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SC/14677
28 October 2021

Security Council Adopts Presidential Statement Urging United Nations to Strengthen Partnership with African Union

The Security Council today urged the United Nations to strengthen its partnership with the African Union, as members adopted a presidential statement aimed at highlighting the growing contribution of such cooperation to resolving conflicts and other peace and security challenges in Africa.

By the presidential statement (to be issued as document S/PRST/2021/21), presented by Kenya, Council President for October, the 15‑member organ commended the progress made in the United Nations‑African Union partnership and stressed that it should further develop into a systematic, operational, and strategic partnership rooted in shared values and a strong commitment to international cooperation adapted to the complex security challenges facing the continent.

By the text, the Council also commended the efforts of the African Union to further strengthen its capacity, including through the advancement of the African Peace and Security Architecture, and underscored the importance of further consolidation of their cooperation in early warning, preventive diplomacy, mediation, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, electoral assistance, and promotion and protection of human rights, international humanitarian law and the rule of law.

Today’s videoconference meeting took place on the heels of a military coup d’état in Sudan and other pressing security challenges in the region, and was based on the Secretary‑General’s annual report on strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on issues of peace and security in Africa (document S/2021/763).

Donald Kaberuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, stressed that the Union and regional organizations have demonstrated a clear comparative advantage in carrying out offensive operations in high-risk environment.  The African Union has mandated 15 peace support operations since the organization’s inception, mostly in contexts where United Nations peacekeepers were not deployed.  Recalling Security Council resolution 2320 (2016), which opened discussions on cost-sharing between the African Union and the United Nations for peace support operations, he said the time has come to further consider the matter of sustainable funding mechanism for African Union-led missions.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana and Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), urged the Security Council to consider regular consultations between the United Nations, on one hand, and the African Union and its organs, such as the Peace and Security Council, on the other.  Regional economic communities such as ECOWAS can also provide an important framework for bridging differences in the conceptual understanding of the security challenges on the continent and improving the harmonized understanding of the responses required in addressing such challenges.

Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary‑General, underlined the need to prioritize response to the COVID‑19 pandemic in Africa through accelerated vaccine distribution, strengthening national health systems and much needed investments in preparedness.  Noting that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 must be at the heart of common efforts, she went on to stress that the organization’s Peace Fund is an inspiring example of efforts to secure adequate, predictable and sustainable resources that will bring to life development, peace and security mandates across Africa.

When the floor opened to Council members, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta highlighted that African peacekeeping has fundamentally changed, and missions, most of them African-led, need more military capacity and resources to grapple with sophisticated terrorist groups.  He also called for inclusive, non-partisan civil services, also underlining the need for robust job creation, a lack of which would lead to a greater threat of instability and anti-establishment sentiment.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre emphasized that African countries provide critical insights, expressing support for efforts to expand the Security Council and increase the number of permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa.

Along the same line, India’s Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar called for a change in offering “external” solutions to African problems without African involvement, expressing support for permanent African representation in an expanded Council, adding that “those who are responsible for denial by delay and perpetuating an historical injustice must be called out.”

France’s representative stressed the central role of the African Union in conflict prevention and resolution, noting that its involvement helped progress in resolving many crises, including in Madagascar in 2018 and Sudan in 2016.  Also welcoming the commitment of ECOWAS in supporting the transition in Mali, she supported the idea of funding a United Nations logistics support office from the regular peacekeeping budget as “the most effective approach to providing predictable and sustained support going forward”.

Also speaking today were senior officials and representatives of Tunisia, Viet Nam, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ireland, Estonia, Russian Federation, China, Mexico, Niger, United States and the United Kingdom.

Briefings

AMINA MOHAMMED, Deputy Secretary‑General, briefing on the Secretary‑General’s report on strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on issues of peace and security in Africa (document S/2021/763), noted that today’s discussion takes place against numerous worrying trends across the continent.  COVID‑19 has created additional socioeconomic burdens on countries’ efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.  Earlier this week, a military coup d’état took place in Sudan.  The conflict in northern Ethiopia continues unabated.  The Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin region face persistent threats of terrorism and violent extremism.

