, he noted. Expressing support for OSCE efforts to resolve conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Nagorno-Karabakh, he called for those efforts to continue even as the region “seems to drift further apart from a consensus on the fundamental principles of our common European security”. Spotlighting the recent dangerous escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov and in the Kerch Strait, he said they are of serious concern, calling for utmost restraint on the part of all parties and immediate de-escalation leading to a return to a rules-based order. He also expressed his delegation’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea.
THABO MICHAEL MOLEFE (South Africa) said his country, as an incoming non-permanent Security Council member, will keep working towards strengthened cooperation with regional organizations, which are best-placed to help prevent instability and conflict. He emphasized the need to facilitate joint visits and regular consultations between the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Security Council, and for the Peacebuilding Commission to be given more support. He also called on Council members to give their unanimous support to a draft resolution, presented by African Council members, addressing the issue of financing African Union-led peace operations. African nations have shown political will — and committed human resources — towards silencing guns on the continent, but they also need help to enhance capacities and capabilities to adequately respond to conflicts, he said.
DARREL CHUA (Singapore) said he has witnessed the strides that ASEAN has taken over the decades in its contributions to peace and stability in South-east Asia. The Association was formed at a time of great geopolitical instability in the region, he said, noting its founding members’ major achievement in coming together. There are now no conflicts between any of the bloc’s member States because they are all committed to consensus and resolving differences with words rather than weapons. ASEAN recognizes that an effective regional security framework for peace and stability must be based on strong support for a rules-based multilateral system and international law, he said, also emphasizing the need for communication, mutual trust and confidence among all relevant stakeholders in the region in order to minimize the possibility of miscalculations and mishaps. He went on to point out that the ASEAN Regional Forum and its 27 members, including the European Union, provide an avenue for greater interaction and dialogue among countries, playing an important role in preventing conflict and the development of a more robust, rules-based regional security order.
MATHIAS LICHARZ (Germany) expressed support for cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding; such cooperation enables more effective implementation of mandates and better results on the ground. Successful examples include the United Nations-European Union Action Plan for Crisis Management and Peace Operations, the Steering Committee on Crisis Management and the African Union-United Nations Joint Partnership Framework. International and regional responses must be context specific, sequenced and well-coordinated. Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional entities enables the sharing of responsibilities, based on the comparative strengths of each. This leads to complementarity and the avoidance of competition.
TORE HATTREM (Norway) — speaking also for Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden — said ongoing reforms in the United Nations and the African Union can further improve their ability to address contemporary challenges to international peace and security. The Nordic countries support their efforts to strengthen cooperation and coordination on peace and security and to carry out the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. African leadership and ownership are essential, as are partnerships, he emphasized, adding that it is encouraging to see relations between the United Nations and the African Union maturing and growing stronger. Noting that delegations have actively supported the creation of an open-ended “Group of friends of the United Nations-African Union partnership”, he said it aims to provide the support of Member States for further joint United Nations-African Union efforts for sustainable development, conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy and mediation.
ISSA KONFOUROU (Mali) said that the relevance and urgency of which the Security Council addresses today’s topic speaks for itself. No country better encapsulates this than Côte d’Ivoire, which holds the presidency of the Council this month. That country serves as a model for other conflict-afflicted States by pulling itself out of a protracted crisis. Mali is seeking lasting stability, he said, stressing that his country has undertaken steps to improve governance, delivery of social services, and inclusive dialogues, as well as measures to generate employment for young people. Women and children are at the heart of beneficiaries of these programmes.
KAREN VAN VLIERBERGE (Belgium) said the importance of regional and subregional bodies is abundantly clear, especially in Africa, where African-led peacekeeping has become increasingly visible over the past decade. When a crisis breaks out, neighbouring States are often better positioned than the United Nations to resolve it. Pointing to the experience of the European Union, she said Europe has had the lengthiest period of peace in modern-day history. Emphasizing the importance of complementarity, she noted that, although the United Nations was involved, the African Union and ECOWAS carried out successful election monitoring in Guinea-Bissau. Also stressing that humanitarian law must be upheld and conduct must be exemplary, regardless of the helmet colour, she said the Security Council must set out stringent standards for regional and subregional organizations.
