Is this the most under-reported news from Africa? Some papers have carried it, but this major development seems to have received remarkably little comment.

I am publishing the story as carried by the New York Times and Bloomberg, followed by the full UN Security Council debate and then the press release put out by the UN afterwards.

Martin


 

A United States Special Forces soldier led a group of soldiers from Chad in a counterterrorism training exercise in March by the Chari River in Chad. Credit Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Source: New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — A French-American standoff over the vast, dangerous Sahel region of Africa is over: On Wednesday, after weeks of tense negotiations, the Security Council authorized a new multinational military force to fight terrorist groups operating in the area.

France had pushed for the Security Council to authorize the force, from five African countries, to combat terrorism, drug traffickers and people smugglers thriving in the Sahel. The French ambassador to the United Nations, François Delattre, on Wednesday called the authorization a “landmark” resolution that would need the world’s financial support in the coming months.

The United States had objected to giving the force the authority to “use all necessary means,” which is the most robust form of Security Council authorization. The Americans argued that the mandate was too broad and that it was not legally necessary — and in the final text, adopted unanimously, that language was dropped.

The counterterrorism force is to be made up of 5,000 troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

The next French-American diplomatic battle could well be over who will finance the mission. For now, the money for the force will not come from the United Nations peacekeeping budget. The United States pays the largest share of that budget, and the Trump administration’s envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, is pushing to reduce it.

United Nations peacekeeping forces are already operating in Mali, which has been racked by a domestic ethnic rebellion and by groups linked to Al Qaeda.

Many countries in West and Central Africa are former French colonies, and France has deep economic and security interests in the region.

Both France and the United States maintain a military footprint in the Sahel, where groups linked to Al Qaeda proliferate. The latest terrorist attack came Sunday on a resort near Bamako, the capital of Mali, killing five people.

“We wish to move quickly,” the ambassador of Mali, Issa Konfourou, told the Security Council on Wednesday, “because the terrorist groups will not wait.”

Also at the United Nations on Wednesday, Secretary General António Guterres announced the appointment of Vladimir Voronkov, a Russian diplomat now based in Vienna, as the organization’s undersecretary general for counterterrorism, a new position. The appointment makes Mr. Voronkov the highest-ranking Russian in the United Nations system.

 


 

France Backs Down on West Africa Force Funding Amid U.S. Spat

21 June 2017, 18:34 GMT+1
  • UN resolution patches up a rift between historic allies
  • U.S. determined to lower UN peacekeeping contributions
A French soldier stands inside a military helicopter during a visit by French President to France’s Barkhane counter-terrorism operation in Africa’s Sahel region in Gao, northern Mali, on May 19, 2017.Photographer: Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution backing a 5,000-strong West African force to combat terrorism in the Sahel region after France agreed to drop a provision on funding it in response to U.S. opposition.

With the U.S. balking at the possibility the mission would be added to the UN’s peacekeeping budget, the French-drafted resolution omitted a request for the secretary-general to come up with options to finance the force as well as any reference to Chapter 7, the UN requirement to “use all necessary means.”

Under President Donald Trump, Ambassador Nikki Haley has pressed to rein in UN spending generally and its peacekeeping forces in particular. The U.S. pays about 28 percent of the UN’s $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget, more than the combined contribution by China, Japan and Germany, the next largest contributors.

The European Union has already committed $56 million to the Sahel force, and the resolution encourages a donor conference to raise further funding.

The wrangling over the resolution highlighted a rare rift at the UN between France and the U.S., which typically team up with the U.K. in efforts to persuade Russia and China — the other members of the veto-wielding Security Council — on resolutions.

“This is a small win for the U.S., and Nikki Haley can point to it as proof the Trump administration is not doing other powers any unnecessary favors in the Security Council,” said Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “But by highlighting divisions with an ally like France on a relatively minor issue like this force, the U.S. also looks a little petty.”

Five nations — Niger, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania — will be responsible for ensuring the troops have adequate resources to deal with groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel, a semiarid region stretching along the southern end of the Sahara. European nations including France worry that those groups could launch terrorist attacks on Europe.

French diplomats said it was important to get U.S. backing for the resolution rather than risk a veto.

“With this text we open a new chapter in our partnership with Africa,” France’s UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said. “There is a strong dynamic, a strong momentum that will come out of this resolution.”


 

Full UN Security Council Debate

S/PV.7971
Security Council

Seventy-second year

7971st meeting

Thursday, 15 June 2017, 10 a.m.
New York

Provisional
President: Mr. Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia (Plurinational State of))
Members:0 China Mr. Liu Jieyi
Egypt Mr. Moustafa
Ethiopia Mr. Alemu
France Mr. Delattre
Italy Mr. Cardi
Japan Mr. Kawamura
Kazakhstan Mr. Temenov
Russian Federation Mr. Iliichev
Senegal Mr. Seck
Sweden Mr. Skau
Ukraine Mr. Yelchenko
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mr. Wilson
United States of America Mrs. Haley
Uruguay Mrs. Carrión

Agenda

Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security

African Union

Report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support for African Union peace support operations (S/2017/454)

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security

African Union

Report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support for African Union peace support operations (S/2017/454)

The President (spoke in Spanish): In accordance with rule 39 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite the following briefers to participate in this meeting: Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General; Mr. Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union; and Mr. Donald Kaberuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund.

Mr. Chergui is joining today’s meeting via video-teleconference from Addis Ababa.

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

I wish to draw the attention of Council members to document S/2017/454, which contains the report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support for African Union peace support operations.

I now give the floor to Ms. Viotti.

Ms. Viotti: I am pleased to introduce the report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support to African Union peace support operations (S/2017/454). The report is submitted pursuant to resolution 2320 (2016) of 18 November 2016, in which the Security Council also requested the Secretary-General to continue working closely with the African Union (AU) to refine options for further cooperation on relevant AU proposals, including joint planning and the process for mandating AU peace support operations, subject to authorization by the Council, as well as on United Nations financing and support.

The international community must be positioned to adequately respond creatively to dynamic security contexts around the world, and regional organizations are central to this effort. Building on sustained efforts to strengthen the United Nations-African Union partnership, our organizations are deeply engaged in the development of innovative, forward-leaning and lasting collaborative systems. We must move away from ad hoc arrangements. The report before the Council presents proposals for institutionalized approaches to joint planning and mandating, financing and supporting African Union peace support operations.

The report, along with the accompanying update from the African Union, is the result of six months of coordination and cooperation between the Secretariat and the AU Commission. Since the African Union Mission in Burundi in 2003, the United Nations has provided many types of support to African Union operations. These include planning, logistical support and a variety of financing mechanisms. Some types of support have been more effective than others.

The earlier joint United Nations-African Union review of mechanisms to finance and support African Union peace support operations examined over a decade of cooperation in support for African Union operations. The present report builds on this effort and proposes more predictable approaches to supporting African Union operations in future. Our aim is not to replicate earlier arrangements but to develop new approaches that reflect lessons learned and to develop the capacities of the African Union and the roles of other partners.

Predictable approaches are required, as the United Nations-African Union partnership is, has been and will be the preferred modality of pursuing peace and security in Africa. To this end, the Secretary-General and African Union Chairperson recently convened the first United Nations-African Union Annual Conference at United Nations Headquarters. During that meeting, they signed the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, further underscoring the commitment to working closely together based on mutual respect, recognition of complementarity, interdependence and solidarity.

The report also highlights the importance of compliance and oversight, particularly in the areas of human rights and conduct and discipline. These are critical concerns in all peace operations, including those mandated or authorized by the African Union. We are encouraged that the African Union is rigorously working to address these issues, including by further developing its compliance mechanisms. The United Nations will continue to provide any technical assistance to the African Union’s implementation of relevant compliance frameworks.

The African Union is an invaluable partner to the United Nations and we are enormously grateful for Africa’s contributions to building a better future for all. As the Secretary-General has often said, the world can greatly benefit from African wisdom, African ideas and African solutions. As noted in the update provided by the African Union, AU operations undertake a wide variety of tasks in a wide variety of circumstances. These include deploying troops rapidly to tackle dynamic security challenges, addressing asymmetric threats and ensuing robust peace enforcement.

Different situations will require different planning, financing and support arrangements, but these can be underpinned by jointly agreed principles and decision-making processes. Effective cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in deploying and supporting peace support operations requires not only engagement between the Secretariat and the Commission, but also between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council in mandating and reporting.

A common approach among Member States is also required to address the perennial issue of securing predictable and sustainable financial support for African Union operations. Where United Nations assessed contributions are authorized, the General Assembly will also play a critical oversight role. The concepts, process, conditions and options presented in the report should be considered as a framework that can be flexibly adapted for new operations. Some additional work is required before this framework can be fully utilized, including the development of joint planning and budgeting methodologies. Some of the bureaucratic processes of the two Organizations may also need to be reconciled.

