18 November 2016 - UN/African Union: we need more collaboration and coordination [fr]
Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security - Speech of Ms. Gueguen, First Political Counsellor at the French Permanent Mission to the United Nations - Security Council - 18 November 2016
I thank the four briefers for their introductory remarks, and the Senegalese presidency of the Security Council for convening this debate.
France fully endorses the statement to be made shortly by the Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union. I have four points to make.
First, the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on issues of peace and security is an indisputable and significant fact. African organizations, acting within the African Peace and Security Architecture, are increasingly assuming their responsibilities in crisis management on the African continent. At the same time, as a natural consequence, the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union becomes a necessity in the context of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. This development, which will only continue, will strongly mark the term of the incoming Secretary-General.
Secondly, France acknowledges, encourages and takes an active part in this development. On a bilateral basis, France is one of the primary partners in capacity-building for peace in Africa. Our partnerships foresee the training of 20,000 African soldiers by 2020. This is a major goal that we are committed to achieving.
France welcomes the role played by African Union and African regional organizations, both at the political level, such as the role that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development plays in South Sudan and that of the Economic Community of Central African States in the Central African Republic, as well as at the military level, in the framework of complementarity with United Nations peacekeeping operations — for example, as illustrated in the transition from the African-led International Support Mission in Mali to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and in the transition from the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic — as well as, independently with the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram.
With regard to the Security Council, France believes that taking into account the views of regional organizations should become automatic and can lead the way to building consensus when there is a strong and consensus-based position of the African Union or a subregional organization.
Thirdly, this partnership should be strengthened in order to address at least four challenges, as called for in the recent report (S/2016/780) of the Secretary-General and in Mr. Kaberuka’s report endorsed in July during the African Union Summit in Kigali.
The first challenge is that we need more collaboration and coordination. The United Nations and regional organizations act both simultaneously and consecutively with different modalities in response to the same crises. The regional dimension is unavoidable when the United Nations takes action after an African Union operation or in support of the implementation of a peace agreement negotiated in the region. All of those dimensions are tied together.
The second challenge is the need to identify which situations would benefit more from the added value of which organization. The United Nations does a great deal, but it cannot, and does not know how to, do everything. In certain situations, a regional organization is perhaps better equipped to respond to the specific circumstances on the ground. The African Union Mission in Somalia, for example, comes to mind, where the African Union brings genuine added value as compared with the capacities of the United Nations.
The third challenge is to ensure the necessary financial predictability and sustainability for African peace operations. That is the message of the Kaberuka report, presented to the Council in September by the African Union, which France welcomes. It includes proposals that should be seriously considered both by the African Union and its member States — which should finance 25 per cent of the cost of African operations — and by the United Nations — which should make a mandatory 75 per cent contribution to the cost of the operations.
The fourth challenge is to ensure that the funding structure is implemented within a robust, comprehensive partnership. Financing African peace operations through mandatory United Nations contributions must go hand in hand with the joint planning and monitoring capabilities of the Security Council and the African Union, which entails bolstering and even creating a mechanism that does not yet exist. We must also attach the greatest importance to respecting human rights, as operations mandated, supported and financed by the Security Council must respect the highest human rights standards and, more generally, must pay particular attention to the conduct of the operations. Finally, we must identify precisely what type of operations lend themselves to such a mechanism and what type of concrete support the United Nations could provide.
All of those challenges have been clearly identified in the three underlying reports for this debate, the Kaberuka report and the two Secretary-General reports from September. They are also taken up in the concept note (S/2016/966, annex) circulated by the delegation of Senegal for this meeting, as well as in the draft resolution contained in document S/2016/977, which will be put to the vote at the end of the debate. The draft resolution fully spells out the framework of the partnership and duly acknowledges the fact that, although the United Nations-African Union partnership on peace and security has a financial component, it is not entirely financial. Moreover, the draft text recognizes that there is much work yet to be done and calls on the Secretary-General and the African Union for their guidance in supplementary and complementary work. France fully supports that approach, and we thank Senegal and the United States for having proposed it.