The Secretary‑General’s annual report also contains several hopeful developments, including a peaceful and inclusive election in Burkina Faso, as well as peaceful transfers of power in Niger and Zambia following presidential elections.  Throughout, cooperation between the United Nations, the African Union and subregional organizations is growing.  In Libya, the United Nations is working closely with the African Union, the League of Arab States and the European Union to support the ceasefire agreement and preparations for the upcoming elections.  The African Union has played a particularly active role in the International Follow-Up Committee on Libya of the Berlin process, including as a co-chair of the Security Working Group, she said, also welcoming the bloc’s efforts to lead international support for the Libyan reconciliation process.  The United Nations is committed to continuing its support for the African Union-led negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The United Nations special political missions, peacekeeping operations and country teams in Africa continue to provide comprehensive support to other peace initiatives and political transitions — including in Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.  The United Nations works closely with the African Union on regular joint consultations and analyses through cooperation frameworks for peace and security, humanitarian efforts and sustainable development, with the United Nations Office to the African Union playing a key role in that regard.  And once the ongoing discussions on the division of responsibilities between the African Union and the regional economic communities and mechanisms are concluded, the United Nations looks forward to harnessing the opportunities and strengths of each organization and building effective conflict prevention and resolution strategies.

In his “Our Common Agenda” report, the Secretary‑General underlined the need to re-embrace global solidarity to find new ways to work together for the common good of all people in every country, grounded in human rights and through a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system, she said, outlining three urgent actions that require global solidarity and support.  First, she stressed the need to prioritize response to the COVID‑19 pandemic in Africa through accelerated vaccine distribution, strengthening national health systems and much needed investments in preparedness.  Second, there must be a focus on sustainable development, with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at the heart of common efforts.  Spurring these transitions and implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area will facilitate trade, help reduce emissions, support those who are shifting from the brown economy and create new jobs geared to the economy of tomorrow for Africa’s burgeoning youth population.

Third, there is a need to continue securing adequate, predictable and sustainable resources that will bring to life development, peace and security mandates across Africa, she said, noting that the African Union Peace Fund is an inspiring example.  Calling on the Security Council to work with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council to strengthen financing mechanisms for African Union-led peace support operations it authorized, she expressed the Organization’s readiness to convene an international forum with the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) States and their partners to bolster peace and development efforts in support of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel.

DONALD KABERUKA, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, described new and complex challenges arising in the context of regional and transnational conflicts, examples of which abound in places ranging from the Horn of Africa and to Mozambique in the South.  These evolving challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has thrown fragile places into greater turmoil, highlighting the need for a sustainable and effective response system, he said, adding that this response can be aided by partnerships.  “It is the moment for the African Union and the United Nations to rise to such challenges, and provide a unified and innovative response,” he said.

Noting that an African peace and security architecture is a global good, he recalled a recent decision by African Heads of State to revitalize the African Union Peace Fund, which has existed since 1993, but has been underfunded.  The decision reached aims at fully endowing the Fund to $400 million by 2023, he said, adding that $248 million of this target has been raised so far.  Further, he called for bold action to address vaccine equity, and to reallocate special drawing rights.  He underscored the need for predictable, sustainable funding for the Peace Fund so it can carry out its important work of preventive diplomacy and mediation; strengthening institutional capacities; and responding to unforeseen peace and security challenges, adding that the endowment is overseen by an august board of trustees, which includes representatives of strategic partners such as the United Nations and the European Union.  Pointing out that the African Union and regional organizations have demonstrated a clear comparative advantage in carrying out offensive operations in high‑risk environments, and has mandated 15 peace support operations since the body’s inception, mostly in contexts where United Nations peacekeepers were not deployed, he underlined the need to build its own sustainable financing mechanism.  In this regard, he recalled Security Council resolution 2320 (2016), which opened discussions on cost‑sharing between the African Union and the United Nations for peace support operations, and stressed:  “It is time to give further consideration to this matter.”  While the Security Council has demonstrated great flexibility in facing important strategic challenges, including in Darfur, such cases are always regarded as exceptions, “although they represent a new landscape and probably an enduring environment”, he said.  In this context, better partnerships can help systematically support interventions, he said, expressing hope that the African Union and Security Council can advance discussions on the matter by 2022.

