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1. The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) and the members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held their 7th annual joint consultative meeting at the AU Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, on 8 October 2013. 

 

2.            Reaffirming the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security and the mandate of the Peace and Security Council with regard to the promotion of peace and security in Africa, as provided in the AUPSC Protocol, also reaffirming the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations on the role of regional arrangements in the settlement of disputes among and within their Member States, and recalling the outcomes of their previous consultative meetings, the PSC and the members of the UNSC reviewed matters of common interest, in particular the conflict and crisis situations in Africa, as well as ways and means of strengthening the partnership between the two organs consistent with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and the relevant provisions of the Protocol relating to the establishment of the AU PSC.

On the situation in the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

3.            The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC expressed deep concern at the security and humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resulting from the ongoing destabilizing activities of the 23 March Movement (M23) and other armed groups, including the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC strongly condemned the resumption of hostilities by the M23. They further condemned the shelling of Rwandan territory and the activities of all armed groups. They demanded that these armed groups immediately cease all forms of violence and destabilizing activities, including sexual and gender-based violence, continuing recruitment and use of children, human rights abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law. The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC called on all the countries of the region to fully implement their commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework signed in Addis Ababa, on 24 February 2013, in dealing with armed groups.

4.            The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the contribution of MONUSCO to a comprehensive approach to addressing the security situation in the DRC. The AUPSC and the members UNSC acknowledged the commitment of all troop contributing countries to MONUSCO towards implementing the full range of responsibilities under the Mission’s civilian protection mandate, including the responsibilities assigned to the Intervention Brigade, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2098 (2013). The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC further welcomed the progress made in the deployment and operationalization of the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade, as authorized by UN Security Council resolution 2098 (2013) and supported by the PSC. They expressed their appreciation to the troop contributing countries for their contribution to the establishment of the Brigade.

5.            The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the efforts being deployed by the countries of the region and the international community to address the prevailing situation. They welcomed the signing of the PSC Framework for the DRC and the Region, and the steps taken towards its implementation. They noted with satisfaction the outcome of the 2nd meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism, which took place in New York on 23 September 2013. They urged all signatory countries to pursue and intensify their efforts towards the effective implementation of the commitments entered into under the PSC Framework. They underscored the importance of the Kampala Dialogue, and noted with appreciation the call of the 7th extraordinary summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), held in Kampala, on 5 September 2013, for the Parties to the Kampala Dialogue to bring it to a swift conclusion, in line with the national, regional and international efforts to achieve durable peace. 

6.            The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the visit undertaken in the region by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank, as well as the recent joint visit undertaken by the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, the UN Special Representative for the DRC, the AU Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, the European Union (EU) Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes and the US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region. They expressed appreciation to the ICGLR and to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for their commitment and efforts.

7.            The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC called upon international development partners to support the countries of the region towards the provision of immediate peace dividends on the ground, through quick impact projects at local and regional levels targeting, in particular, women and youth, as well as through other relevant projects of the ICGLR and the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), aimed at strengthening regional cooperation, including deepening economic integration.

On the situation between Sudan and South Sudan

 8.            The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the progress made in the normalization of relations between Sudan and South Sudan, including the outcomes of the Summit meeting between the Presidents of the two countries, held in Khartoum, on 3 September 2013. They urged the two countries, building on this progress, to resolutely pursue the objective of building two viable states living side by side in peace. They stressed the need for the two countries to spare no efforts towards resolving outstanding issues, including the disputed and claimed border areas and the final status of the Abyei Area. They encouraged the two countries to finalize the determination of the centerline of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ).

9.            Noting with appreciation the AUPSC communiqué of 23 September 2013 and expressing their concern at the prevailing situation in the Abyei Area, the PSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the commitment by the two Presidents to proceed expeditiously with the implementation of the Agreement on Temporary Administrative and Security Arrangements for the Abyei Area of 20 June 2011, urged them to establish the Abyei Referendum Commission and appealed to all concerned to desist from any unilateral action that could heighten tension and complicate the search for a solution, as well as to ensure that the Abyei Area is a weapon-free-zone. They strongly encouraged the Parties to resume discussions over the 21st September 2012 Proposal submitted by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), in order to resolve the final status of the Abyei Area through mutually acceptable arrangements. They looked forward to the planned PSC mission to Abyei and to its assessment and recommendations.

