The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 628thmeeting, held on 29 September 2016, was briefed by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, and the United Nations Special Representative to the African Union and Head of United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), Haile Menkerios, on ‘Strengthening the partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union on issues of peace and security in Africa’ and adopted the following decision;

1.    Takes note of the briefings provided by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the United Nations Special Representative to the African Union and Head of UNOAU, as well as the statements delivered by the representatives of China, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America;

2.    Recalls its previous press statements and communiques on AU-UN partnership, in particular the communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCVII)]of its 307th meeting held on 9 January 2012, which considered the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the partnership between the AU and the UN on peace and security;

3.    Welcomes the Report of the UN Secretary-General on Strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on issues of Peace and Security in Africa, including the Work of the United Nations Office to the African Union (S/2016/780) which emphasizes the need for new and stronger ways to address international peace and security challenges and renews the UN’s commitment to strengthen partnership between the two Organizations on the basis of collective responsibility to respond early, coherently and decisively to prevent and manage conflicts;

4.    Commends the significant progress made in AU-UN partnership in the past five years and stresses that it develops into a systematic, predictable and strategic one. Furthermore, Council welcomes the signing by the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission of an overarching framework on enhancing partnership in peace and security in Africa;

5.    Recognizes the primacy of the UN Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, as defined by the UN Charter and acknowledges the need for Africa to enhance its capacity to address the scourge of conflicts on the continent. In this regard, Council stresses the importance of further strengthening the partnership between the AU PSC and the UN Security Council consistent with Chapter VII of the UN Charter for the enhancement of coordination on peace and security issues in Africa, to ensure that AU views are taken into account;

6.    Reiterates its call for a division of labour based on comparative advantages, burden sharing and consultative decision-making between the AU PSC and the UN Security Council in addressing peace and security challenges in Africa, as a way forward to forging meaningful partnerships between the two organizations. Consistent with such a framework, Council further reiterates its appeal to the UN for the use of UN assessed contributions in support of AU Peace Support Operations (PSOs), as recommended in the Report of the UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) which called on the UN to consider providing support from UN assessed contributions, on a case-by-case basis, for those AU PSOs authorized by the UN Security Council;

7.    Reaffirms the importance of mobilizing more significant resources from within the continent in support of the AU peace and security agenda. In this regard, Council calls on all AU Member States to foster the process aiming at finding practical and consensual ways on how to effectively implement the Assembly Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.605(XXVII) relating to the Peace Fund, as endorsed by the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July 2016;

8.    Underscores the important role played by the African Members in the UN Security Council (A3) to defend the African common positions in the UN Security Council and emphasizes the need for the A3 to maintain unity in their interaction within the UN Security Council;

9.    Notes the close cooperation that exists between the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat, including the consultations among senior officials and the holding of regular Desk-to-Desk meetings and encourages them to pursue and intensify their efforts towards greater coordination and collaboration. Council  stresses the need to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the AU Commission is adequately resourced to strengthen the strategic partnership with the UN in the area of peace and security, and calls upon the UN Security Council to consider authorizing the strengthening of its Secretariat to achieve this objective;

10.    Decides, in this regard, to continue its efforts to strengthen collaboration with the UN Security Council, including, among others, by increasing dialogue and implementation of the conclusions adopted by the AU PSC and the UN Security Council during the annual joint consultative meetings, aiming at fostering closer coordination and cooperation between the two Organizations;

11.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Limi Mohammed

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