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Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Remarks for H.E. Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Representative of the African Union to the United Nations on behalf of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

High-Level Open Debate on “Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Sub-Regional Organizations in Enhancing Confidence Building and Dialogue in Conflict Prevention and Resolution” 19 April 2021 8h00 EST

Mr. President,

Distinguished members of the Council,

Heads of Regional and Sub-regional organizations,

Esteemed delegates and participants,

Ladies and gentlemen,

All protocol observed.

1. On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission who could not join because of prior engagements, I wish to extend my appreciation to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for organizing this timely high-level open debate and for bringing together representatives of the African Union Commission, United Nations, Regional and Sub-Regional organizations to discuss our cooperation in enhancing confidence building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution.

2. I take this opportunity to express my very best wishes to His Excellency Nguyễn Xuân Phúc President of the Council for a successful term in leading the Honorable Council.


Ladies and gentlmen,

3. Given the complexities of the challenges we have faced with the ongoing global pandemic, it is even more crucial for us to identify how we can improve our cooperation through stronger multilateralism and confront our shared threats with a global, coordinated and united voice, and common action.

Mr. President,

Distinguished members of the Council,

4. Since the signing, by His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the African Union Commission and is Excellency Antonio Gutteres Secretary General of United Nations, of the Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security in 2017, and the subsequent Framework on Development, the institutionalization of joint efforts between the UN and AU has been strengthened. These mechanisms and legal frameworks have indeed helped us to enhance our collaboration and coherence to the extent that today, consultation and coordination between the AU, RECs/RMs and the UN to harmonize strategies and approaches have become the rule rather than the exception. This has enabled us to move from an ad hoc approach to a more structured and predictable one. With the relevant frameworks in place, we have effectively addressed in many cases the complex peace and security challenges in Africa.

5. Our enhanced partnership continues to be anchored on the principles of subsidiarity, complementarity and comparative advantages. Africa has achieved important milestones towards realizing the objectives of the AU flagship initiative– “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”, in line with the vision in AU Agenda 2063 and 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. The African Union has prioritized deepening its cooperation with regional economic communities and regional mechanisms on regional peace and security issues. Sustained efforts at the national, regional and continental levels have continued to be deployed in an attempt to address the fundamental root causes of violent conflicts.

6. We have increased operational cooperation and coordination by working in support of peace processes in Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Darfur and Somalia. Furthermore, our organizations continue to work together to support free, fair and credible electoral processes, strengthen good governance, promote the protection of human rights and prevent electoral violence across the continent. We will continue to foster national cohesion and inclusive political and electoral processes.

7. Increasing incidences of violent extremism, particularly in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, Somalia and Cabo del Gado in Mozambique have called for the need for enhanced cooperation between the UN and the AU mechanisms and regional bodies in our fight against the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism. In this regard, the AU has underscored the importance of sharing experiences and best practices, as well as lessons arising from continental and regional mechanisms deployed against terrorism, violent extremism and other related transnational organized crimes. An overview in all regions, Sahel in particular, shows every day massive killings of innocent women and children. Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria face awful scenes of devastation. It is imperative that these countries benefit from a genuine, active and efficient solidarity. The UN Security Council has here a fundamental responsibility. The African Union has huge hopes that it will undertake urgently appropriate measures to alleviate millions of people exposed to daily massacres.

Mr. President,

Distinguished members of the Council,

8. One of the key challenges facing the UN-AU partnership has to do with UN-mandated AU-led Peace Support Operations and the growing need to provide a sense of ownership to the African Member States of the UN. The UNSC should create the opportunity and a dispensation that will allow Africa to access predictable funding from UN assessed contributions.

9. Though significant progress has been made between the AU and the UN at the highest level, challenges remain at the level of cooperation between the two Councils. While increased efforts of engagement between the AUPSC and UNSC have helped the organizations achieve greater strategic convergence on issues that are of mutual importance, more need to be done.

10. Almost 70 per cent of the agenda of the Security Council pertains to issues of peace and security in Africa. African States comprise nearly 28% of the UN’s overall membership, providing significant regional political backing to the A3 members presently comprised of Tunisia, Niger and Kenya. The role of the A3 is to reflect and defend the views and concerns of the continent and the decisions of the AU’s PSC in the UNSC. It is, therefore, important to strengthen and unify the roles played by the A3 in channeling the AU PSC-provided positions on peace and security issues in Africa and enhance the coordination between positions taken in Addis Ababa and New York.

11. Lack of clarity on how to operationalize the principles of non-interference and subsidiarity continue to inhibit the AU’s ability to respond to and intervene in emerging crises across the continent. Member States continue to invoke the principle of non-interference on the basis of sovereignty, limiting the ability of the AU to address or prevent conflicts in a timely manner. The principle of subsidiarity, on the other hand, recognizes the primacy of regional organizations in leading interventions in Member States. the continued lack of clarity around these two principles has posed a critical challenge to coordination between the UN, AU and RECs/RMs.

Mr. President,

Distinguished members of the Council,

12. I wish to conclude by thanking once again the socialist Republic of Vietnam for convening this important meeting, and calling upon the AU and UN, together with other multilateral and regional organizations, to bolster our joint efforts aimed at sharpening our understanding of the challenges we collectively face, and enhancing our partnership and collaboration to respond to these shared threats.

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