10.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC expressed concern at the prevailing situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, in Sudan. Stressing once more that there is no military solution to the conflict, they called on the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to cease hostilities and resume negotiations in order to reach a political settlement and to extend full cooperation to the AUHIP and the IGAD Chair in their facilitation role.  They called on the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and UN guiding principles of humanitarian assistance. They further called on them to urgently resolve all technical problems to allow the conduct of an anti-polio vaccination campaign for children.

11.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC urged the parties to internal armed conflicts in Sudan and in South Sudan, notably the prevailing situation in Jonglei State, in South Sudan, and the situations in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, in Sudan, to seek peaceful solutions to those conflicts.

12.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC reiterated their appreciation to the AUHIP, and encouraged it to actively continue to implement its mandate. They also expressed appreciation to the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, as well as to the relevant international partners, for their support to the AUHIP and contribution to the promotion of peace, security and stability in Sudan and South Sudan and the enhancement of confidence between the two countries.  

 

13.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC expressed appreciation to the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

On the situation in Somalia

14.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the significant progress made in Somalia since the completion of the Transitional period in August 2012. They stressed the need for further progress in the dialogue and reconciliation process between the Somali stakeholders aimed at developing a federal system in Somalia. In this regard, they commended the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Somaliland region for their engagement, and called for its active continuation. They also commended the signing, on 28 August 2013, of an Agreement by the FGS and the Interim Jubba administration, under the mediation of Ethiopia, in its capacity as Chair of IGAD.

15.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the crucial role of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its troop and police contributing countries in furthering stabilization in Somalia, allowing the political process to unfold. They welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and noted with satisfaction the close coordination of efforts and collaboration between AMISOM and UNSOM. They acknowledged the need to enhance the capacity of AMISOM and the Somali Security Forces, to enable them to consolidate the gains made and expand the areas under the control of the FGS. In this context, they look forward to the proposals made by the joint UN and AU review of AMISOM, in accordance with paragraph 19 of UN Security Council resolution 2093 (2013) and relevant AUPSC decisions. They look forward to considering the report to be submitted in this respect. They commended the support provided by the UN, the EU, and other international partners to AMISOM, stressed the need for long-term funding for both AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces, and emphasized the urgent need for new donors to come forward and support AMISOM through contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for AMISOM.

16.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC took note of the New Deal Compact, which was endorsed at the Brussels conference co-hosted by the FGS and the EU, on 16 September 2013, and aims to ensure Somali ownership, as well as predictable, coordinated and transparent international support.

17.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the FGS commitment to improving human rights. In that context, they expressed their concern at reports of violations of human rights. They also expressed their concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and emphasized the need for continued humanitarian access and assistance to millions of vulnerable Somalis.

18.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC strongly condemned the terrorist attack of 21 September 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya. They underlined that the Nairobi terrorist attack highlights the need for renewed efforts to address the scourge of terrorism. They reiterated their determination to continue their cooperative efforts in Somalia, in order to rid the country and the region of terrorist and criminal groups, and bring about lasting peace, security and stability in Somalia and the region.

 On the situation in the Central African Republic

19.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC expressed deep concern at the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), and stressed the need, as a matter of priority, to expedite efforts aimed at restoring security in the country.

20.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC underscored the primary responsibility of the CAR authorities to maintain law and order, promote security and protect the civilian population, giving particular attention to the specific needs of women and children. They strongly condemned the continued violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by armed groups, particularly Seleka elements, as well as continued atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). They encouraged the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (AFISM-CAR), after its deployment, and the United Nations Integrated Office in CAR (BINUCA), in the context of its regular reporting to the UN Security Council, to report on these human rights abuses and other violations perpetrated by armed groups, particularly against children and women.

