Statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security: African Union —
First of all, I wish to thank you for the excellent organization of the joint session with the African Union Peace and Security Council and the warm hospitality offered in your capital, last week. I also thank the Special Representative Haile Menkerios and Commissioner Smail Chergui for their briefings.
Resolution 2320, the AU-UN Framework Agreement signed last April 19, the Secretary-General’s report on the mechanisms to finance the AU Peace Operations, and the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the same subject marked the outset of the new strategic partnership between the two Organizations.
Last week the Security Council had a frank and constructive exchange of views with the African Union Peace and Security Council on such an important topic. Today’s meeting fosters continuity in our discussions. Focus should now be placed on implementation.
In this regard, the discussions held in Addis Ababa made it clear that there is wide consensus for developing joint field missions and harmonizing the work programs on Africa. We support this pragmatic way to improve our methods of work and strengthen cooperation between the two bodies.
In the same vein, we encourage the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat to further operationalize their cooperation in addressing the root causes of the African conflicts. We commend the Deputy Secretary-General for the first-ever joint high-level mission with the African Union to DRC and Nigeria on women’s meaningful participation in peace, security, and development.
New common challenges have been arising in the last years: first and foremost, terrorism and the growing connections among criminal networks, including on human trafficking. The scope of these crimes is cross-regional. It is not only – not anymore – a challenge related to local conflicts in Africa. The effects stemming from these conflicts are global, thus more relevant to collective security than ever.
The cross-regional dimension of African conflicts and the regional capacities of the African continent are interlinked. Being it in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea, or in West Africa and the Sahel, or in the Mediterranean region of Africa, we must continue to enhance regional capacities of the continent.
As observed by the Secretary-General in his latest report, the cooperation can be further implemented through triangular mechanisms that involve sub-regional organizations and Regional Economic Communities. The contribution by IGAD to the South Sudanese crisis and by ECOWAS in The Gambia are clear examples of political comparative advantages. That is also the case, in the security field, for the G-5 Sahel and its newly-established Force.
Such a flexible framework will help respond to the legitimate demand for “African solutions for African problems”. In the long run, it will also contribute making our joint efforts sustainable, even financially.
AU peace operations have comparative advantages, when it comes to African crisis. In this respect, Italy supports the mechanism set out in the Secretary-General’s report for a joint planning and mandating of AU peace operations.
The African Union has taken on important responsibilities in recent years and shown the willingness to take on more. We support its ambitions in the development of the African Peace and Security Architecture, the Africa Peace Fund, and the African Standby Force and its Rapid Deployment Capability.
In the meantime, following the pragmatic approach we advocate for shoring up this cooperation, we deem critical to start securing the current capacities of AU-mandated peace operations.
The funding of AMISOM, for instance, requires a prompt solution. The Secretary-General’s next thematic report will be issued next November, during Italy’s Presidency of the Security Council. We look forward to developing our discussion on that occasion.
An enhanced strategic cooperation with the AU is the leading way to smart and cost-effective peace operations. We encourage the African partners to finalize their operative arrangements for the 25% contribution of the AU Peace Operations.
Financing predictability is an essential, yet not the exclusive way to strengthen African capabilities. We are in favor of United Nations to explore the use of assessed contributions, provided that the appropriate set of requirements in terms of troop quality, accountability, human rights compliance, and conduct and discipline standards are met.
Equipment, technological innovation and training are crucial also. Italy stands ready to strengthen its engagement in capacity-building in favor of police and military units in AU missions and to contribute to devising new training schemes tailored to African needs.
I thank you, Mr. President.