Statement by Minister of State Cornelia Pieper in the Security Council Debate “Strengthening the relationship between the United Nations and regional organisations, in particular the African Union, in the maintenance of peace and security”

12.01.2012 - Speech

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Mr President,

I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important debate today.
Let me also thank the Secretary-General, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security as well as the Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union for their important contributions.

The cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations envisaged in Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations is indispensable for finding appropriate solutions to crises and conflicts and making optimal use of resources and capacities.

The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is particularly well developed. Their expanding involvement and achievements in past years have made the AU and the subregional organizations into indispensable actors in resolving crises in Africa. I would especially like to call attention to the AU/UN Hybrid Mission UNAMID in Darfur and the AU Mission AMISOM in Somalia. This involvement deserves our great respect.

Another important contribution by the AU to solving humanitarian crises is its regional initiative in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army. The pragmatic cooperation between the United Nations and the AU in resolving conflicts was recently illustrated when their representatives in charge of issues relating to the Lord’s Resistance Army jointly travelled to South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In recent years, much has been accomplished in promoting cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union at both the strategic and operational levels.
We especially welcome the regular meetings between the members of the UN Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union as well as the work of the United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa, joint high-level meetings, more desk-to-desk meetings, but also the recent Joint Assessment Mission to the Sahel.

More progress is possible: we must use both formal and informal means to intensify cooperation.

Specifically, I would like to mention the following areas:

– At the strategic level, the dialogue between the UN Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the AU should be strengthened. The African Union’s position and that of the subregional organizations are important for the UN Security Council when it deals with issues relating to Africa. This does not mean that the positions will always be the same and must always be so. In addition to the annual meetings of the members of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council, Germany supports inviting representatives of the AU and subregional African organizations to the sessions of the UN Security Council on an ad hoc basis. At the same time, we welcome the participation of UN Special Envoys at meetings of the AU Peace and Security Council.

– More attention must be paid to conflict prevention and mediation in the future. The AU, the subregional African organizations and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representatives are already active in this field. In the future, they should work together more systematically, both formally and informally.

– Cooperation between the Peace Building Commission and the African organizations should also be strengthened in order to support national and regional efforts to consolidate peace.

– At the operational level, we should constantly analyse the experience gained in the various partnerships between the UN and the AU in the area of peacekeeping, especially the current AMISOM and UNAMID missions, and put this knowledge to use for further cooperation. Examples for this are providing and training troops as well as the close integration of political mediation and the presence of peace missions on the ground.

– Capacity building in the AU must continue to be pushed forward. The Ten Year Capacity Building Programme has so far proven to be a useful instrument, but clearly defined guidelines for implementing its aims could make it more efficient.

Effective cooperation between the UN and the AU on peace and security issues can also profit from the efforts of others, such as the European Union and bilateral partners:
The European Union offers considerable financial and logistical support for African initiatives and capacity building for the African Union. Worthy of special mention in this context are the Joint Africa EU Partnership for Peace and Security and the African Peace Facility. Well-known examples are the joint efforts of ATALANTA, AMISOM and UNSOA as well as the EU’s support for the AU’s efforts within this framework.

These efforts are complemented by bilateral support. Germany, for example, is currently supporting construction of the Peace and Security Building for the AU Commission in Addis Ababa. We support the AU programme for Border Management in Africa within the framework of our joint efforts in conflict prevention and we also support the building-up of African peace and security structures, for example by training and equipping African police officers for the AU Standby Force as well as for deployment in UN peacekeeping operations.

Finally, I would like to express the support of my delegation for the resolution to be voted on today.

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