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African Union Statement at the UN Security Council

Madam President,

Distinguished Members of the Security Council,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to have this opportunity to make a contribution during this Debate on Peacekeeping Operations. I wish to commend the US Presidency for initiating this important discussion of shared and critical interest to the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular the African Union.

Last year’s UN Security Council High-Level Debate on Peacekeeping Reform and the subsequent unanimous adoption of Resolution 2378 (2017) reiterated the fact that current complex peace and security challenges are such that no single organization can address them on its own.

We note with satisfaction the growing recognition of the AU’s comparative advantage in providing immediate stability and protecting civilians. In the same vein, we are pleased that the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations continues to achieve milestones as evidenced by the Framework for Enhanced Partnership on Peace and Security, signed in April 2017, by the UN Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the AU Commission.

In this regard, and given the evolving contemporary security challenges on the continent, the AU’s objective is to seek alignment of current international peace and security frameworks. This includes ensuring that predicable and sustainable financial mechanisms are available to efficiently respond to security challenges.

In line with this objective, the AU’s commitment as espoused in the Decision of the 24th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly to fund 25% of the cost of its peace and security efforts, including peace support operations, serves as a demonstration of its resolve to ensure that required responses to conflict situations are timely and not constrained by funding.

Noting the above, allow me to reiterate two critical areas of interest and concern for the AU:

First, since the adoption of Resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017), which confirmed the readiness of this Council to consider a cost-sharing structure for the funding of peace support operations, there have been a number of developments.

This includes AU’s continuous efforts to operationalize its revitalized Peace Fund whose progress has been shared as part of the Secretary General’s update on implementation of both Resolution 2320 and 2378. Additionally, the AU High Representative on Financing of the Union and the Peace Fund briefed this Council in July this year on progress achieved so far, including the level of contributions to the Fund which stands at 47.7 million – the highest since the establishment of the Peace Fund. As part of this process, the AU continues to enhance its Compliance and Accountability Framework and has finalized its policies on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and conduct and discipline in AU PSOs; completed a comprehensive review of compliance and accountability practices in past and current AU authorized and mandated PSOs; developed a selection and screening framework for AU PSO personnel; and worked towards the establishment of a misconduct tracking system to further enhance its prevention, monitoring and response measures.

Second, implementation of the AU strategic partnership on peacekeeping, particularly in on-going conflict situations such as Somalia has enhanced greater cooperation and consultation between the two institutions. Since 2013, the AU and the UN have jointly facilitated development of Concept of Operations, undertaken four Joint AU-UN Review and benchmarking exercises and just completed a Joint Operational Readiness Assessment of AMISOM. These processes have allowed for greater joint analysis, planning, and cooperation between the two Secretariats. However, more needs to be done to enable both informal and formal joint consultations between the two Councils to bring greater coherence and convergence on the main issues and critical concerns of both organizations.

The Somalia experience presents important lessons for our strategic partnership at the operational, strategic, and political levels. For instance, whilst the 2018 AU-UN Joint Review Report and its recommendations captured and highlighted the critical concerns of both organizations on the situation in Somalia and on AMISOM, the Security Council, in adopting Resolution 2431 (2018) has not recognized clearly and explicitly critical issues relating to the AU’s political role in Somalia.

Madam President,

Distinguished Members of the Security Council,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, allow me to reiterate that, notwithstanding the progress achieved thus far on AU’s access to UN Assessed Contributions, the discussion tend to be focused on a conditions-based approach with repeated calls for enhancement of AU’s human rights and financial accountability systems. However, this position by the UN Security Council should move a step forward by adopting a substantive resolution that settles this long standing issue and sets the pace for the operationalisation of an international framework to prevent and respond to instability and conflict in a predictable and effective manner.

We believe that ongoing funding challenges faced by current peace support operations, including the African Union Mission in Somalia, and the limited impact of efforts to address such challenges, including the work of the Joint AU-UN Special Envoys on Financing of AMISOM, should serve as an impetus for accelerated momentum on our collective efforts to operationalize this cost-sharing structure.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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