I can assure Council members that the Secretary-General is fully committed to Africa and the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. His report shows that there are no technical challenges that our organizations cannot overcome together. We count on the Council’s support to help translate words into action. Together, we can create more efficient and effective solutions to better respond to the needs of the African people and advance international peace and security.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I thank Ms. Viotti for her briefing.

I now give the floor to Mr. Chergui.

Mr. Chergui: Allow me from the outset to express the appreciation of the African Union Commission to the members of the Council for inviting me and Mr. Kaberuka to address the Council with the aim of discussing options for further cooperation and support to African Union peace support operations pursuant to resolution 2320 (2016).

Enhancing the financing of the Africa Union, including its peace support operations, is a central priority for African Union member States. It should be recalled that at the 15 January Addis Ababa Summit, the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government decided that member States would fund 25 per cent of the peace support operations budget. During the July 2016 Kigali Summit, the African Union Assembly decided to institute a universal levy of 0.2 per cent on eligible imports to finance the African Union. The 0.2 per cent levy will endow the Peace Fund with a total of $400 million by 2020.

I wish to underline that, with respect to peace support operations, the fundamental problem that the African Union Assembly’s financial decision intended to address is the lack of predictable and sustainable financing for African Union-mandated or authorized peace support operations. The African Union has demonstrated its political will in deploying peace support operations in the most challenging environments. Thirteen missions have been deployed since the establishment of the African Union. In all these cases, the financing arrangements were ad hoc and highly unpredictable. Tremendous sacrifices have been made and, in many cases, the ultimate price has been paid by our troops.

Donations in kind made by all member States have also played an important role in the deployment of peace support operations and have often not always been reflected in the overall accounting of contributions to have been made. In taking these financial decisions, the Assembly sought to address three key issues: first, the lack of a dedicated African Union operational peace and security budget; secondly, overreliance on external, ad hoc and unpredictable sources of funding; and thirdly, the absence of a credible African Union instrument that could provide the right accountability framework for managing African Union member State and external financing.

Resolution 2320 (2016) was a major milestone in enhancing United Nations cooperation with and support to African Union peace support operations. It expressed the United Nations willingness to consider African Union proposals for funding its peace support operations, consistent with applicable international obligations, accountability, transparency and compliance frameworks for African Union peace support operations.

I would like to make four key observations on the progress being made on the Peace Fund for the Council’s consideration.

First, the African Union Peace and Security Council, at its 689th meeting, held on 13 May, endorsed the report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the Peace Fund. The report contained proposals on the scope of African Union operations, the implementation of an enhanced governance structure and accountability framework, and the status of implementation of relevant provisions of resolution 2320 (2016). This endorsement by the Peace and Security Council was a milestone and an expression of the political commitment of African Union member States to the realization and effectiveness of the Peace Fund. The Security Council may wish to consider this report and communiqué of the Peace and Security Council, which has now been officially transmitted to the Secretary-General, especially in current and future discussions of options for possible predictable and sustainable United Nations support to African Union peace support operations.

Secondly, questions have been repeatedly raised on the envisaged scope of operations that will require possible United Nations assess contributions. This question has been partly addressed by the Peace and Security Council in its decision to adopt a case-by-case approach based on the scope of the operations in meeting the new demands of the evolving nature of security challenges in Africa. At the same time, the African Union Commission has developed a common-costs document that clearly articulates the viable operational requirements that could form the basis of burden-sharing between the African Union and the United Nations in future Africa Union support operations. That document is consistent with the African Union’s strategic priority of financing the African Standby Force and its rapid-deployment capability in three phases, namely, predeployment, deployment and post-deployment. The Commission will remain seized of the matter and will continue to inform the Security Council on the areas of support that can be addressed within the resources in the Peace Fund.

Thirdly, the most central issue confronting the Africa Union at this stage is the need to mobilize resources from AU member States. I am happy to report that, currently, almost 30 per cent of African Union member States have made contributions to the Fund. Some member States expressed their willingness to make their statutory contributions during the recently held meeting of the Peace and Security Council. In addition, the Chairperson of the African Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, recently extended and expanded the mandate of Mr. Donald Kaberuka as the African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund and for the financing of the Union. We are certain that those significant steps will sustain the political momentum, which will lead to the accelerated operationalization of the Peace Fund.

Fourthly, let me state, in the clearest terms possible, the unflinching resolve of the African Commission to strictly observe and promote transparency and good governance, not only in the daily management of the Peace Fund but on all resources devoted to African Union-led peace support operations. The Chairperson of the Commission will appoint the members of the board of trustees of the Peace Fund in the coming days.

Finally, the African Union remains confident that this discussion on the Peace Fund and the possibility of predictable funding, including through United Nations assessed contributions, is consolidating the strategic partnership that has emerged between the African Union and the United Nations. It should be recalled that, on 19 April, during the annual African Union-United Nations conference in New York, Secretary-General Guterres and the African Union Commission Chairperson signed a Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. That was an important step towards ensuring more institutionalized cooperation between both organizations in addressing the security challenges that Africa continues to face. The African Union remains committed to that partnership. The success achieved in our joint efforts to enhance support to African peace support operations will no doubt be a litmus test.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I thank Mr. Chergui for his briefing.

I now give the floor to Mr. Kaberuka.

Mr. Kaberuka: It is an honour and a privilege for me to be here for this important debate. I would like to thank the Bolivian presidency and the entire membership of the Security Council for inviting me and the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security to make a contribution to the update by the African Union to the Security Council on resolution 2320 (2016), with a special focus on the African Union’s Peace Fund.

Over the years, and as the nature of international peace and security threats has evolved, various high-level reports and recommendations have made three key points consistently: first, that the crises the world faces today are often so complex that no one single organization is able to provide the needed response; secondly, that regional organizations bring a comparative advantage to the table; and, thirdly, that there is a need for financing mechanisms that are predictable rather than voluntary or ad hoc. A well-funded African Peace and Security Architecture is not simply an African priority, it is a global public good.

A significant amount of work has been undertaken since the adoption of resolution 2320 (2016), on 18 November 2016, as members heard from the Commissioner. I would particularly like to commend the work undertaken by the United Nations Secretariat and by the Commission to follow up on the relevant provisions of the resolution, in particular the consultative process carried out between March and April. I am pleased to note that the process was conducted in the spirit of true partnership and collaboration. I look forward to seeing more processes of that nature between our two organizations.

One of the key issues on which the Council asked to be updated under in resolution 2320 (2016) was progress on the operationalization of the AU Peace Fund, including the overall benchmarks and timelines. Over the past few months, the detailed governance arrangements for the Peace Fund were developed. They were presented to the AU Peace and Security Council on 30 May, and I am pleased to confirm that the Council fully endorsed the proposals. Let me briefly recap the proposed governance arrangements.

As High Representative for the Peace Fund, I was requested to put forward ideas on how the Peace Fund could be financed, structured and governed for the peace and security challenges the continent faces, in a much more predictable way and while avoiding overreliance on multiple unpredictable funding channels. The July 2016 session of the AU Assembly adopted the proposal that the Peace Fund be structured around three windows: mediation and preventive diplomacy, institutional capacity and peace support operations. In addition, a crisis reserve facility — a revolving trust fund provided for under article 21, paragraph 4, of the Peace and Security Council Protocol on Peace and Security — would be established within the Peace Fund to enable rapid responses to unforeseen crises, from any unutilized balances.

The AU policy organs, in particular the Peace and Security Council, have the political authority to guide the activities of the Peace Fund. The Chairperson of the Commission, supported by an executive management committee, will oversee the Fund’s day-to-day operations. A board of trustees will be put in place to ensure strategic coherence, enhanced governance and the financial and administrative oversight of the Fund. External partners to the Fund will be invited to nominate two representatives to the board of trustees. An independent evaluation group will provide periodic evaluation on the use and impact of the Fund. A dedicated Peace Fund secretariat will be established within the Commission to manage day-to-day operations and will report to the executive management committee. Finally, an independent Fund manager will be recruited to ensure the highest standards of accountability and compliance with fiduciary rules and procedures in the management of the Fund.

I believe that structure reflects international best practice in terms of fund governance arrangements and will reassure both African member countries and partners to the fund. Of course, it has been adapted to reflect the fact that the African Union is an intergovernmental organization, and not a corporate body. It is for that reason that the Fund will finance only activities that emanate from a decision by a competent AU organ, in this case the Assembly of Heads of State, the Peace and Security Council or the Chairperson, in line with the powers set out in the Protocol.

With respect to the timelines of their implementation, the Chairperson of the Commission aims to expedite the operationalization of the Peace Fund governance arrangements in 2017. The adoption of the Peace Fund instruments and the the governance structures that I have referred to will be implemented before the end of the year. With those new Governance arrangements, the AU Peace Fund will provide a more effective instrument through which the AU and its partners in the international community will be able to work together to promote the cause of peace and stability in Africa and the world.

