Ahead of a high-level debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in peace and security, the Security Council today encouraged the two organizations to further strengthen their coordination in a mutually supportive manner across the range of possible responses to conflict.
In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2020/11) issued by President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for December, the 15-member organ also commended increasing efforts of the African Union to enhance its peacekeeping role and that of subregional organizations on the continent, consistent with Council decisions.
It recognized the importance of initiatives of those organizations and the international support given to them in the fight against the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism, including the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin and the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) joint force.
Reiterating that regional organizations have the responsibility to secure resources for their organizations, the Council welcomed the valuable financial support provided by partners in that regard and acknowledged the need for more support to enhance African Union peace operations, encouraging further dialogue towards that end.
Through the statement, the Council also reaffirmed the important role of women and youth in conflict prevention and resolution and in peacebuilding and post-conflict situations, as well as the need for joint action between the United Nations and African Union to fight sexual violence in such situations.
Opening the meeting, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that the partnership between the United Nations, the African Union and African regional economic mechanisms has never been stronger. It is anchored in the principles of complementarity, respect for African leadership and the certainty that no one organization or State can face problems alone, he said, spotlighting how the continent has shown exemplary leadership on meeting the COVID-19 challenge. As well, the United Nations is supporting the initiative, “Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020”, in many concrete ways, including capacity‑building for mediation and disarmament, partnership in creating the network of African women leaders and investment in young people. This is in addition to broadening operational support for the African Union, he added.