21.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the ongoing efforts towards the early deployment of AFISM-CAR. They called on the international community to extend support to this end, to enable the AU and the region to stabilize the situation. They stressed the importance of the work of bilateral and multilateral partners to enhance the capacity of the CAR Defence and Security Forces, as well as their support to the DDR and SSR processes.

22.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC commended the efforts by the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS), the AU and the countries in the region in support of the ongoing transition and the restoration of constitutional order. They highlighted the critical role of the International Contact Group on CAR (ICG-CAR), co-chaired by the AU and the Republic of Congo, in ensuring coordinated international support to the ongoing efforts in the CAR. They looked forward to the next meeting of the ICG-CAR.

On the situation in the Sahel

23.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the significant progress being made in stabilizing the situation in Mali, which facilitated the peaceful and successful holding of the presidential election on 28 July and 11 August 2013. They expressed their congratulations to the newly-elected President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and renewed their commitment to continue to support Mali, in order to consolidate the gains made and enable the country to tackle the multidimensional challenges facing it.  They called on the Malian stakeholders to make renewed efforts towards the effective implementation of the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement of 18 June 2013 and the promotion of an inclusive national reconciliation process.

 

24.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC welcomed the progress made in the deployment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), as authorized by resolution 2100 (2013), and called on the members of the international community to continue to support the Mission, bearing in mind the continued fragility of the situation in northern Mali. They stressed the need for continued close collaboration between the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel and the UN Special Representative in Mali.

25.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC expressed concern about the security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel region, and stressed the need for a holistic approach to address the challenges at hand. They recognized that the strengthening of State institutions, inclusive economic and social development, respect for human rights and the rule of law are necessary to ensure long-term security, development and stability in the Sahel region. In this regard, they welcomed the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and the convening, on the margins of the 68th UN General Assembly, of a High-Level meeting on the Sahel. They welcomed the holding of the UN conference on cooperation on border control in the Sahel and Maghreb, in Rabat. They further welcomed the AU-led Nouakchott Process on the enhancement of security cooperation and the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo-Sahara region, as well as the follow-up meetings that took place. They expressed support to these two processes, encouraged the holding of follow-up activities, building on their conclusions, and emphasized the importance of regional, inter-regional, and international coordination in addressing the security threats in the Sahel region. They called on the international partners to fully support these processes.

26.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC reiterated their commitment to support the Sahel region to address the multifaceted challenges confronting the region in its security and socio-economic development efforts.

Strengthening the AU-UN Partnership

27.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC assessed the cooperation between the AU and the UN with regard to the promotion and maintenance of peace and security in Africa.They welcomed the progress made so far in forging a more coherent and effective partnership between the AU and the UN consistent with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and stressed that common and coordinated efforts undertaken by the two Councils in matters of peace and security should  be based on their respective authorities, competencies and capacities. In this respect, they noted with satisfaction the pursuit of the joint annual consultative meetings between the AUPSC and the members of the UNSC, and the continued functioning of the mechanisms established between the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat to foster strategic partnership and operational coordination. They further noted the collaborative efforts in conflict and crisis situations, the cooperation on a number of cross-cutting, including enhanced collaboration between the Peace and Security Department of the AU Commission and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on Children and Armed Conflict, and the enhancement of the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU).

 28.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC stressed the need for continued efforts to enhance the existing partnership both at strategic and operational levels, in order to ensure greater synergy and coherence and more effective response to the evolving peace and security challenges facing the African continent. In this respect, they undertook to conduct necessary consultations to ensure the effective implementation of the steps agreed upon at their previous meetings. Furthermore, the AUPSC and the members of the UNSC reiterated the need for the agenda of their annual joint consultative meetings to be agreed in advance and to include an item in such agenda on issues that require follow-up, in line of with the communiqué of the 5th annual joint consultative meeting held in New York, on 13 June 2010.

29.          The AUPSC and the members of the UNSC agreed to convene their 8th annual joint consultative meeting in New York, in June 2014. The date of the meeting will be determined through consultations between the Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council and the President of the UN Security Council.

Posted by Dagne Semu

Last updated by Tchioffo Kodjo

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