I am pleased to say that, as of May — as the Commissioner for Peace and Security has already told the Council — 14 AU member States had made their contribution to the Peace Fund, even before the establishment of the new governance arrangements. Those contributions represent just over 12 per cent of the of the target set for 2017. As part of my new expanded mandate, which is focused on the Peace Fund as well as the overall financing of the African Union, I will be focusing most of my time assisting the Chairperson in implementing the various mechanisms and ensuring that AU member States respect their financial commitments to the African Union. I am confident that the 2017 Peace Fund target can be met.

While AU member States are primarily responsible for financing the Peace Fund, partnerships will continue to play a vital role in supporting the peace and security activities on the African continent. Therefore, deepening cooperation with partners, both traditional and emerging, is imperative.

The current international peace and security architecture is under significant pressure, given the complexity of the challenges that the world faces today. Therefore, forging an effective partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is of the greatest strategic importance for our collective security. In that respect, the financing partnership between the African Union and the United Nations is critical in that it offers a pathway to more predictable funding of AU peace support operations. That enhanced form of partnership must necessarily be based on the two organizations’ respective authorities, competencies and capacities. It must also observe the principles of burden-sharing, consultative decision-making, comparative advantage, division of labour and mutual accountability.

There should be no illusions with respect to the political complexity of such an undertaking. However, to the extent that there is accord regarding the urgency of improving the international peace and security architecture in order to address today’s security challenges, arriving at a shared solution for new financing arrangement and authorized peace support will be a great achievement for both the African Union and the United Nations.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I thank Mr. Kaberuka for his briefing.

I shall now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements.

Mr. Alemu (Ethiopia): I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this briefing on behalf of the Secretary-General regarding options for authorizing and supporting the African Union (AU) Commission’s peace support operations. We also thank the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for his briefing on resolution 2320 (2016). We also express our appreciation to Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, for her briefing on the various options proposed, in line with resolution 2320 (2016).

We are also pleased to have with us Mr. Smaïl Chergui Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, via video teleconference, as well as Mr. Donald Kaberuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund. We are grateful for their efforts on the issue and for their briefings on steps taken by the African side.

I am delivering my statement on behalf of the three African members of the Security Council, namely, Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal.

We are meeting against the backdrop of some important developments over the past six months that have had great significance for the partnership between the AU and the United Nations. We have new leadership in both organizations and there is a renewed commitment to elevate the AU-United Nations cooperation and partnership to new heights. The visits by the Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, to the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa in January and by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, to the United Nations Headquarters in New York in April serve as a reaffirmation of the resolve by the new leaderships to further strengthen the cooperation and partnership between the two organizations as a matter of priority. The joint United Nations-African Union framework for enhancing partnership signed by the leaderships of the two organizations on 19 April is indeed a clear testament to the renewed commitment to work together to, inter alia, address common challenges to peace and security in the African continent across the whole spectrum of the conflict cycle.

On numerous occasions, the Security Council has reiterated its commitment to cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, as well as to arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. There is indeed growing recognition that a stronger global-regional partnership is needed in order to effectively respond to the peace and security challenges and threats and improve our collective security.

On that basis, the Council has expressed its determnination to take effective steps to further enhance the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular the African Union. Of course, we all recall the concrete recommendations made by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, which presented its report on 16 June 2015 (see S/2015/446). It included the recommendations regarding the strategic partnership with the African Union, which were later incorporated in the Secretary-General’s implementation report (S/2015/682). The Panel’s report of the did not put the spotlight on the AU without reason. The reason was explained nowhere more cogently than in the Secretary-General’s report on options for authorization and support for African Union peace support operations:

“Considering the limitations of the United Nations peacekeeping doctrine with regard to peace enforcement and counter-terrorism, the African Union peace support operations are a tool for the United Nations to better discharge its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in certain situations.” (S/2017/454, para. 61).

The adoption of resolution 2320 (2016) represents a tangible testament to the Council’s commitment to strengthen the cooperation and partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. In that context, the Council acknowledged the need for more support in order to strengthen AU peace operations and enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing African Union peace operations authorized by the Security Council. In that regard, we appreciate the work undertaken by the Secretariat of the United Nations and the African Union Commission over the past six months to follow up on the implementation of resolution 2320 (2016), in particular the consultative process undertaken between March and April. Accordingly, we welcome the report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support for African Union peace support operations. We also welcome the report to the Chairperson of the Commission, which provides important details on the proposed scope of operations, progress made, future benchmarks and timelines for implementation of the AU Peace Fund, as well as frameworks that support accountability, transparency and compliance as the basis for operationalizing the financing arrangement.

We believe that the four financing options identified in the reports are sound and realistic regarding how to help the Security Council consider taking its first concrete steps on the financing of AU peace support operations. Furthermore, ensuring compliance with international humanitarian and human rights standards is very important for the credibility, legitimacy and, ultimately, the effectiveness of AU peace support operations. In that regard, the progress that the African Union has made on finalizing its human rights conduct and discipline compliance framework is encouraging, and we look forward to its adoption in September. The support of the United Nations for effective implementation of the AU’s compliance and accountability framework is crucial, and we commend the Secretary-General for his willingness to assist the AU in that regard.

Lastly, the Security Council has already expressed its intention to take practical steps to establish the principle that AU-mandated peace support operations authorized by the Council should be financed through United Nations assessed contributions, with decisions on the financing of specific missions to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Now that the groundwork has been done in line with resolution 2320 (2016), we would like to ask the Security Council to take practical steps towards adopting a substantive resolution that establishes that principle. We will work with Council members to achieve that objective with a view to realizing the full potential of the United Nations-AU partnership to swiftly and effectively respond to the complex threats and challenges to peace and security today.

Mr. Liu Jieyi (China) (spoke in Chinese): China commends Bolivia for convening today’s meeting, and would like to thank Mr. Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU); Mr. Kaberuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund; and Ms. Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, for their briefings.

As the continent with the world’s greatest development potential, Africa is an important force in our efforts to achieve world peace and promote shared development. In the past few years, we have seen the countries of Africa commit to cooperation, self-reliance, unity and coordination and to actively promoting the resolution of African issues in African ways. They have strengthened and developed their collective security mechanisms and achieved outstanding results in dealing with the conflicts in Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, thereby making important contributions to the maintenance of peace and security in Africa and the world at large. China heartily commends those efforts.

Some parts of Africa are still facing severe political, security and humanitarian challenges. Terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army, Al-Shabaab and others are still a threat to security. Transnational organized crime in the Sahel and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea are still rampant. The international community must continue to enhance its attention and support through continued assistance aimed at improving Africa’s peace, security and development capacities.

In view of the evolving state of peace and security in Africa, the United Nations and the African Union have been actively exploring the ways and areas in which they can deepen their cooperation. Last year, the Security Council adopted resolution 2320 (2016), designed to enhance that cooperation. In April, the two organizations signed the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. A few days ago, the Secretary-General submitted a report to the Security Council (S/2017/454), as did the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, supporting autonomous African Union peace operations. China would like to commend the Council for focusing on finding solutions to African issues and supporting capacity-building for peace and security in Africa. We hope it will continue that momentum and focus its future cooperation efforts on the following areas.

First, the Council should fully respect the role of African countries in settling their own problems and ensure that it is a dominant one. The African Union and Africa’s other regional and subregional organizations have unique advantages and a wealth of experience in resolving hotspot issues on the continent. Looking at the success achieved by the Security Council and the African Union in addressing many such issues, we believe that African countries have the ability and wisdom they need to handle their problems appropriately. The Council should fully respect African proposals and ideas, as well as the sovereignty and views of countries hosting peace operations, and enhance its cooperation and coordination with the AU and subregional organizations with a view to creating political synergies.

Secondly, the Council should work to continually improve the cooperation mechanisms between the AU and the United Nations. While our Organization has been increasing the closeness of its cooperation with the African Union in responding to issues in problem areas in Africa, both sides must further improve that cooperation and coordination by making the mechanisms more effective and emphasizing key areas such as conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction. They should work to gradually improve joint planning, decision-making, assessment and reporting, and to jointly implement early-warning procedures for crises, strategic assessments, the creation of mandates, deployments and other efforts. The goal will be to ensure that strategic coordination between the United Nations and the AU and other regional organizations can be implemented in each particular area at various stages and levels, so as make cooperation more efficient.

Thirdly, the Council should take concrete measures to help the African Union improve its capacity-building. The AU’s autonomous peace operations have become a very important route by which the international community can respond to conflicts and crises in Africa. They represent a significant complement to United Nations peacekeeping operations and play a major role in maintaining peace and stability on the continent. Owing to its difficulties in obtaining financial resources, equipment and technology, the African Union has been struggling with the challenge of sustaining effective autonomous operations. China therefore welcomes the Secretary-General’s recommendations for supporting those operations.