Statements

NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, President of Ghana and Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), urged the Security Council to consider regular consultations between the United Nations, on one hand, and the African Union and its organs, such as the Peace and Security Council, on the other.  Regional economic communities such as ECOWAS can provide an important framework for bridging differences in the conceptual understanding of the security challenges on the continent and improving the harmonized understanding of the responses required in addressing such challenges.  The collaboration has led to the development of a few initiatives including the United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security, and the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security.

The United Nations wealth of experience in preventive diplomacy should be enhanced in its engagement with Africa, he continued.  While collaboration between ECOWAS and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel is laudable, more is required and more could be done if greater solidarity is shown in putting resources towards the agenda of conflict prevention.  In this regard, he welcomed the Secretary‑General’s intention to elevate prevention and mediation, under the New Agenda for Peace, contained in his “Our Common Agenda” report.  “Whilst prevention is less celebrated, a dollar spent in preventing a conflict is worth a little over 10 times its value in resolving a conflict once it has broken out,” he stressed.

The cooperation between the United Nations and Africa must work steadily towards the resolution of the root causes of these conflicts, within the context of sustaining peace, which encompasses programmes aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, he said.  At the heart of addressing the root causes of the crises on the continent is the inclusion of women and youth in decision making, as well as in the whole cycle of conflict management.  The linkage between peace and development cannot be ignored, he said, welcoming a strengthened United Nations development system, which works with African institutions to drive strongly the continent’s development agenda based on Africa’s agreed priorities in Agenda 2063, including the further deepening of the African Continental Free Trade Area, whose Secretariat is located in Accra.  “With a youthful bulge, which portends opportunity, Africa also risks destabilizing the world if her vibrant, but largely unemployed youth are not made a strong part of the industrialization and transformational agenda of Africa,” he said.  These points represent the simple ones that have been ignored.  With a rapid increase in non-State conflicts since 2010, over 70 per cent of the conflict issues on the Security Council agenda are related to Africa.  It is therefore evident that, in addition to strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union and its regional organizations, it is critical to consider the often-ignored simple solutions that are rooted in solidarity.

UHURU KENYATTA, President of Kenya and President of the Security Council for the month, speaking in his national capacity, said that while Africa has the advantages of its demographic dividend and political solidarity, as demonstrated through collective responses to insecurity, the continent still faces formidable socioeconomic challenges due to the widening threat of terrorism and insecurity.  Those challenges were sparked by the Libyan invasion in 2011, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and the spread of illicit firearms; all of it worsened by the recent upsurge in coups.  Further, the pandemic has reversed the gains of the past two decades of rapid economic growth, amid worsening fragility due to climate change impacts.  He noted that Africa has a standing architecture for conflict prevention, management, resolution and post-conflict reconstruction, as well as heroic peacekeepers.  However, he said global multilateral responses fall short in overcoming such challenges.  Against this backdrop, he called for a renewal of the continent’s security infrastructure, with enhanced cooperation between the United Nations, the African Union and regional economic blocs.  He went on to highlight three points:  first, that African peacekeeping has fundamentally changed, and missions, most of them African-led, need more military capacity and resources to grapple with sophisticated terrorist groups; second, he called for greater inclusivity in service delivery and non-partisan civil services for more sustainable peacekeeping; third, he underlined the need for robust job creation, without which there will be a greater threat of instability and anti-establishment sentiment.

KAIS SAIED, President of Tunisia, noted that the international community commemorated “United Nations Day” a few days ago on the seventy‑sixth anniversary of the establishment of the Organization.  It was an opportunity to recall why the United Nations was created.  Many regional organizations were also created for the same purpose.  It is therefore obvious that bridges of cooperation and integration between the United Nations and various regional organizations could be expanded to achieve common goals.  Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union can provide a successful and effective model on the importance of concerted efforts.  However, Africa also faces numerous conflicts, and many structural challenges that prevent the achievement of lasting peace and security, he said, stressing the need to re-examine the method of action to tackle the root causes of conflicts.  Highlighting the need to tap local knowledge, he said regional organizations can assume greater responsibility in conflict prevention and resolution.  He also expressed support for giving priority to interventions to resolve conflict in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.  He urged other Council members to work more closely with the African members of the Council on issues related to the continent.  He also renewed a call for financing the African Union-led peace consolidation operations through the assessed contributions paid by Member States to the United Nations.

