Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
I’d like to begin by thanking Brazil for convening today’s meeting, and also for co-leading, along with Mozambique, this Council’s recent mission to Addis Ababa for the Annual Joint Consultative Meeting with the African Union Peace and Security Council. And I welcome the adoption of the UNSC-AUPSC joint communique on that occasion.
I also want to thank SRSG Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed for their insightful remarks, as well as Dr. Solomon Ayele Dersso for his contributions.
In recent years, we’ve seen a significant development in the relationship between the United Nations and the African Union, as well as in the respective strengths of both organizations. This includes the 2017 Joint AU-UN Framework, the Joint Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063, and the 2030 Agenda. Growing convergence, unity of purpose, and a relationship based on common understanding promises to reap even greater rewards.
Today, I’d like to make three points on how the enduring partnership between the AU and the UN could be further strengthened.
First, we should continue to draw lessons from the successes that have emerged from regional organisations.
Over the last two decades, the African Union has increasingly demonstrated political will and commitment to tackling security challenges, including through preventive diplomacy and the deployment of peace support operations in Africa. The AU’s efforts to take on a more prominent role at the regional level are commendable and should be encouraged.
Incorporating regional voices and perspectives is crucial to maintaining international peace and security, and without regional buy-in, it is difficult — if not impossible — for UN efforts alone to succeed.
Somalia is a prominent example of the intrinsic value of partnerships, where the UN, the AU, and bilateral partners continue to engage constructively with the Federal Government of Somalia towards the implementation of its state-building priorities.
As the African Union continues to deepen its scope of engagement and broaden its partnerships, it is in this Council’s interest to support the AU’s commitments to international peace and security as a cause that aligns with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Second, cooperation between this Council and the AU Peace and Security Council should be strengthened.
This should not be a box to tick every year. Rather, it must be an ongoing dialogue that addresses not only issues pertaining to Africa, but also global agenda items (both thematic and country-specific) where African perspectives can enrich our discussions. This should also encompass more regular engagements with high-level officials from the AU Commission.
As sub-regional organisations take on more prominent peacekeeping roles on the African continent, such organizations must become true partners. Sharing relevant information, as well as operational assessments, can also contribute to devising effective responses by both Councils.
In the context of AU-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council, we recognize that the absence of predictable, sustainable, and flexible resources prevents the AU from fulfilling its peace and security mandate. This year’s Joint Communique of the Joint Consultative Meeting also acknowledges the persistent financial challenges facing AU-led peace support operations.
In line with the communique, we believe that it is important for the Council to consider how to enhance the predictability, sustainability, and flexibility of financing for AU peace operations authorized by the Security Council, and under the Security Council’s authority, consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter. We look forward to engaging constructively in the upcoming negotiations on this issue and hope to reach an agreement that meets the needs of this moment.
Third, both Councils must work together to promote the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Hate speech and extremism can lead to the escalation and spread of conflict.
Last June, the Security Council acknowledged this when it unanimously adopted a resolution on ‘Tolerance and international peace and security’. This is also echoed in the AU’s Agenda 2063 as the organization continues its historic struggle against all forms of racism, discrimination, and intolerance.
To make meaningful advances on this common agenda, both organisations will need to work in unison and ensure that these frameworks enable our organizations to safeguard peace and security.
Supporting the efforts of the African Union is at the heart of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. It is an acknowledgement of the valuable contribution that the AU makes to international peace and security and to the growing role that it is called to play in an increasingly polarized world.
For its part, the United Arab Emirates will strive to enhance cooperation between both organisations in support of our common values, purposes, and principles towards the maintenance of international peace and security for all. Thank you, Mr. President.