Security Council says cooperation between UN and African Union crucial for peace

Security Council says cooperation between UN and African Union crucial for peace

Security Council
Recognizing the vital role of the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union (AU) in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, the Security Council today stressed the importance of boosting the resources and capacity of the African body.

In a presidential statement, the Council called for increased collaboration with the AU to build its capacity to take “rapid and appropriate responses to emerging situations and to develop effective strategies for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.”

Regional organizations such as the AU are “well positioned to understand the root causes of many conflicts closer to home and to influence the prevention or solution, owing to their knowledge of the region,” the Council said.

To this end, the 15-member body requested that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon provide “specific proposals on how the United Nations can better support arrangements for further cooperation and coordination with regional organizations… to contribute significantly to the common security challenges in the areas of concern.”

Partnerships between the UN and regional organizations in security matters “should be based on their complementary capacities and comparative advantages, making full use of their experience,” the Council said, designating the newly formed UN Peacebuilding Commission as the forum for coordination between the UN system and regional bodies.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Africa, which holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency this month, read out the statement at end of a meeting featuring 34 speakers on the topic of the relationship between the UN and regional organizations, in particular the AU.

Hédi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Council that close ties between the UN and the AU – whose Member States provide over 75 per cent of all UN peacekeepers deployed in Africa and contribute 40 per cent of all troops in peacekeeping missions around the world – are crucial, “not just for the success of African regional endeavours, but for the United Nations and international peacekeeping.”

“The more complex the challenges of our globalized world, the more crucial partnership between our respective organizations has become for the pursuit of a security that is truly collective, effective and equitable for all men and women,” he added.

He cited the example of the joint efforts towards peacemaking in Darfur by UN Special Envoy Jan Eliasson and AU Special Envoy Salim Ahmed Salim.

The Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU, Said Djinnit, emphasized the need for more resources for peacekeeping operations undertaken by the AU on the continent.

“The Africans expect that their institutions will provide assistance and solidarity at a time when the United Nations is facing difficulties because of growing needs for peacekeeping,” Mr. Djinnit said. “The African Union is aware of its meagre means but at the same time it is moved by its principle not to remain indifferent and by its staunch faith in international solidarity.”