LAZARUS OMBAI AMAYO (Kenya), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed the need for inclusive security, judicial and developmental institutions, emphasizing that due to the changing nature of conflict, States must look within and beyond their borders. Regional and subregional organizations are important vehicles of preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution. “Unless regional arrangements are reinforced with sustainable and predictable funding, the entities’ efforts will always be threatened by fragility and relapse into conflict,” he stressed, citing the funding challenges confronting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Noting his delegation’s support for the proposed Security Council resolution on the financing of African peacekeeping operations, he stressed the importance of collaboration across the entire United Nations system to ensure that the roles of the State and regional arrangements are enhanced. Citing such arrangements as the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, he encouraged the United Nations to explore ways to better partner strategically with subregional arrangements with a view to enhancing preventive diplomacy.
SVEN JÜRGENSON (Estonia), associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said the international community must redouble its efforts to find ways to move forward with conflict prevention and resolution. That includes cooperation and coordination with international, regional and subregional stakeholders. Democratic governance, the rule of law, protection of human rights and transparent and accountable State institutions are essential for peace and stability, he said, emphasizing, as well, the role of women and youth in sustaining peace. He underscored the role of the Peacebuilding Commission as a key actor in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, alongside the catalytic, fast and flexible assistance afforded by the Peacebuilding Fund.
OMAR KADIRI (Morocco), conveying his Government’s commitment to United Nations peacekeeping operations, said that recent developments are aimed at repositioning the United Nations to adapt to the evolving nature of conflicts. In that context, United Nations peacekeeping needs to strengthen its partnerships with regional organizations. Peacekeeping is key to prevention; sustaining peace could help remedy past failures. The strengthening of the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is sine qua non for the continent and the international community. African nations seek to take their future into their own hands, marked by a common framework for strengthened partnership between Africa and the United Nations. The financing of African peace operations has been a longstanding debate of more than 10 years. It is an investment for the future and a bellwether indictor of trust. Now is the time to provide resources toward this partnership to make it effective. Morocco remains committed to a solution that can meet aspirations of the African people, he stated.
ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO (Cuba) welcomed the contributions of the African Union and the United Nations to peace and security in Africa, noting that the continent hosts the highest number of peacekeeping operations. The efforts of the two organizations must be “backstopped” with predictable resources, she emphasized. As for regional and subregional organizations, she said they must spot and flesh out, without interference, efforts spearheaded by national Governments for peace and security, while adhering strictly to the Charter principles of sovereignty and political independence. It is also vital to address the root causes of conflict, especially those linked to economic development, she said, urging the international community to exert all efforts for implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
RICHARD GALBAVY (Slovakia) said his Government will chair OSCE next year and will work to build bridges in support of multilateralism, promote conflict prevention and focus on addressing the needs of people on the ground. Over the years, the scope of cooperation between OSCE and the United Nations has broadened and deepened on a range of matters. This collaboration is ready to be enhanced. Security sector reform plays a critical role in prevention of conflict and sustaining peace. He was encouraged to see that security sector reform in the sustaining peace agenda had been strengthened, he noted, also drawing attention to the Mapping Study on Enhancing Multilateral Support for Security Sector Reform developed by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. The report presents findings on the normative frameworks, institutional capacities, and operational practices of the African Union, the European Union and OSCE.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran) said that the most effective contribution that States can make in preventing and resolving conflict is to adhere to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. This requires respect for the political independence and territorial integrity of other States, refraining from the threat or use of force, and settling international disputes peacefully. In certain cases, conflicts arise from disregarding those important principles, he noted. It is important that States use their good offices to de-escalate tensions, restore confidence, encourage consultations and facilitate negotiations, he emphasized. He went on to note that Chapter VII of the Charter clearly identifies the role that regional organizations can play in preventing and resolving conflict, and that their effectiveness depends, to a large extent, on their impartiality. Nevertheless, such arrangements should not be abused to impose the will of their member States, he stressed. While the United Nations cannot disregard their potential for preventing or resolving conflict, such activities must be carried out in line with the Charter, he said. Ultimately, nothing can enhance the Organization’s conflict-prevention and conflict-resolution role more effectively than the trust and confidence of the concerned parties, he emphasized.