We believe that the United Nations should listen to the needs and wishes of the AU by helping it speed up its development of its standby and rapid-reaction forces, counter regional terrorism and establish sustainable, stable and predictable financing mechanisms for its peace operations. We hope that the Security Council and the Secretariat will listen seriously to African countries’ views and concerns and will regard African priorities as their own, working with all possible speed to provide the necessary financing, equipment and resources for African peace operations in support of the efforts of the countries and regional organizations concerned to maintain peace and security.

China has always worked actively to implement cooperative efforts with African countries in the area of peace and security. President Xi Jinping has outlined five pillars and 10 cooperation plans aimed at building the Sino-African relationship that cover peace and security issues. We have committed to providing military aid amounting to a total of $100 million by 2020 in support of the AU’s standby and rapid-reaction forces. The China-United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund is now operational and will have a lifespan of 10 years. It will help the United Nations focus on peace and development projects in Africa.

Currently, China has 2,600 peacekeepers deployed to seven missions, including Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. China has dispatched escort vessels to the waters off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden in an effort to help regional countries fight piracy. We are ready to work together with the rest of the international community to fully promote cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union so as to achieve peace, stability and development on the African continent.

Mrs. Haley (United States of America): I want to begin by conveying our thoughts and prayers to the people of China, as well as to those affected by the school tragedy that we have just heard about this morning. I know that the facts are still incomplete, but from what we have heard so far, it is heartbreaking. The United States stands with the students and the families in prayer.

I want to thank our briefers, as well as Senegal, Ethiopia and Egypt, for their contributions to this meeting. We truly value their leadership in the promotion of cooperation between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations.

The African Union is an indispensable partner to both America and the United Nations in promoting peace and security in Africa. It has a unique capacity to anticipate crises, mediate conflicts and deploy troops and police on short notice. It does so, moreover, in some of the most challenging environments in the world.

We applaud the increasing leadership the AU has displayed in contributing to peace operations and battling terrorist and insurgent groups. In Somalia, the AU quickly deployed to provide security for a fledgling Government in 2007. A decade later, thanks to the bravery and courage of the African Union Military Observer Mission in Somalia AMISOM troop- and police-contributing countries, Somalia is on a gradual path toward stability and peace. In Darfur, the AU partnered with the United Nations to stabilize a complex conflict.

Across the continent, the AU is partnering with subregional organizations and countries to respond to emerging and complex threats — from tense electoral transitions in West Africa to Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin. We value our cooperation with our African partners. It is in the interest of all of us to work for peace and prosperity in Africa. The question is not whether the AU Peace and Security Council and the Security Council will continue to improve our cooperation, but rather how we can best work together to promote peace and security.

Progress has been achieved thanks to the work of both organizations, but there is much more work to be done. In order to ensure that the Security Council’s response to the AU initiative is effective, we need better cooperation in planning operations. The Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council must share assessments of the political, security, humanitarian and human rights dimensions of missions from the very outset. Working together early helps us ensure that the strategic concept — including operations, force generation, and mission cost — has the buy-in of all parties.

We support the AU’s efforts to increase financial self-reliance and to build the African Union Peace Fund. We look forward to working with AU member States to identify non-trade mechanisms for greater self-financing. But any resolution with that goal in mind must hold member States accountable to their international obligations and commitments.

We welcome the AU’s efforts to put in place effective mechanisms to respect human rights in all of its missions. Ensuring respect for human rights and accountability for those who violate those rights is essential, not just for African Union-United Nations cooperation, but to preserve the trust between troops and the communities they are supposed to protect. That will require the creation of rigorous procedures for the screening and selection of troops and police, followed by the training and monitoring of personnel. Violations and abuses must be reported and independently investigated. Perpetrators must be held accountable. On that, there will be no compromise.

We are encouraged by the prospect of more effective, self-sufficient, and African-led peace operations. We understand, however, that additional progress will take time. Therefore, before considering moving forward on any framework resolution with regard to financial support through the United Nations, we will look for implementation and concrete results from the AU’s own benchmarks and timelines. It may therefore be premature for the Council to take action on any substantive resolution on this issue in 2017.

The men and women who plan and conduct peace operations are given a great responsibility. People in the most vulnerable of situations rely on them for their safety — often for their lives. It is essential that we get this right. It is worth taking the time to make sure that we get it right.

Again, we thank the Secretary-General and the AU Commission Chairperson, as well as their organizations, for their commitment to advancing the AU-United Nations partnership and, through that, the peace and security of Africa and the world.

Mr. Wilson (United Kingdom): I thank Chef de Cabinet Viotti and Ambassador Chergui for their briefings. The document signed by the Secretary-General and the African Union Chairperson on 19 April is appropriately entitled the Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. We welcome the strong signal of cooperation and coordination that the Framework brings, and we support further efforts to strengthen the partnership on both sides. Each challenge to peace and security that we face today has a unique combination of underlying factors.

In Africa, we have many good examples of international, regional and subregional organizations coming together in varied ways to tackle them. In some instances, the United Nations is best placed to lead a response, as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — where the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has played a critical role in protecting civilians. In others, the African Union has taken the lead — critically, in Somalia, where for 10 years the African Union Military Observer Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has played a vital role in degrading the threat posed by Al-Shabaab. The bravery and sacrifice of AMISOM troops has created a security space conducive to political progress.

On other issues, the subregion has stepped up to find solutions, as we saw with the Economic Community of West African States in The Gambia and as we look to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to lead in South Sudan. In some cases, the solutions will evolve, as we saw in Mali and the Central African Republic, where initial responses by regional and subregional organizations then transitioned in United Nations peacekeeping operations. In Somalia, the United Nations provides vital logistical support to an African Union operation. That flexibility in our partnership is essential to ensuring the best response to crises.

In each case and as the Council set forth in resolution 2320 (2016), we should consider the comparative advantage of each institution to ensure the most appropriate and effective response is deployed to resolve conflict and achieve stability. In order to assess which solution is best for each situation, we must enhance our partnership. That means more joint analysis, more joint planning and more joint assessments to form a common understanding of crises and determine the optimal solution.

The recent work of both the United Nations and the African Union marks a new period in that partnership, and it is imperative that we find more and better ways of working together. The African Union’s commitment to financing 25 per cent of the African Union peace support operations budget is a welcome development and Mr. Kaberuka and his team have made significant strides in developing a roadmap to achieve that goal by 2020. This work is a positive step towards greater African ownership of peace and security, and a deeper partnership with the United Nations.

We must continue to explore ways to make our joint efforts more systematic and we look forward to discussing that issue with the African Union Peace and Security Council during our visit to Addis Ababa in September. We agree with the African Union report, that in response to some of the most serious threats to peace and security, the deployment of African Union peace support operations will be a key requirement and will once again demonstrate the African Union’s comparative advantage to deploy where the United Nations cannot.

We should continue to look at how the United Nations can best support those missions in order to combine our strengths to bring about lasting solutions and peace on the African continent. That includes the further consideration of options to provide reliable and sustainable funding for operations but must also focus on how we conduct those operations. In parallel, therefore, we should examine joint standards for reporting, accountability and protection to ensure the highest standards and most robust oversight of missions to make them as effective as possible. Those issues will require further debate and further joint work, we look forward to engaging with all members of the Security Council to strengthen and develop our partnership.

Mr. Delattre (France) (spoke in French): I would like to begin by extending France’s deepest sympathy to China following the incident that occurred in the east of the country earlier today.

I thank Ethiopia, Senegal and Egypt for convening today’s important debate. I also thank Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, and Mr. Smaїl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, for their very insightful briefings.

I would also like to warmly congratulate Secretary-General Guterres, Mr. Donald Kaberuka and their teams who worked on the report (S/2017/454) submitted pursuant to resolution 2320 (2016).

Resolution 2320 (2016) launched a process to achieve two complementary goals: first, to deepen the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on matters of peace and security; and secondly, to increase funding for African Union peace operations when they are mandated by the Security Council. The Secretary-General identifies the specific modalities that would ensure an ongoing and improved partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. We welcome and encourage the resolute commitment on the part of the Secretary-General to strengthen relations with the African Union, which he clearly demonstrated when he participated in the Summit of Heads of State held in January.

Mr. Kaberuka and his team submitted an excellent analysis of the status of African peace operations and put forward a programme of work to improve their existing framework and the way they are planned, conducted and financed. That analysis has already been deemed to be successful because it has brought together all of the member States of the African Union to work on project that would improve the continent’s future.

France welcomes the momentum created by resolution 2320 (2016). The efforts underpinning that momentum must continue. Current developments illustrate how such efforts respond to the situation on the ground and meet a need. It is true that our African partners make increasing and more effective contributions to efforts to ensure peace and security in Africa. African peace operations offer an undeniable comparative advantage to United Nations peacekeeping operations. There is an increasing number of situations in which the partnership is already operational or will be required. We now have a historic opportunity to build a stronger, closer and more coherent partnership framework between the United Nations and the African Union, which can be activated and adapted to each situation as required.

