African Union, key partner for the implementation of the UN peace operations [fr]
United Nations-African Union peace and security cooperation: Chapter VIII
application and the future of the African Peace and Security Architecture - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 24 May 2016
I would like to thank the various briefers for their introductory statements, which were very enlightening. I would also like to thank Egyptian presidency of the Security Council for organizing this important debate.
The Security Council has just returned from Somalia. The operation deployed there — the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) — is the most tangible example of cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, but it is far from being the only one.
I will make three comments in that regard.
First, regional organizations have become key partners for the implementation of peace operations. That is one of the main conclusions from the reports on peace operations and peacebuilding. It is an irrefutable fact. African organizations working in the context of the African Union Peace and Security Architecture are increasingly shouldering their responsibility in the framework of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. Their political role in acting as mediator and providing support has increased, as illustrated, for example, by the role played by the East African Community in Burundi and by the Economic Community of Central African States in the Central African Republic under the mediation of the President of the Republic of the Congo. The latter made possible the successful conclusion of the political transition in the Central African Republic.
Those organizations also play a welcome military role in complementing United Nations peacekeeping operations, as shown during the transition from the African-led International Support Mission to Mali to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali; and from the African Union-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic; as well as in the specific role played by African forces in AMISOM and in the joint multinational task force on combating terrorism. On behalf of France, I would like to pay tribute to the African forces who every day serve peace on the continent under conditions that are often very difficult and at a heavy price. I would like to add that, for the Security Council, dialogue with regional organizations should become a reflexive instinct. Such dialogue is in the interests of all, and above all in the interest of peace. It should enable us to forge a consensus that puts forward the initiatives of the African Union or of a subregional organization, when one exists.
Secondly, France would therefore like to encourage a greater role and a growing recognition of the African Union and other regional organizations in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. France welcomes the strengthening of the links between the African Union and the United Nations through the establishment of liaison offices in New York and Addis Ababa. Another example is through institutionalizing the annual exchanges between Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, such as the one we held yesterday here in New York. All those initiatives are essential.
At the bilateral level, France is one of the main partners of the African Union in strengthening African peace capacities.
France contributes every year to the training of tens of thousands of soldiers, with more than 29,000 African soldiers trained in 2015. Among those trained by France and engaged in operations, nearly 30 per cent were deployed in AMISOM. France is also deploying, in support of the African forces and United Nations peacekeeping operations, national operations in the Sahel and the Central African Republic, which are financed by its national budget.
Our debate on cooperation with regional organizations would not be complete if we did not recognize the decisive role played by the European Union, of which there are many examples. Since 2007, the European Union has financed AMISOM in the amount of €1.1 billion. The European Union also financially supports the African Peace and Security Architecture. Many missions, such as the European Union Capacity Building Mission, the European Union military operation and the European Union Training Mission, are deployed on the continent and on its shores in support of African States. In terms of regional organizations, there is a genuine strategic tripartite partnership among the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union, which is being established with France’s full support.
Thirdly and lastly, in this context, we must continue to engage with determination in strengthening this strategic partnership. It is essential for the United Nations to fully engage early on in defining a comprehensive and coordinated crisis management framework, both from the political and security viewpoints. The example of the situation in Mali demonstrates this well. The United Nations is intervening in a context in which the regional dimension is crucial, following an African Union operation and in support of the implementation of a peace agreement that was negotiated in the region. All of these dimensions are inextricably linked.
In this regard, the issues of transitions between successive missions and coordination among simultaneous missions are areas that require special attention. In this connection, bringing those involved up to United Nations standards, the training of regional contingents and greater awareness on human rights issues seem to us of utmost importance in the context of United Nations peacekeeping.
Finally, the financial sustainability of military operations remains a major concern. Today, the African Union is heavily dependent on external contributions to finance its operations. The goal is for African organizations to be able to gradually take over an increasing share of the funding of their action. Presidential statement S/PRST/2016/8, which we have just adopted, reflects the issues we are discussing today. France is determined to continue its efforts and cooperation with the United Nations and the African Union, as well as all regional organizations, in this direction.