NGUYEN XUAN PHUC, President of Viet Nam, said that while profound disagreement persists across various issues, renewed discussions demonstrate that breakthroughs on the constitutional track and broader political process “are not unachievable”.  It is crucial that calm security conditions prevail, and he urged all parties to refrain from escalation, adding that efforts to counter terrorism should be taken in line with international law, including humanitarian law.  He reiterated the call for cooperation among parties to ensure timely, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access and to facilitate humanitarian response throughout Syria.  Generous international support is also needed, with a focus on COVID‑19 response capability, food security and sustained delivery during the winter, he said, stressing that solutions are needed to address conditions in internally displaced person camps and the impact of water shortages caused by the Alouk water station.

RALPH E. GONSALVES, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, stressed that the positions and priorities of the African Union, in particular the Agenda 2063 and Silencing the Guns initiatives, provide the most practical blueprint for continental peace and stability.  Pointing out the Union’s expertise in regional diplomacy, mediation, reconciliation, transitional justice, security sector governance and reform, as well as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, he called for greater political and financial support to these efforts.  The sustainable funding of African Union-led peace operations and measures to ensure adequate, predictable and reliable financing of peacebuilding initiatives on the continent should also be treated as an urgent imperative.  He called on major donors — in particular developed countries and international financial institutions — to ramp up their overseas development assistance (ODA) commitments, eliminate barriers for concessional financing and advance new pathways for African countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in line with national priorities and perspectives.  He further emphasized that the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union must be further broadened, with the systematic engagement of subregional organizations and mechanisms.

JONAS GAHR STØRE, Prime Minister of Norway, noted that this past year, the African Union and the Security Council have encountered several unforeseen, complex and difficult situations, including Ethiopia’s Tigray Region, welcoming the regional bloc’s leadership in African conflicts as demonstrated in its response to the military coup in Sudan.  The Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council must continue to support the people of Sudan.  There is no doubt that strategic partnerships can help Africa to achieve its ambitions and find solutions to pressing challenges.  To strengthen cooperation between the two, Norway recommends that the organs meet on a more regular basis and carry out more joint visits.  The United Nations Security Council should also invite representatives from the African Union and the regional economic communities to provide more frequent briefings.  African countries provide critical insights, and cooperation with them is paramount in order to deal with security issues on the continent.  That is why Norway supports efforts to expand the Council and increase the number of permanent and non‑permanent seats for Africa.

SIMON COVENEY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, underscored his country’s commitment to multilateralism, and noted that the pandemic highlighted the fact that coordinated action is far more powerful, and far more effective, than unilateral action.  While the African Union has been playing its part in coordinating Africa’s response to COVID‑19, the multilateral system must deliver in response by building back better and greener, through greater debt relief, equitable vaccine access and sustainable financing.  Noting that Ireland participated in the African Union‑European Union Ministerial meeting in Rwanda earlier this week, which focused on peace, security and governance, he underscored the importance of enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union to overcome crises, through encouraging good governance and democratic transitions.  Turning to the need for sustainable peace, he said African Union-led peace support operations need predictable and sustainable financing, and that peacekeeping operations must be linked to peacebuilding to end violence and prevent conflict.  Greater inclusivity and ensuring the participation of women and civil society can ensure such efforts are stronger, he said, adding that cooperation between the United Nations and African Union is essential for putting women, peace and security at the heart of peace operations and crisis management.

S. JAISHANKAR, Minister for External Affairs of India, called for a change in the “skewed approach” of offering “external” solutions to African problems without African involvement, which has not served the interests of the continent’s people.  “The change should begin here, in the Security Council itself,” he stressed.  Noting that nearly 70 per cent of Chapter VII mandate resolutions are on Africa, he underscored the need for a strong and effective partnership between the United Nations with the African Union.  He added that it is “a blot on the collective credibility of this Council” that while African States constitute more than one fourth of the United Nations membership, they continue to be denied representation in the permanent category of membership.  “India has always supported the Ezulwini Consensus and called for permanent African representation in an expanded Council,” he said, adding that “those who are responsible for denial by delay and perpetuating an historical injustice must be called out.”  He went on to echo the call of the Secretary‑General to support African counter‑terrorism operations with sustained financing, including through assessed contributions.  He also underlined the need for greater collaboration with regional organizations to address peace and security challenges; for peacekeeping missions to have a clear and well‑thought‑out exit strategy; for strengthening a meaningful peacebuilding partnership between the United Nations and the African Union; and, to re‑energize and strengthen liaison mechanisms, to better address issues dividing the Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