I will keep my remarks brief because we will have a more in-depth discussion during the interactive dialogue to be held after this meeting. The message we would like to convey here today is that France welcomes the efforts under way and the momentum created. We therefore intend to play an active role in the Security Council and with the African Union and its member States in order to establish a new and innovative cooperation mechanism for peace and security.

Mr. Iliichev (Russian Federation) (spoke in Russian): We too extend our condolences to our Chinese colleagues in the light of the incident that occurred at a preschool in the east of the country. We extend our sympathy to the families of the victims and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

We thank the briefers for their comprehensive statements. We agree with the approach of Secretary-General António Guterres. It is important to develop and strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union and African subregional organizations. The potential for closer cooperation exists and the challenges faced by both Africa and the international community dictate the need to pool efforts and harness the organizations’ comparative advantages.

We welcome the efforts of our African partners in settling crises in Africa. We note that the African Union and other subregional organizations have stepped up their efforts and initiatives considerably in that sphere, including through the establishment of a continent-wide peace and security architecture. We are confident that in order to effectively overcome crises in Africa, we need an approach that brings together, above all, the leadership of Africans themselves to determine the paths to settling disputes, and effective international support for such efforts. We support the African solutions to African issues approach.

We would like to draw attention to the fact that cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union must be rooted in Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and include key provisions such as the alignment of regional players’ initiatives for the maintenance of peace and security with the purposes and principles of the Charter, while prioritizing peaceful dispute settlement, Security Council authorization for any coercive measures and reporting before the Council. We trust that the Secretary-General’s proposed algorithms will fully take those issues into account.

Furthermore, it is important for a unique crisis solution to be tailored in each instance in a manner that reflects the specific situations of local communities. We believe that in most instances, regional actors are more familiar with the situations in areas within their purview. Yet, given the main responsibility of the Security Council — the maintenance of international peace and security — we do not believe that the Council can fully opt out of addressing such issues. They cannot be left solely to the discretion of African organizations, especially if we seek to apply all requisite measures.

It is important to enhance predictability, reliability and flexibility in financing African operations and joint missions. As a matter of principle, we do not object to considering the possible expansion of United Nations participation in such missions. We stand ready to engage in further constructive dialogue in that regard. However, we believe that regardless of the options chosen, it is critical to retain the current procedure followed by the United Nations in considering and approving relevant budget requet requests to ensure transparency and accountability in the allocation and disbursement of funds and to provide for United Nations staff participation in all planning stages and for the effective implementation of the goals set forth.

Furthermore, we note the importance of further study of the Secretary-General’s ideas, with representatives of the African Union Commission. In that context, we must have a clear picture of the degree to which African partners are ready to strengthen cooperation, including financially and for peacekeeping and security. It is clear that enhanced cooperation between our organizations will inevitably entail greater regional ownership, which they must be fully willing to undertake.

Mrs. Carrión (Uruguay) (spoke in Spanish): At the outset, we join with others in extending condolences to our Chinese colleagues.

We welcome today’s briefing on an issue that is key to the work of the Security Council. We also thank Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Mr. Chergui and Mr. Kaberuka for their briefings.

Uruguay notes the development, over the past 15 years, of the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations in the area of peacekeeping operations and of the vital role played by the African Union in responding to the challenges posed by armed conflicts on the continent. In that regard, my delegation would like to share some views on three specific issues, namely, the process of planning and establishing joint mandates for African Union peace support operations authorized by the Security Council; the financing of peace support operations; and the capacity-building of African Union staff deployed in those operations.

Close cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in the planning and establishment of joint peace support mandates is essential for ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of those operations. It is therefore especially important to continue with efforts to improve the joint work of both organizations throughout the life cycle of the missions, that is, from the initial assessment of the crisis and the joint strategic evaluation, to the launch of the mission, the joint assessments of mandate compliance and accountability.

The joint review carried out by the United Nations and the African Union revealed that the determination of the African Union to act and respond to difficult situations by deploying peace support operations has been hampered by a lack of capacity in key areas, including the lack of capacity in financing and support, which are not always predictable and sustainable. Uruguay believes that the different financing models presented in the report (S/2017/454) offer viable alternatives to the use of voluntary contributions.

As a country that has actively participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations for many years, Uruguay attaches particular importance to the responsibility of troop- and police-contributing countries in their actions on the ground and in implementing the mandates. In that context, we stress that any United Nations force authorized by the Security Council, including an African Union peace support operation, must comply with the same standards as those required of United Nations peacekeeping staff in terms of capacity, performance, conduct and discipline, and accountability.

The joint review carried out by both organizations has made it abundantly clear that the African Union must continue to boost its ability to plan, finance, sustain and oversee its own missions if it is to be in a position comply with their mandates, to meet the expectations of its membership and partners, and to strengthen its partnership with the United Nations.

By the same token, Uruguay recognizes the efforts made by the African Union to finalize its human rights and conduct and discipline standards compliance frameworks in order to ensure that its peace support operations are carried out in accordance with international human rights law and humanitarian law standards and to thereby ensure oversight and accountability.

In conclusion, we also underscore that the African Union’s development of those frameworks will bode well for the success of operations, will further strengthen its partnership with the United Nations and enhance the invaluable contribution that the African Union makes to peace and security on the continent.

Mr. Cardi (Italy): I thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this very timely and opportune briefing. I also want to thank Mr. Chergui, Mr. Kaberuka and Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, for their briefings.

The joint United Nations-African Union framework signed on 19 April, the report of the Secretary-General on the joint United Nations-African Union review of mechanisms to finance and support African Union peace operations authorized by the Council (see S/2016/809) and the report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the same theme should mark the beginning of a new strengthened partnership between the two organizations. Italy fully supports the mechanism described in the report of the Secretary-General for a joint planning and mandating of African Union (AU) peace operations, which preserves the prerogatives of the Security Council but at the same time provides for African ownership and paves the way for African solutions to African problems.

With regard to financing, the different options to provide financial support envisaged in the report (S/2017/454) of the Secretary-General can be chosen on a case by case basis. Already in 2008, the report (see S/2008/2013) prepared by the panel of experts chaired by former Prime Minister Romano Prodi called for predictable and sustainable financial support to United Nations-approved African Union peacekeeping missions. We are thereofre fully in favour of exploring the use of assessed contributions, provided, of course, that the appropriate set of requirements in terms of troop quality, training, equipment and high accountability standards are met.

In that respect, we welcome the commitment taken by the African Union Heads of State and Government, at the Kigali Summit in July 2016, to contribute 25 per cent of the costs of African Union peace support operations, as reaffirmed in the report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. It is a commitment that will increase significantly the contribution of African States to peace operations. Enhanced strategic cooperation with the African Union is therefore one of the ways leading to smart and cost-effective peace operations and a fundamental element, in our view, of the reform of the peace and security architecture envisaged by Secretary-General Guterres.

As others have said, African Union peace operations have comparative advantages in terms of flexibility, rapid deployment in challenging environments and the capacity to perform robust mandate tasks, such as peace enforcement and counter-terrorism, that United Nations peacekeeping operations cannot perform. We already have some examples of fields of action where African Union-United Nations cooperation has been positively tested, such as in Somalia with the African Union Military Observer Mission in Somalia and in Darfur with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur.

I would like also to recall the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, whose revitalization we deem essential as a preventive tool for the entire region, and the recent creation of the Group of Five for the Sahel force, a mission that can have a crucial impact on security in the region in cooperation with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and with the European Union missions active in the area — the European Union Training Mission in Mali, the European Union Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP) Sahel Mali, EUCAP Sahel Niger. I would also like to recall the strong European support for this force.

Concerning adherence to United Nations rules and standards, we agree that it is paramount to secure high standards of accountability and conduct and discipline for the United Nations-mandated peace operations undertaken by African Union. We welcome the engagement stated in the AU Commission Chairperson’s report to strengthen African Union human rights due diligence capabilities, including preventing and combating sexual exploitation and abuse in African Union-led peace operations. In that respect, we think training is key, in particular predeployment and mandate-oriented training. Allow me to recall that Italy has a strong record in the training of national, military and police personnel for peace operations. Respect for human rights, the protection of civilians and a gender perspective are embedded in our national military training curriculums.

We stand ready to strengthen our engagement in the capacity-building of the police and military units of Member States willing to contribute to African Union missions and to help the United Nations devise new training instruments and capacities in support of specific African needs.

Mr. Skau (Sweden): Let me also begin by extending our deepest condolences to our Chinese friends for their tragedy at the nursery this morning. Our thoughts are with those affected.

I would also like to begin by extending my thanks to the briefers this morning — Ambassador Chergui, Mr. Kaberuka and Chef de Cabinet Viotti — for their very thoughtful and insightful briefings. I should also like to thank my colleagues from Senegal, Egypt and Ethiopia for having called for this timely meeting.