INA HAGNININGTYAS KRISNAMURTHI (Indonesia) said that regional organizations are well positioned to resolve conflicts peacefully given their sense of local history and culture, as well as their understanding of root causes. Noting her country’s strong partnership with Africa, she said it currently manifests through numerous multifaceted support programmes. As a founding member of ASEAN, Indonesia has always promoted the role of regional and subregional organizations in fostering peace, she said, adding that greater reliance on Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter holds tremendous potential for making the world more peaceful and stable. She went on to emphasize the critical need for regular and meaningful consultations with a view to improving cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations. At the same time, she said countries in the region must act responsibly and be part of the solution. However, just as regional arrangements must not hold back in advancing credible solutions, the Council must also not hold back from enlisting their support. Moreover, adequate resources are needed to ensure that regional mechanisms can deliver on their promises, she said.
YUIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) emphasized the need to strengthen existing international instruments and further improve applicable practices in intensifying collective efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts. While the United Nations has played its role in various regions, it is notably absent in others, meaning that its potential is not being fully utilized. Describing confidence-building measures as an important step towards the political-diplomatic resolution of any conflict, he said that the Russian Federation’s release of all Ukrainian political prisoners and illegally detained persons – including the crews of the three Ukrainian naval vessels captured on 26 November in Black Sea international waters – would be a crucial benchmark for assessing Moscow’s readiness to embark on the de-escalation path. The OSCE and its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, with support from the Normandy format countries and other partners, can play an indispensable role in accomplishing this, he said.
Mr. SINGER (Dominican Republic) said that threats to international peace have become ever more complex, including cross-border elements and regional violence. A strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is therefore vital to address contemporary global security challenges. The Latin American and Caribbean zone of peace. Meeting the needs of the populations in that region helped achieve peace. The 2030 Agenda, together with the sustaining peace agenda, provides Member States with a blueprint for prevention. To tackle common challenges, the international community must address the root causes of conflict long before those conflicts capture the attention of the Security Council. If cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is to function in the long term, a more systemic approach, with established guidelines, is needed to tackle common threats.
MOHAMED OMAR MOHAMED GAD (Egypt) said that Côte d’Ivoire represents a United Nations success story in peacekeeping, reconstruction and development. The Organization must further support efforts in Africa, taking on a more integrated and comprehensive approach to deal with challenges and root causes of problems. His country will be hosting the African Union Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development and will also preside over the African Union in 2019. Egypt is especially committed to the Union’s intention to revitalize a framework of action for post-conflict reconstruction and development, he said, adding that partnership with the United Nations would assist in pushing forward relevant plans and strategies. Above all, an approach is needed that focuses on people ‑ especially local communities ‑ empowering women and youth and incorporating all sections of society into peace efforts.
FREDERICO SALOMÃO DUQUE ESTRADA MEYER (Brazil) cited the important role that OAS and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have played in ensuring peaceful relations in Latin America and the Caribbean, including their cooperation with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Acknowledging that the Security Council has authorized Member States and regional organizations to use force to achieve peace, he said any such action must be judicious, proportionate and adherent to international law. Regarding the funding of peacekeeping missions, permanent members of the Security Council should assume a larger share of responsibility, as reflected in the current peacekeeping scale of assessments. It is unreasonable to expect developing countries to bear additional financial responsibility for Council decisions without a corresponding reform of the Council’s composition, he stated.
SERGE LEON A. CHRISTIANE, European Union delegation, said that peace and conflict prevention and the protection of human rights are a priority of the bloc. The European Union’s strategic vision involves pooling the efforts of all its partners. In that vein, it has begun a dialogue on conflict prevention with regional partners and OSCE to improve the impact of its actions on the ground. He expressed support for the rules-based international order, calling it the best way to manage and strengthen conflict prevention. He also emphasized the importance of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the women, peace and security agenda. Moving forward, there is room for greater effectiveness, he said, noting that partnerships provide leverage to achieve common goals.
