Ethiopia: PSC urges Greater Collaboration Between AU, UN

Despite the continued efforts to devise innovative approaches taken by the African Union (AU) and the United Nations to address complex challenges to peace and security in Africa, their approaches are not underpinned by a shared strategic vision and remain ad hoc, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) said in a statement here Wednesday.

As a result, “gains in one area are not extended to other aspects of the AU-UN partnership,” the PSC said, noting that the situation has resulted in inadequate consultations on critical conflict and crisis situations and inconsistent and unpredictable support to AU-led efforts.

It said that at its 397th meeting on 23 September on the partnership between the AU and the UN in the area of peace and security, the PSC underlined its conviction that the challenging and increasingly complex situations on the ground highlight the need for greater collaboration between the two organisations on the basis of clearly articulated principles.

These principles, according to the Council, are African ownership and priority-setting, flexible and innovative application of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, respect for the principle of subsidiarity, including consultations prior to decision-making, division of labour and sharing of responsibilities.

In addition, this collaboration must take into account the effective use of the comparative advantage of the AU and its Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in addressing peace and security challenges in the continent.

As a matter of urgency, the PSC agreed that steps should be taken “to enhance the AU-UN partnership in the area of peace and security in order to better respond to the complex challenges facing the two organizations on the ground.”

While looking forward to the joint annual consultative meeting between the PSC and the UN Security Council, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa on 8 October, 2013, the PSC resolved that practical steps be adopted to ensure that the joint meetings are more structured and substantive.

Another step would be the immediate implementation of the existing agreement by the two Councils to undertake joint field missions to enhance synergy and facilitate the formulation of cohesive positions and strategies in dealing with conflict situations in Africa.

The PSC called for effective involvement of the African members of the UNSC in the drafting resolutions, presidential statements and statements to the press concerning Africa, including through the designation of African states as pen holders/co-pen holders on African matters.

In its view, this step would be part of the overall efforts to ensure that lead roles for country-specific situations and thematic issues are fairly distributed among all the members of the Security Council.

Alongside the efforts to enhance the AU-UN partnership on matters relating to peace and security, the PSC said that African positions and interests should be duly taken into account because these cannot be separated from the overall and much-needed reform of the UN Security Council.

Ultimately, that would bring to an end the historical prejudice against Africa with regard to the membership and composition of the UNSC, the Council pointed out.

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