Sweden is a long-standing supporter of an enhanced strategic partnership between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in Africa. The reasons for this commitment are many. Regional actors have a better understanding of the issues at stake on the ground; they are often more invested, and they carry credibility at local levels. The African Union (AU) and its regional partners can at times undertake operations in working environments in which the United Nations cannot and can often deploy quickly.

We therefore very much welcome the current momentum and energy around the United Nations-African Union partnership agenda. The first-ever United Nations-AU summit just a few weeks ago and the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, which was signed on that occasion represent very positive developments.

We thank the Secretary-General for his report pursuant to resolution 2320 (2016) (S/2017/454). We welcome the thorough work that underpins this report, and I want to pay particular tribute to the joint nature of the efforts that have characterized its drafting.

We now have concrete proposals and options for closer cooperation with the AU, including the process for mandating AU peace-support operations. This will no doubt help us move forward towards ensuring more predictable collaboration and accountability. We also thank the African Union for providing us with an update on the progress on its side, including the communiqué from the AU Peace and Security Council meeting of 30 May. In particular, we welcome updates on what has been done to strengthen work within the realm of human rights and conduct and discipline, as well as plans for addressing the remaining gaps.

We commend once again the AU summit’s bold decision on financing the African Union in an effort to secure financing for peace in Africa, in line with the recommendations made by President Kagame in his report on AU reform.

We very much recognize the need for flexible, predictable and sustainable funding of AU peace operations, and we welcome the proposals pertaining to financing contained in the report of the Secretary-General. We look forward to continued discussions in the Council on the various options and models, including access to assessed United Nations contributions. Our planned visit to Addis Ababa in September for the annual consultations with the AU Peace and Security Council would be an excellent opportunity to discuss this matter further. We believe that the Peace Fund will be a robust mechanism for cooperation and partnership. We will consider channelling Swedish financial support to the Peace Fund once it has been operationalized.

Moving forward on this agenda will require substantial and sustained political investment from the Security Council. While we are encouraged by the commitment by the Secretary-General as well as by the increased structure for cooperation at the Secretariat level, it must now be matched by political engagement from us as members of the Council. Let us utilize and build upon the momentum we have.

Mr. Yelchenko (Ukraine): First of all, I would like to join others in expressing our deepest condolences to our Chinese colleagues and friends on the tragedy that took place in the kindergarten. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for having convened this briefing. I would also like to welcome the briefers and to thank the Secretary-General for his personal dedication to strengthening the United Nations-African Union (AU) partnership.

It is evident that over the past decade, especially in recent years, the role of the relevant regional arrangements in promoting peace and security has only expanded. The engagement of the Economic Community of West African States in the Gambian post-electoral crisis is the most recent case in point. The decision of the interested countries on the establishment of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G-5 Sahel) force represents yet another practical regional action.

The United Nations should continue working on building and enhancing its strategic partnership with regional and subregional organizations on the African continent, working in concert with them and using the competitive advantages of each actor in peacekeeping and conflict management. In this light we are encouraged by the recent increased efforts of the Secretary-General aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the United Nations and the AU, particularly the signing the joint United Nations-AU framework for enhancing partnership in peace and security. Ukraine looks forward to translating this document into reality.

Let me highlight several issues of the current United Nations-AU cooperation that are worth considering in the light of the relevant report of the Secretary-General (S/2017/454).

First, and we have to be honest with ourselves, the United Nations has yet to succeed in taking timely and effective preventive measures in response to situations of tension that could possibly erupt into full-scale conflicts or where the civilian population is endangered and urgently requires protection. In this regard, we commend the efforts of the African Union, which should continue to act as a first responder to crises, with the authorization of the Security Council.

Under such circumstances, it is important to continue to make efforts to eliminate the shortcomings of the AU peace support operations, in particular the capability gaps in connection with uniformed personnel and equipment. We believe that ensuring deployment, readiness and increased performance requires collective and coordinated actions by both the United Nations and the African Union.

Secondly, it is crucial to ensure sustainable and predictable financing of the AU operations authorized by the Council. In this respect, the proposals presented in the Secretary-General’s report give the Council and the General Assembly a range a viable options for consideration. Given the complexity of the peacekeeping endeavour, we are convinced that there can be no single approach that will fit all situations and missions. We therefore support preserving a maximum degree of flexibility in considering this issue for every single mission.

Thirdly, it is well known that taking military measures to counter terrorism is the primary responsibility of national Governments and the relevant regional arrangements. The United Nations should therefore continue to provide the necessary advice and expertise in support of the relevant regional endeavours, including the aforementioned G-5 Sahel force. It is also important to ensure proper coordination among United Nations missions and such initiatives in order to avoid any overlap.

Last but not least, in keeping with the people-centered approach to United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities, we believe that the protection of civilians is a decisive factor for the success of the AU operations endorsed by the Council. It is clear also that there can be no peace without human rights. Thus this component should become an indispensable element of all AU operations authorized by the Security Council, with proper adherence to the United Nations human rights due-diligence policy.

Mr. Temenov (Kazakhstan): First, on behalf of the delegation of Kazakhstan, may I offer our sincerest condolences to our Chinese colleagues in connection with the tragedy in Jiangsu province and extend our sympathy to the families of the victims.

Kazakhstan expresses its appreciation to the Bolivian presidency for having convened this meeting as well as to our briefers, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Chergui; the African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, Mr. Kaberuka; and the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Ms. Viotti, for their insights on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union (AU).

My delegation would like to make the following observations and recommendations.

Kazakhstan, as an observer of the African Union, is deeply committed to consolidating a comprehensive United Nations-AU partnership on issues of peace and security in Africa. The first United Nations-AU annual conference, on 19 April, with the participation of Secretary-General Guterres and AU Commission Chair Mahamat, has been a milestone in enhancing the United Nations-AU strategic partnership.

Despite the significant progress made, more could be achieved in terms of United Nations-AU cooperation through well-formulated common strategic objectives and a clear division of responsibilities premised on shared assessments. These would mutually reinforce and complement the actions of the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council.

Lessons learned and best practices should be shared regularly through more frequent Secretariat-to-secretariat exchanges so as to prevent redundancies in and duplication of their tasks.

The aspirations for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Secretary-General’s new agenda for peace, as well as Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the African Union (AU) project Silencing the Guns by 2020, which aims to achieve a conflict-free continent by that date, are significant. They can be achieved through greater military, diplomatic and development partnerships, as well as North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. That is critical for actions by the United Nations Security Council and the African Union and for their respective resolutions.

Early warning signals, timely United Nations-AU preventive diplomacy, mediation to defuse potential crisis situations, and rapid response teams will achieve much. That falls within Kazakhstan’s purview and its proposal for a conflict-free world by the United Nations centenary, in 2045.

We share the view that regional actors, which are assuming greater ownership of development in their respective regions, have a deeper understanding of the dynamics and root causes of conflict, and contribute immeasurably to global peace, security and development.

Without sufficient financial and capacity-building support to African Union, the ability to deliver will not match the expected aspirations and determinations. The new phase of the United Nations-AU partnership should consider enhanced support for AU peace support operations, in accordance with the resolution 2320 (2016).

Hybrid missions of the United Nations and the AU, or local regional forces have proven to be more effective due to the familiarity of African soldiers with their own terrain, local conditions and tactics of armed groups. Good examples include the capacity of the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram, and the African Union Mission in Somalia, which is fighting Al-Shabaab in that country. Funding AU forces is therefore critical.

We also see fine examples of how, with the best support of the African Union, several groups of neighbouring countries play important roles. That includes the Group of Five Sahel — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and the Niger— member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and countries of the Economic Community of West African States, which averted the presidential crisis in The Gambia.

Kazakhstan welcomes the decision of African Union to extend the mandate of the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army for another 12 months, until 22 May 2018, to strengthen coordination mechanisms for cross-border operations.

Finally, Kazakhstan will do its utmost to strengthen United Nations-AU cooperation to respond effectively to emerging threats in the African region and beyond.

Mr. Kawamura (Japan): I would also like to join previous speakers and express our condolences to the people of China with respect to the tragic incident in the kindergarten in Jiangsu, in the eastern part of China.

I thank you, Mr. President, for convening this debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union (AU) on peace and security, which is particularly timely after the unanimous adoption of resolution 2320 (2016), last November. I also thank Ms. Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Mr. Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, and Mr. Kaberuka, AU High Representative for the Peace Fund, for their effective briefings.

Japan takes note of the reports from both the Secretary-General (S/2017/454) and the AU. They provide a useful basis for exploring our expanded partnership, as well as the particular tools that AU peace support operations offer for the maintenance of peace and security.

A major point that emerges from both reports is the AU’s comparative advantage in deploying as a first responder and in challenging environments. Further discussion is needed both at the Council and within the AU on the most effective role for peace support operations, particularly on the division of labour. Green and Blue Helmets have different roles, and it may not be efficient to focus on enabling peace support operations to replicate multidimensional United Nations tasks.