Moreover, coordinated action is needed in Africa with regional organizations analysing the risks in areas such as climate and security, he continued. More broadly, instability is the result of failing to meet political and economic expectations of the people. In that light, the international community must emphasize the empowerment of youth and women, while addressing the situations that give rise to instability. Sustaining peace is also important for fulfilling the 2030 Agenda commitments. Efforts of the European Union and the United Nations must address the root causes of conflict. Moreover, the international community must take advantage of the convening and advisory role of the Peacebuilding Commission to the Council. Looking ahead, the Council must work to create new partnerships.
MARTHA AMA AKYAA POBEE (Ghana) said collaborative efforts between the United Nations and regional and subregional arrangements have been successful in preventing and resolving conflict. They have been particularly instrumental in dealing with difficult political transitions, defusing tensions and encouraging political dialogue before highly contentious elections, resolving electoral crises and ending political deadlock. The multifaceted engagement and partnership between the United Nations and ECOWAS have made the subregional body a vital partner in the prevention, mediation and resolution of conflict, she said, adding that the partnership has also helped to foster peacebuilding and strengthened regional capacities. Commending the work of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), she called for strengthening its partnership with ECOWAS through regular inter-governmental thematic dialogues in support of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Ghana acknowledges the technical assistance and good offices provided by UNOWAS to support mediation efforts to resolve crises over constitutional reform in Guinea-Bissau and Togo, she said.
ION JINGA (Romania), associating himself with the European Union, underscored his country’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping and its current role as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission. In that role, it promoted a regional approach and supported the Secretary-General’s efforts to improve the peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture. Romania has always advocated for a more visible role for the Peacebuilding Commission as a link between the Security Council, General Assembly, and Economic and Social Council. Creating complementarity and subsidiarity between the United Nations and regional organizations can ensure their mutual reinforcement, he said, adding that, as a candidate for a non-permanent Council seat for 2020-2021, his country is committed to preventative diplomacy in all its facets.
RAUF ALP DENKTAŞ (Turkey) said that asymmetric threats are more serious than ever and transcend national borders. A strengthened partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations is indispensable in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and tackling present challenges. This requires a strategic, long-term and mutually beneficial perspective. He welcomed the deepened relationship between the African Union and the United Nations over the past decade and the increasing coordination between the African Union and subregional organizations on the continent. Such efforts will further consolidate African leadership and ownership in overcoming challenges. At the same time, effective partnerships must be rooted in respect for regional processes and contexts. Every situation is unique and no organization can impose a one-size-fits-all approach to conflict prevention and resolution. The international community can also benefit from the experiences of different regional experiences to develop best practices, he said, calling for innovative and flexible partnership arrangements that draw on respective strengths.
CATHERINE BOUCHER (Canada) expressed support for efforts to find more predictable, flexible and sustainable financing mechanisms for African-led peace operations. Fundamentally, preventing conflict and sustaining peace is about building trust between Governments and their populations. This trust cannot be established haphazardly. Only by fostering inclusive institutions that bring in and amplify diverse voices - including those of women, youth, and indigenous, ethnic and religious minorities ‑ can meaningful and sustainable peace take hold. For its part, Canada is assisting the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali to better understand the conflict dynamics and sources of resilience in Ansongo, Bourem and Gao, she noted. This process has involved consultation with local authorities, women’s groups, youth groups and security and defence forces to find consensus-based solutions.
YASHAR T. ALIYEV (Azerbaijan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, underlined his country’s experience of facing armed aggression, foreign military occupation and ethnic cleansing. Despite Security Council resolutions, international condemnation and ongoing OSCE conflict settlement efforts, the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven other districts of Azerbaijan remain under unlawful military occupation. He spotlighted the increasingly blurred line between intra-State and inter-State conflicts, with States striving to disguise their role in fuelling conflicts in other States. In addition, regional arrangements are at times misused by violators of international law as a shield for consolidating military gains and undermining efforts to resolve regional conflicts. He stressed the need for consistency in identifying appropriate international responses to crises and conflicts, adding that implementation of United Nations resolutions must, with accountability, be part and parcel of conflict resolution efforts.
