15 June 2017

Africa: UN Cooperation With African Union Must Be Institutionalized, Less 'Ad Hoc,' Security Council Told

The United Nations must move towards a more institutionalized approach for the joint planning, mandating, financing and supporting of African Union (AU) peace-support operations, the Secretary-General's Chef de Cabinet told the Security Council today.

"We must move away from ad hoc arrangements," said Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Viotti during the presentation of the Secretary-General's report on options for authorization and support for AU peace support operations.

The report presents proposals for institutionalized approaches to joint planning and mandating, financing and supporting AU peace support operations, she added, explaining that different situations will require different planning, financing and support arrangements, but these can be underpinned by jointly-agreed principles and decision-making processes.

The report also builds on an earlier review of over a decade of UN-AU cooperation.

"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," she said, adding that predictable approaches are required, as the UN-AU partnership "is, has been and will be the preferred modality of pursuing peace and security in Africa."

The report also highlights the importance of compliance and oversight, particularly in the areas of human rights and conduct and discipline. The UN will continue to provide any technical assistance in the AU's implementation of relevant compliance frameworks, Ms. Luiza Viotti said.

As Secretary-General António Guterres has often said, the world can greatly benefit from African wisdom, African ideas and African solutions, she noted, adding that: "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."

For his part, Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, speaking via video teleconference from Addis Ababa, said the organization was conducting peace-support operations in the world's most challenging situations, yet financing remained ad hoc and highly unpredictable. He noted that 30 per cent of AU member States contributed to its recently established Peace Fund which, he emphasized, the Commission of the African Union would manage with transparency and good governance.

Donald Kaberuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, said a well-funded African peace and security architecture is not simply an African priority ¬- it is also for the global public good. While AU member States are primarily responsible for financing the Fund, partnerships would continue to play a vital role, he said, adding that forging an effective alliance between the UN and the AU held the greatest strategic importance to collective security.

"There should be no illusion as to the political complexity of this matter," he said, emphasizing that a shared solution on predictable and sustainable financing for peace operations mandated by the AU and authorized by the Council was a strategic imperative for both the AU and the UN.


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