The Secretary-General’s report outlines a new model of joint financing of a jointly developed budget, as well as a joint assessment and planning process. We also see similar proposals in the AU report. We believe that greater clarity is needed on those models from the AU, with support from the United Nations Secretariat as necessary, particularly with regard to joint budgeting and accountability. We underline the Chef de Cabinet’s point on the crucial role of the General Assembly on financial matters.

We should avoid peace support operations discussions becoming overly centred on their financial aspects. Financing alone cannot solve challenges facing peace support operations, given the limited personnel to carry out tasks, including at the AU Peace and Security Department.

In order to deepen our understanding of the current situation, we would like to hear more about ongoing efforts and political commitment on the implementation of the Kigali decision regarding the AU Peace Fund during the informal interactive dialogue following this meeting.

Japan believes that the United Nations-AU partnership is about empowering African States and their peoples to play an active role in their own security. Japan, both as a Council member and as a major contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping budget, is very pleased to join discussions on continued collaboration that employs the comparative advantages of both organizations.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

At the outset, Bolivia joins in the expressions of condolences with the respect to the tragic incident that took place in China. Our solidarity and thoughts are with the families of the victims. We wish a speedy recovery to the injured.

Bolivia would like to thank the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, Mr. Chergui, and the African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, for their briefings. Our gratitude also goes to the delegations of Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal for having taken the initiative to convene this meeting.

Bolivia pays tribute to the work of the President of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the outcome of the first annual African Union-United Nations conference, which took place in April. We encourage its commitment to strengthen dialogue and improve cooperation and coordination mechanisms through common objectives. The African Union has responded in a timely way to the new threats to peace and security in Africa. Clear examples of this fact are the 2007 deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia, the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army, as well as the backing provided to the Lake Chad Basin Commission as they set up the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram.

Some of the achievements that I referred to have allowed the United Nations the African Union to forge a strategic partnership that, over the past 15 years, has incorporated innovative and fresh ways of working, particularly when it comes to peace operations. Peace operations deployed by the United Nations in Africa are a key instrument in the ongoing quest for the embedding of peace and security on a permanent basis in those countries that currently face serious political and social crises. They are also a useful tool when dealing with threats such as humanitarian crises and terrorism.

Bolivia would like to underscore the rising level of strategic partnership between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. Both organs are committed to developing a structured and balanced relationship while also strengthening partnership through mutual support and consistent technical support, with respect to political issues as well as peacekeeping operations. We hope that the meeting scheduled for September will be successful.

The Council stressed that joint consultative analysis and planning with the United Nations are crucial in formulating joint recommendations on the reach of mission resources. Resolution 2320 (2016) was adopted to that end, by which the Security Council expressed its willingness to consider options in response to the African Union’s own proposal to finance 25 per cent of the cost of such operations by 2020. Such a mobilization of resources would make a significant contribution to the African Union peace and security programme. We urge donor countries and the international community in general to continue to contribute actively and to fulfil the commitments they have undertaken in the framework of cooperation and under resolution 2320 (2016).

Bolivia believes that the success of peacekeeping operations depends on close cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, and on the role that has been conferred, inter alia, on women in such processes. We stress the need for both organizations to ensure that women and the gender perspective are fully integrated into all activities related to peace and security.

Finally, Bolivia believes it important to give the African Union a more proactive role in taking its own decisions on issues of concern to it, in full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all its members. It is also essential to respect the principle of African solutions for African problems if we are to succeed in our common endeavours.

I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.

The meeting rose at 11.40 a.m.


15 June 201
7971st Meeting* (AM)

Institutionalized Planning, Financing of African Union Peace-Support Operations Should Replace Ad Hoc Approach, Speakers Tell Security Council

The United Nations must move away from ad hoc arrangements towards a more institutionalized approach for the joint planning, mandating, financing and supporting of African Union peace-support operations, speakers told the Security Council today as it took up proposals in that regard.

Introducing the Secretary-General’s report on options for authorization and support for African Union peace-support operations (document S/2017/454), submitted pursuant to Council resolution 2320 (2016), Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, said the United Nations and African Union had been deeply engaged in developing innovative ways of collaborating in response to African crises.

Effective cooperation required not only an engagement between the Secretariat and the Commission of the African Union, but also between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, she said, adding that a common approach amongst Member States was also required to address financial support for African Union operations.

Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, speaking via video teleconference from Addis Ababa, said that 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 African Union member States had 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 was not simply an African priority, it was also for the global public good.  While African Union member States were primarily responsible for financing the Peace Fund, partnerships would continue to play a vital role, he said, adding that forging an effective alliance between the United Nations and the African Union 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 African Union and authorized by the Council was a strategic imperative for both the African Union and the United Nations.

Speaking after the briefings, Ethiopia’s representative — speaking also on behalf of Egypt and Senegal, the two other Council members from Africa — recalled that the Council had often expressed its commitment to a United Nations-African Union alliance amid a growing recognition that a global partnership was increasingly needed to improve global collective security.  Proposed financing options were reasonable and should be considered, he said, adding that respect for human rights standards — as well as United Nations support for an African Union compliance and accountability framework — were essential.

The representative of the United States, noting the African Union’s unique capacity for addressing challenges, said the question now was how best to work with it to promote peace and security.  Steps going forward should include more information-sharing on missions, she said, adding that any related Council resolution must ensure that human rights were respected.

Japan’s representative said “financing alone cannot solve challenges”, adding that further discussion was needed both within the African Union and the Council on the most effective role for peace-support operations, pointing out that green and blue helmets had different roles.

The representative of Uruguay said any non-United Nations force that operated with Security Council authorization must meet the Organization’s standards for conduct, discipline and accountability.

Her counterpart from Sweden said a forthcoming Council mission in Addis Ababa, where the African Union has its headquarters, would be an opportunity to pursue the topic.  In the meantime, the Council must maintain its commitment and political engagement, he said, adding:  “Let us build upon the momentum we have.”

Also speaking today were representatives of China, United Kingdom, France, Russian Federation, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bolivia.

During their interventions, several representatives expressed condolences to China over a fatal explosion at a kindergarten in the east of that country earlier in the day.

The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 11:41 a.m.

Briefings

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VOTTI, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on options for authorization and support for African Union peace-support operations (document S/2017/454), saying the United Nations and African Union were deeply engaged in developing innovative, forward-leaning and lasting collaborative systems.  Emphasizing that “we must move away from ad-hoc arrangements”, she said the report contained proposals for institutionalized approaches to joint planning and mandating, financing and supporting African Union operations.  It also highlighted the importance of compliance and oversight, particularly in the areas of human rights, conduct and discipline, she said, adding that the African Union was working to address those issues, with the United Nations providing technical assistance.

Effective cooperation on peace-support operations required not only an engagement between the Secretariat and the Commission of the African Union, but also between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council in mandating and reporting, she said.  A common approach amongst Member States was also needed to address financial support for African Union operations.  The General Assembly would play an oversight role in situations where United Nations assessed contributions were authorized.

SMAÏL CHERGUI, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, speaking via video teleconference, called predictable and sustainable financing for African Union peace-support operations “a fundamental problem”.  The African Union had shown political will by deploying peace operations in the most challenging situations — with its troops sometimes paying the ultimate price — but in all cases, financing was ad hoc and highly unpredictable.  Describing Council resolution 2320 (2016) — in which the Council welcomed African Union efforts to create a predictable cost-sharing structure for the funding of Council-authorized operations — as a milestone in enhancing United Nations support for African Union operations, he said the most central issue was the need to mobilize resources from African Union member States into the organization’s Peace Fund.  So far, almost 30 per cent of those States had contributed to the Fund.

He went on to emphasize the Commission’s unflinching resolve to ensure transparency and good governance in managing the Peace Fund, adding that the African Union was confident that discussions about that fund would consolidate its strategic partnership with the United Nations.

DONALD KABERUKA, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, underlined three consistent issues in the consideration of current challenges:  a collective response must address the complex nature of current crises; regional organizations brought a comparative advantage; and a need for predictable and sustainable financing mechanisms.  On the latter point, he said a well-funded African peace and security architecture was not simply an African priority; it was also for the global public good.

Since the adoption of resolution 2320 (2016), he said, much work had been done, including the consideration of proposed governance arrangements structured around mediation and preventive diplomacy, institutional capacity and peace‑support operations, with the creation of a board of trustees, an independent evaluation group and a fund manager.  The adoption of the Peace Fund instrument and nomination of the board of trustees were scheduled to occur in July, after which the Peace Fund secretariat would be established followed by recruiting the Fund manager and nominating the evaluation panel.

He said that as of May, 14 African Union member States had made contributions to the Peace Fund, representing 12 per cent of the $65 million target for 2017.  His mandate focused on resource mobilization to ensure that target would be met.  While African Union member States were primarily responsible for financing the Peace Fund, partnerships would continue to play a vital role.  Forging an effective alliance between the United Nations and the African Union held the greatest strategic importance to collective security.  As such, it needed predictable financing and must be based on the two organizations’ respective authorities, competencies and capacities.

