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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 397th meeting held on 23 September 2013, adopted the following decision on the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations in the area of peace and security:

Council,

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the African Union-United Nations Partnership: the Need for Greater Coherence [PSC/AHG/2. (CCCXCVII)]. Council also takes note of the statements made by the Chairperson of the Commission, the Chairperson of the Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations;

2. Reiterates its earlier press statements and communiqués on the partnership between the AU and the UN in the area of peace and security, in particular communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCVII), adopted at its 307th meeting held on 9 January 2012, which took note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Partnership between the African Union and the United Nations on Peace and Security: Towards Greater Strategic and Political Coherence [PSC/PR/2.(CCCVII)], commended the comprehensive and forward-looking strategic vision contained therein and elaborated a set of principles that should underpin this relationship, based on the recognition of the primary role of the UN Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security and the provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter on the role of regional organizations and arrangements;

3. Recalls the resolutions and presidential statements adopted by the UN Security Council on the relations between the UN and regional and subregional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security, notably resolution 2033 (2012) of 12 January 2012 and presidential statement PRST/2013/12 of 6 August 2013, as well as the resolution on the cooperation between the AU and the UN, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 September 2013;

4. Welcomes the progress achieved in forging a more coherent and effective partnership between the AU and the UN in the context of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and Article 17 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council. In this respect, Council notes with satisfaction:

i. the pursuit of the joint annual consultative meetings between the UN Security Council and the Peace and Security Council;

ii. the continued functioning of the mechanisms established between the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat to foster strategic partnership and operational coordination, notably the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Desk-to-Desk;

iii. the enhancement of the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU), with the appointment of a new Special Representative and the elevation of that position to the rank of an Under-Secretary General;

iv. the continued efforts to devise innovative approaches to address complex challenges to peace and security on the African continent, as demonstrated by the joint renewal, by Council, on 19 July 2013 [(PSC/COMM.1/CCCLXXXV)], and by the Security Council, on 30 July 2013 [resolution 2113(2013)], of the mandate of the African Union United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the extension, by the Security Council, on 6 March 2013, of the UN support package to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), using UN assessed contributions [resolution 2093(2013)] , and the collaboration between the AU High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP) and various UN missions;

v. the collaborative efforts in other conflict and crisis situations, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region, in Mali, in Guinea-Bissau, and in the Central African Republic (CAR); and

vi. the cooperation in a number of other cross-cutting issues, ranging from mine action, to Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Security Sector Reform (SSR), post-conflict reconstruction and development, counter-terrorism, and non-proliferation;

5. Expresses concern, nonetheless, that these innovative approaches are not underpinned by a shared strategic vision and remain ad hoc, with the result that gains in one area are not extended to other aspects of the AU-UN partnership. Council notes that this situation has resulted in inadequate consultations on critical conflict and crisis situations and inconsistent and unpredictable support to AU-led efforts;

6. Reiterates its conviction that the challenging and increasingly complex situations on the ground highlight the need for greater collaboration between the AU and the UN on the basis of clearly articulated principles, namely African ownership and priority-setting, flexible and innovative application of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, respect for the principle of subsidiarity, including consultations prior to decision-making, division of labour and sharing of responsibilities, and effective use of the comparative advantage of the AU and its Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in addressing peace and security challenges in the continent;

7. Notes, in this regard, that the UN Security Council, in presidential statement PRST/2013/12, having recalled that cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations and arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security is an integral part of collective security and can improve the latter, expressed its intention to consider further steps to promote closer and more operational cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations in the fields of conflict early warning and prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building, and to ensure the coherence, synergy and collective effectiveness of their efforts. Council urges the Security Council also to take steps, as articulated above, to foster a more strategic vision of the partnership between the AU and the UN on matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security;

8. Agrees that the following steps should be taken as a matter of urgency, to enhance the AU-UN partnership in the area of peace and security, in order better to respond to the complex challenges facing the two organizations on the ground:

a. On the relations between the Peace and Security Council and the Security Council, Council, while looking forward to the joint annual consultative meeting between the two organs scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa on 8 October 2013, calls for the following steps to be taken:

i. systematic consultations between the two Councils, including through their Chairs, prior to taking decisions on matters relating to the continent;

ii. adoption of practical steps to ensure that the joint annual consultative meetings between the two Councils are more structured and substantive;

iii. immediate implementation of the existing agreement by the two Councils to undertake joint field missions to enhance synergy and facilitate the formulation of cohesive positions and strategies in dealing with conflict situations in Africa;

iv. effective involvement of the African members of the Security Council in the drafting of resolutions, presidential statements and statements to the press concerning Africa, including through the designation of African states as pen holders/co-pen holders on African matters, as part of the overall efforts to ensure that lead roles for country-specific situations and thematic issues are fairly distributed among all the members of the Security Council;

