New York

15 June 2017

Report to the Security Council on options for authorization and support for African Union peace support operations (S/2017/454)

[Delivered by Ms. Maria Luiza Viotti, Chef de Cabinet]

I am pleased to introduce the report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support to AU peace support operations.
This report is submitted pursuant to the request of the Security Council in its resolution 2320 of 18 November 2016. 
It requested the Secretary-General to work closely with the African Union to refine options for further cooperation on their Peace Support operations, authorization, financing and support by the United Nations.
 The international community must be positioned to adequately respond creatively to dynamic security contexts around the world —and regional organizations are central to this effort.
Building on sustained efforts to strengthen the UN-AU partnership, our organizations are  deeply engaged in the development of innovative, forward-leaning and lasting collaborative systems.
We must move away from ad hoc arrangements.  The report before you presents proposals for institutionalized approaches to joint planning and mandating, financing and supporting African Union peace support operations.
The report, along with the accompanying update from the African Union, is the result of six months of coordination and cooperation between the Secretariat and the Commission.
Since the African Union Mission in Burundi in 2003, the United Nations has provided many types of support to AU operations.
These include planning, logistical support, and a variety of financing mechanisms. Some types of support have been more effective than others.
The earlier joint United Nations–African Union review of  mechanisms to finance and support African Union peace support operations examined over a decade of cooperation  in supporting African Union operations.
The present report builds on this and proposes more predictable approaches to supporting African Union operations in the future.
Our aim is not to replicate earlier arrangements but to develop new approaches that reflect lessons-learned as well as developing capacities of the African Union and the roles of other partners.
Predictable approaches are required, as the United Nations–African Union partnership is, has been and will be the preferred modality of pursuing peace and security in Africa.
To this end, the Secretary-General and AU Chairperson recently convened the first United Nations-African Union Annual Conference at UN Headquarters.
During this meeting, they signed the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, further underscoring the commitment to work closely together, based on mutual respect, recognition of complementarity, interdependence and solidarity.
The report  also highlights the importance of compliance and oversight, particularly in the areas of human rights and conduct and discipline.  These are critical concerns in all peace operations, including those mandated or authorized by the African Union.
We are encouraged that the AU is rigorously working to address these issues, including through further developing their compliance mechanisms.  The UN will continue to provide any technical assistance in the AU’s implementation of relevant compliance frameworks.

The African Union is an invaluable partner to the UN – and we are enormously grateful for Africa’s contributions to building a better future for all.  As the Secretary- General has often said, the world can greatly benefit from African wisdom, African ideas and African solutions.
As noted in the update provided by the African Union, AU operations undertake a wide variety of tasks in a wide variety of circumstances.
These include deploying troops rapidly to tackle dynamic security challenges, addressing asymmetric threats and ensuing robust peace enforcement.
Different situations will require different planning, financing and support arrangements, but these can be underpinned by jointly-agreed principles and decision-making processes.
Effective cooperation between the United Nations and African Union in deploying and supporting peace support operations requires not only engagement between the Secretariat and Commission, but also between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council in mandating and reporting.
A common approach amongst Member States is also required to address the perennial issue of securing predictable and sustainable financial support for African Union operations. Where United Nations assessed contributions are authorized, the General Assembly will also play a critical oversight role.
The concepts, process, conditions and options presented in the report should be considered as a framework which can be flexibly adapted for new operations.
Some additional work is required before this framework can be fully utilized, including the development of joint planning and budgeting methodologies. Some of the bureaucratic processes of the two Organizations may also need to be reconciled.
I can assure you that the Secretary-General is fully committed to Africa and the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.
His report shows that there are no technical challenges which our organizations cannot overcome together.
We count on your support to help translate words into action.
Together, we can create more efficient and effective responses to better respond to the needs of the African people and advance international peace and security.

Thank you.