“There should be no illusion as to the political complexity of this matter,” he said.  “However, to the extent that there is agreement on the urgency of improving the international peace and security architecture to address today’s security challenges, arriving at a shared solution for predictable and sustainable financing for African Union-mandated and authorized peace-support operations authorized by the Security Council is a strategic imperative for both the African Union and the United Nations.”

Statements

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), speaking on behalf of the Council’s African Member States — Egypt, Senegal and his country — said new leadership in the African Union and the United Nations underlined a need to strengthen their partnership.  The joint United Nations-African Union framework, signed in 2017, was a testament to a new commitment to work together.  On numerous occasions, the Council had reiterated its commitment to that alliance amid a growing recognition that a global partnership was increasingly needed to improve the world’s collective security.  The Council had also taken steps to enhance those relationships, including with the African Union.  The High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations report had put the spotlight on the African Union, and Council resolution 2320 (2016) recognized the importance of such a partnership.

Looking forward to reviews of ongoing efforts, he said proposed financing options were reasonable and should be considered.  Respecting human rights standards was essential for the credibility of operations, as was United Nations support of the African Union’s compliance and accountability framework.  The Council had expressed its intention to take extra steps with regard to financing.  As such, he asked the Council to adopt a resolution that supported financing from the United Nations regular budget.

LIU JIEYI (China) said some parts of Africa were faced with severe challenges, including the presence of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups and the scourge of trans-border organized crime.  The international community was looking for ways to address that, including through the Council’s efforts to strengthen partnerships with organizations such as the African Union.  As regional organizations were well positioned to properly handle such challenges, African proposals and ideas to tackle problems must be considered.  The United Nations and African Union must enhance cooperation and coordination, including in conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.  Concrete capacity-building measures were needed to improve the African Union’s abilities to successfully address pending challenges.  For its part, China had proposed a range of peace and security plans, including the provision of resources for rapid-response forces.

NIKKI HALEY (United States), expressing support for the partnership, said the African Union had a unique capacity to address challenges, including by mediating conflicts and deploying police rapidly.  The African Union was also partnering with subregional organizations.  The question now was how to best work together to promote peace and security.  To ensure that the Council responded effectively, steps should include an increased sharing of information on missions from the outset, she said, also expressing support for the African Union’s efforts to build the Peace Fund.  Any related Council resolution must ensure respect for human rights, she said, adding that efforts to address those issues should include rigorous screening procedures for troops and police and ensuring accountability.

PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) said the United Nations-African Union partnership must be enhanced with more joint analysis, planning and assessment, taking into consideration the comparative advantages of each organization.  More and better funding methods must be found, he said, welcoming the African Union’s commitment to finance 25 per cent of its operations as a step towards greater African ownership of African peace and security.  Looking forward to further discussions with the African Union when the Council visited Addis Ababa in September, he said more debate and joint work were required on how best the United Nations could support African Union operations, including joint accountability standards.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said it was a fact that African peace operations had undeniable comparative advantages over United Nations operations.  There was an historic opportunity to create a United Nations-African Union framework for cooperation that would be robust, stronger and coherent, and which would make possible tailored responses to each situation.  Commending the dynamic work undertaken so far, he said France would play its role in setting up a new coordination mechanism which would be innovative for peace and security.

PETR ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said United Nations-African Union cooperation must be rooted in Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, including the alignment of regional initiatives with the purposes and principles of the Charter and Security Council authorization of any coercive measures.  Regional players were often better attuned to situations in their purview, but the Council could not opt out fully.  Emphasizing the need to further discuss the Secretary-General’s ideas with the Commission of the African Union, he said greater cooperation entailed more regional ownership which African States must be willing to undertake.

CRISTINA CARRIÓN (Uruguay), describing close cooperation between the United Nations and African Union on peace-support mandates as essential, underscored the centrality of the accountability of troop- and police-contributing countries in relation to their actions on the ground.  Any non-United Nations force that operated with the Security Council’s nod must meet the Organization’s standards for conduct, discipline and accountability.  In that regard, the African Union’s drafting of a framework to ensure its peace-support missions were in line with international standards boded well for further such operations.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy) said the recently signed United Nations-African Union framework agreement and other similar actions should mark the start of an increasingly productive relationship, paving the way for African solutions to African problems.  Fully in favour of exploring the use of assessed contributions, he said such efforts must hinge on high accountability standards.  Cooperation had already been tested, including with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).  The recent creation of the Group of 5 Sahel — or G5 Sahel — counter-terrorism force could become a model for future missions.  Emphasizing the need to respect human rights in all efforts, he supported United Nations assistance for related initiatives, including training.

CARL SKAU (Sweden), emphasizing that regional actors had a better understanding of situations on the ground and could undertake operations where the United Nations could not, welcomed the current partnership momentum.  Concrete proposals now existed, helping efforts to move forward towards more predictable resources and increased accountability.  Commending the African Union’s bold decision on financing, he recognized the need for predictable funding.  A planned visit to Addis Ababa in September would be an opportunity to further discuss that and related issues.  Meanwhile, the Council must maintain its commitment and political engagement, he said, adding “let us build upon the momentum we have”.

VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine) said recent joint efforts, including the G5 Sahel counter-terrorism force, reflected the benefits of cooperation.  The recent joint United Nations-African Union framework was commendable.  Efforts must continue to address shortcomings, including capability gaps in personnel and equipment while ensuring predictable financing.  Military counter-terrorism measures were the primary responsibility of national Governments, he said, adding that the United Nations should support States in such efforts.  A people-centred approach to peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities must include a civilian protection component.

DIDAR TEMENOV (Kazakhstan) underlined that, despite significant progress, more could be achieved in United Nations-African Union cooperation through well-formulated common strategic objectives and a clear division of responsibilities premised on collective assessments.  Lessons learned and best practices should be shared regularly through more frequent secretariat-to-secretariat exchanges to avoid task redundancies and duplication.  Regional actors had a deeper understanding of the dynamics and root causes of conflict and could contribute immeasurably to global peace, security and development.  However, without sufficient financial and capacity-building support to the African Union the ability to deliver would not match aspirations.  Hybrid missions of the United Nations and African Union or local forces had proven to be more effective due to the familiarity of African soldiers with their own terrain, local conditions and tactics of armed groups.

YASHUHISA KAWAMURA (Japan) said that further discussion was needed both within the African Union and the Council on the most effective role for peace‑support operations, pointing out that green and blue helmets had different roles.  It might not be efficient to focus on enabling support operations to replicate multidimensional United Nations tasks.  Turning to the matter of financing present in both reports, he called for greater clarity, particularly on joint budgeting and accountability, and said that discussion must not become “overly” centred on financial aspects.  “Financing alone cannot solve challenges,” he underscored, stressing that he would like to hear more about ongoing efforts and political commitment to implement the July 2016 decision in Kigali by the Assembly of the African Union regarding the Peace Fund.

SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia), Council President for June, spoke in his national capacity, saying the African Union had responded to new threats to peace and security on the continent, including efforts to combat Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.  United Nations-deployed peace operations were a key tool in reaching those objectives.  The United Nations and the African Union were committed to working together, he said, hoping that their planned September meeting would advance progress on tackling pressing challenges.  The African Union’s proposal for resource mobilization would further bolster such efforts, he said, emphasizing the importance of cooperation between the two organizations and stressing that women should be included in all aspects and activities.

_________

*  The 7970th Meeting was closed.


 

Secretary-General Appoints Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov of Russian Federation Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov of the Russian Federation as Under-Secretary-General of the newly created United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, as established by General Assembly resolution 71/291 of 15 June 2017.

The Secretary-General appreciates the hard work of Member States and the many partners who share his commitment to this agenda.  The Under-Secretary-General will provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the United Nations and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the United Nations.

Mr. Voronkov brings more than 30 years of foreign service experience to the position, working primarily on the United Nations, as well as responsibilities ranging from public diplomacy and social and economic development issues, to intergovernmental affairs.

He is currently the Russian Federation’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, and under his leadership, the Permanent Mission has launched several flagship projects with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), in addition to having developed successful collaborations with the UNODC Anti-terrorism Branch.  Mr. Voronkov also serves on the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and has led several delegations to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Voronkov was Director of the Department of European Cooperation (2008-2011) at the Ministry of Affairs in Moscow, during which time he headed his country’s delegation to the Russia-European Union negotiations on a visa-free regime (2010-2011).

Beginning his career at the Foreign Ministry in 1989, he served in various capacities, including Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna (2005-2008), Deputy Director of the Personnel Department (2002-2005), as well as Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at his country’s Embassy in Poland (2000-2002).

Mr. Voronkov holds a PhD from Moscow State University, and has authored various scientific publications on international issues.

He is married and has one daughter.