KAHA IMNADZE (Georgia), associating himself with the European Union, highlighted the OSCE toolbox for preventive and early warning purposes, which includes mechanisms such as the High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of the Council of Europe. He also emphasized the important role of United Nations and OSCE cooperation in conflict prevention in the now occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia. However, a vacuum of international presence was created when the work of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia and the OSCE Mission to Georgia was discontinued due to a veto of a permanent Member of the Security Council. Expressing gratitude to the European Union and the European Union Monitoring Mission which stepped in, he pointed out that the Monitoring Mission cannot fulfil its mandate due to the Russian Federation blocking access to the occupied regions. Highlighting the Geneva International Discussion as a valuable instrument to address security and humanitarian needs on the ground, he expressed regret at the lack of political will by the Russian Federation, resulting in blocking the full potential of that instrument.
MAGDI AHMED MOFADAL ELNOUR (Sudan), noting that his country made great efforts to settle its disputes in the region, said that IGAD members have stepped up efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan, which started implementing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, signed on 12 September in Addis Ababa following intense negotiations. Divergence of views happened between IGAD and Council members regarding the usefulness of sanctions on South Sudan. He highlighted the additional support request by IGAD to renew and expand the Regional Protection Force to support the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement. More broadly, there is a need to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the Council and IGAD to support the peace process. While the Revitalized Agreement is the first step toward peace and stability in South Sudan, many challenges remain that require national, regional and international cooperation. Given the close linkages between Sudan and South Sudan, international support is needed to strengthen cross-border cooperation and resuscitate the infrastructure linking the two countries. This is an historic opportunity to make significant progress in South Sudan, strengthen regional cooperation and build a better future for the countries of IGAD. The world needs to create a success story in East Africa to join the other ones in Côte D’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone, he said.
VICTOR MORARU (Republic of Moldova), associating himself with the European Union, said partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations should strive to share the burden of their efforts by pooling resources and creating new synergies. The deteriorating security situation and lack of progress in the settlement of protracted conflict in the post-Soviet area cannot go unnoticed. No conflict in the world should be removed from the attention of the United Nations, whether the conflict is on the Council’s agenda or not. The protracted conflict in the eastern part of the Republic of Moldova, a problem complicated by an illegal foreign military presence on the Republic’s national territory, is one such conflict. With the adoption in June of a resolution regarding the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian Federation military forces from his country’s territory, the General Assembly renewed the links between regional efforts, in this case OSCE, and the United Nations platform. The withdrawal of foreign troops is essential for creating the prerequisites for conflict prevention and conflict resolution in the Republic of Moldova, he said.
DANG DINH QUY (Viet Nam) said that, first and foremost, States must fulfil their crucial role in maintaining law and order by addressing the root causes of conflict and adhering to international law. At the same time, the United Nations and regional organizations play a vital role in upholding those principles. With its vast experiences and expertise in peacebuilding and peacekeeping, the United Nations should provide support to Member States and regional organizations. Meanwhile, regional organizations have a comparative advantage and in-depth understanding of a conflict’s dynamics. Enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is needed to address political, security, economic and socio-cultural matters, including emerging regional and global challenges. Sharing its experience as a member State of ASEAN, he said the Association had made great efforts to turn Southeast Asia from a region of mistrust and turbulence into one of mutual confidence and cooperation.
TIJJANI MUHAMMAD BANDE (Nigeria) said regional and subregional organizations can ease the burden of actions taken by the Security Council while providing a key layer of legitimacy. They are also better placed to facilitate dialogue and ensure inclusivity, he said, emphasizing the need to strengthen collaboration between the United Nations and such organizations worldwide. However, predictable and sustainable funding for Council-authorized peace support operations led by regional bodies must be worked out. “We owe this to the millions that suffer and are waiting for our help,” he said. Structural challenges to peace and security - such as climate change, mismanagement or natural resources and cross-border and international crime – are best tackled through broad collaboration among States, subregional and regional organizations and the United Nations. The ability of countries in the Lake Chad Basin to obtain international support is paying off, with several countries joining the United Nations in providing financial and technical support to counter Boko Haram. There now is even talk of restoring the livelihoods of 45 million people affected by the situation, he said, emphasizing that through it all, ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations have worked very well together towards the same end.