ANDRES RUNDU, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, said cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union is crucial in maintaining peace and security.  He suggested three priority areas that can contribute to conflict prevention.  First, he recommended more cooperation on climate change in light of a new United Nations report highlighting the continent’s disproportionate vulnerability to such consequences as food insecurity, poverty and population displacement.  Second, as weak rule of law and judicial institutions are among the primary underlying obstacles to safeguarding human rights, he said respecting and protecting them is essential through such strategic priorities as building fair and trustworthy accountability mechanisms for serious violations.  Third, he said empowering women and youth must be at the core of cooperation efforts because building sustainable societies and lasting peace hinges on their full, meaningful and effective participation.  In addition, more must be done given the current situation in the Sahel region, he said, adding that Estonia contributes by participating in various missions.  Recognizing that African solutions are needed for African challenges, he said facing global challenges is the international community’s collective responsibility, as no State should be left alone in doing so.  Recalling that the Common African Position on the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture calls for enhanced efforts to implement the African Union’s Agenda 2063, including its Silencing the Guns initiative, he emphasized that while it is the matter of the continent’s leaders to define how to silence the guns, “we, as the international community, are there to help them”.  As the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the G5 Sahel Force are crucial contributors to the security of the respective countries and regions, the international community must ensure effective and orderly transitions to the renewed mandates to consolidate peace and development gains, he said, adding that Estonia agrees with the assessment in the Secretary‑General’s report Our Common Agenda that the Security Council could be made more representative of the twenty‑first century through such actions as enlarging its members to better represent Africa.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that the Organization’s partnership with the African Union continues to be one of the prominent examples of success based on Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.  Stressing the importance of “African solutions to African problems”, he welcomed the Union’s extension of its flagship initiative to end conflicts until 2030.  The fruitful cooperation of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council is of particular importance.  His delegation looks forward to joint events to be held in mid-December in Addis Ababa.  He said African States are justified to raise the issue of using financial assistance from the United Nations to fund their efforts to maintain international peace and security.  In that regard, the Russian Federation awaits agreement on the modalities of financing African-led peacekeeping operations and the use of the African Union Peace Fund for this purpose.  He also called for the revision of the sanctions introduced through the United Nations Security Council as these measures should not negatively affect the ability of countries to resist organized crime and terrorism and form effective security institutions.

The representative of China called on developed countries to stop overstocking vaccines and support intellectual property rights exemptions for developing countries to localize production of vaccines.  China‑produced COVID‑19 vaccines have reached more than 40 countries in Africa, he said.  Also stressing the geographical, historical and cultural advantages that the African Union and subregional organizations have in addressing hotspot issues in Africa, he noted the increasing threat posed by ISIL/Da’esh and voiced support for improving counter‑terrorism capabilities in Africa.  Underscoring the importance of addressing root causes, he said the Organization’s peacebuilding efforts in the continent should focus on enhancing Government capacity in post-conflict countries.  The colonial era is long over but the legacy of colonialism is far from resolved, he said, calling the African Union “the banner of Africa’s unity and self-reliance”.  Voicing opposition to the practice of attaching political strings to aid as well as pursuing political self-interests, he called for the lifting of the unilateral sanctions against Zimbabwe, Sudan and other.

The representative of Mexico stressed the vital importance for the international community — under the coordination of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) — to support the African Union’s efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus through the joint continental strategy for COVID‑19.  It is unacceptable that barely 5 per cent of the African population is fully vaccinated.  The continent continues to be disproportionately affected by the unrestricted flow of weapons, he said, calling for the synergies of efforts by the United Nations and the African Union to address this problem more effectively.  Pointing to the frequent unconstitutional changes of Government in the past year, he expressed support for the efforts of the African Union Commission to achieve democratic transition in Sudan as well as the efforts of ECOWAS in Mali.  Africa needs to strengthen cooperation towards the holding of free, inclusive and fair elections, with the cornerstone of efforts to strengthen governance and eradicate military coups, he said.