v. adequate, timeous, informal and formal consultations with the AU and its Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, as may be relevant, on the drafting of resolutions, presidential statements and statements to the press on matters relating to Africa; and

vi. convening, in Addis Ababa, of consultations between the Peace and Security Council and the members of the UN Security Council, to exchange views on issues of common concern;

b. On the relations between the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat, Council, while looking forward to the 7th meeting of the JTF scheduled to take place in New York on 30 September 2013, calls for the following steps to be taken:


i. effective use of the JTF to discuss strategic cooperation between the two organizations, including agreement on the principles that should underpin the AU-UN partnership;

ii. sharing of analysis and effective follow-up and implementation of decisions agreed to with respect to specific conflict situations;

iii. systematic joint assessments of situations of common concern, as had been done in Guinea-Bissau and Somalia;

iv. formal adoption and effective implementation of the Mediation Guidelines which had been agreed upon by the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat in 2011; and

v. enhancement of the relations between AU and UN missions on the ground in conflict;

c. With regard to funding for AU-led peace support operations, Council reiterates its call for the Security Council to:

i. address in a systematic manner the issue of the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of the funding of AU-led peace support operations undertaken with the consent of the Security Council, through the use of assessed contributions, bearing in mind, that, in undertaking peace support operations, the AU is contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security in a manner consistent with the provisions of Chapter VIII on the UN Charter;

ii. endorse and support the implementation, as an initial step, of all the recommendations contained in the Report of the African Union-United Nations Panel (Prodi Panel) established under Security Council resolution 1809 (2008) to consider the modalities for support to African Union Peacekeeping Operations (A/63/666-S/2008/813);

9. Stresses that, in order to ensure that international endeavours and partnerships geared towards the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa are predicated upon African leadership and ownership, as called for by the Tripoli Declaration [SP/ASSEMBLY/PS/DECL.(I)] adopted by the Special Session on the Consideration and Resolution of Conflicts in Africa, held on 31 August 2009, further progress needs to be made in the overall operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture. In this respect, Council agrees on the following steps:

i. greater consultations between the Peace and Security Council and the African members on the Security Council, to ensure that decisions adopted by Council are effectively promoted and defended in the Security Council;

ii. a pledge by all AU member states elected to the Security Council to defend and promote AU decisions in the Security Council;

iii. the convening of regular meetings, in New York and in Addis Ababa, between members of the Peace and Security Council and AU members on the Security Council, to exchange views and discuss strategy;

iv. the effective implementation of the relevant provisions of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council and the Memorandum of Understanding between the AU and its Regional Mechanisms in the area of peace and security, bearing in mind the primary responsibility of the AU in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa;

v. the adoption of the immediate steps to strengthen the AU Permanent Mission to the United Nations, including through the establishment of a dedicated standby team to support African members on the Security Council, pending the submission by the Commission of concrete proposals on further steps in this regard to the next Assembly of the Union, in January 2014; and

vi. the mobilization of greater financial support by African member states to African peace efforts, including through specific voluntary contributions to the AU Peace Fund, as called for by the Declaration on the Report of the Peace and Security Council on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa, adopted by the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held on 26 and 27 May 2013 [Assembly/AU/Dec.474-489(XXI)], and other contributions as may be required;

10. Stresses the need for continued efforts to enhance the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the UN Security Council, building on the efforts made by some members of the United Nations. In this respect, Council requests the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on specific practical ways in which the AU, working in partnership with other interested states and organizations, can make concrete proposals and mobilize the necessary support to take these efforts forward;

11. Recognizes that efforts to enhance the AU-UN partnership on matters relating to peace and security and ensure that African positions and interests are duly taken into account cannot be separated from the overall and much-needed reform of the UN Security Council, in order to bring to an end the historical prejudice against Africa with regard to the membership and composition of this organ, and calls for renewed efforts by the AU in this respect;

12. Stresses the need for continued and enhanced efforts by the AU and the UN, including its Regional Mechanisms, and the UN, more effectively to support ongoing processes:

i. in Guinea Bissau, to consolidate the significant progress made to date and, facilitate the mobilization of adequate resources for the holding, as scheduled, of free, fair and transparent elections, in order to complete the current transition;

ii. in Mali, to consolidate the tremendous gains made over the past months,

iii. in the DRC and the Great Lakes, to ensure the effective implementation of the 24 February 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region,

iv. in Somalia, to strengthen AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces,

v. in the CAR, in order to expedite the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (AFISM-CAR), through the early adoption of a UN Security Council resolution that would pave the way for the provision of adequate support to the AU, and

vi. in the relations between Sudan and South Sudan, building on the significant progress made in recent months;

13. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to forward this communiqué to the Secretary-General and the Security Council, for their information and action as may be appropriate, and to submit quarterly reports on its implementation;

14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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