The representative of France stressed the central role of the African Union in conflict prevention and resolution, noting that its involvement helped progress in resolving many crises, including in Madagascar in 2018 and Sudan in 2016.  She also welcomed the commitment of ECOWAS in supporting the transition in Mali.  The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is an essential tool for the peace and security of the continent in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, she said, pointing out that African troops account for nearly 50 per cent of blue helmets deployed in peace operations, aside from other interventions, such as that of the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin region.  She echoed the recent statement by the Secretary‑General, that a United Nations logistics support office funded from the regular peacekeeping budget is the most effective approach to providing predictable and sustained support going forward.  Turning to vaccine equity, she stated that France was the first to donate their doses in addition to financial support through COVAX, beginning in April, allocated according to the fair allocation framework defined by WHO.  “Our goal is now to give 120 million doses by mid‑2022, including 60 million by the end of the year,” she said.  On peace and security, she called for enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and African Union, stating that support should be lent to the Silencing the Guns initiative as well as Agenda 2063.  She went on to express concern about the intensifying “scourge” of mercenaries in the continent, whose withdrawal is “indispensable” to buttress security.  In addition, she expressed concern about the activities of the Wagner Group, which she said is “working with impunity” in the continent, including in the Central African Republic, where their presence is inimical to peace.

The representative of Niger said that Africa is disproportionately affected by global challenges, with two‑thirds of the United Nations Security Council’s agenda related to the continent.  The emergence of new challenges undermine progress made.  Terrorism and exploitation of natural resources are among the issues requiring enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union.  African members of the Security Council play an important role in decision-making on issues that concern their region.  Niger feels Africa should take its full place in the United Nations organs, including the Security Council.  Strengthening implementation of the principle of subsidiarity in peace operations will help give greater meaning and content to the concept of African solutions to African problems.

The representative of the United States stressed the need to prioritize collective action in peacebuilding, noting that an encouraging trend of enhanced joint initiatives between the African Union and the United Nations in conflict analysis and prevention has greatly contributed to a shared understanding of conflict dynamics in the continent.  Further, he commended the organization’s efforts to centre women and youth in all such efforts, through initiatives such as the African Leadership Network.  Renewed commitment is required to address many challenges facing the continent, including chronic State instability magnified by climate change, he said.  He called for greater coordination between the United Nations and African Union around peace operations in fragile security situations, through closer alignment of policy doctrines and directives.  While combined action between both institutions facilitated efforts such as the African Union‑United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), he pointed out that the situation in Somalia demands a more complicated and concerted joint effort.  Turning to predictable financing for African Union operations, he underlined the need to develop and implement compliance regimes in areas such as conduct and discipline, as well as for improved monitoring and accountability.  He took note of promising steps taken recently, including in strengthening policing as well as in the deployment of the Standby Force to Mozambique.

VICKY FORD, Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, underlined the importance of collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union to promote and consolidate democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law.  Condemning the arrest of civilian members of Sudan’s transitional Government by the military, she welcomed the African Union’s robust response and suspension of Sudan.  She also emphasized the importance of United Nations‑African Union coordination in promoting political solutions to conflict.  The situation in northern Ethiopia is unacceptable, she said, welcoming the efforts of the African Union Special Envoy and others to promote dialogue between the parties to the conflict in Tigray.  The African Union’s role in peace operations is vital, she said, paying tribute to the efforts of those countries contributing police and troops to AMISOM.  Lastly, she noted the importance of partnership in tackling global challenges to Africa’s peace and stability, and working towards a more stable, prosperous future.  The United Kingdom is working with the African Union to support its green recovery action plan, and to showcase African climate action at Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.  The United Kingdom is providing technical assistance for the African Continental Free Trade Area, and was the first non‑African country to sign a partnership agreement.

Mr. KABERUKA, responding briefly, emphasized that the impact of the pandemic and vaccine inequity put at risk the great gains of decades of economic progress in the continent.  However, initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement demonstrated that Africa is prepared to take charge of its economic recovery, he said, adding that this was not possible without peace, stability and security.  Such conditions are a precursor to economic recovery, which is important for Africa and the world, he said, adding that technical obstacles must not get in the way of this “strategic imperative” behind cooperation between the African Union and United Nations.

For information media. Not an official record.