Summary: 26 October 2009, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Mr. Anders Lidén, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden, at the Security Council Debate on Peace and Security in Africa (Report of the Secretary-General on support to African Union peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations), United Nations
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
As highlighted in the recent New Horizon paper the global demand for peacekeeping activities requires a new strategic approach. Developing close and effective partnerships between key actors should be the centrepiece of such an approach. We agree with the assessment of the Secretary-General in his report on support to African Union-led peacekeeping operations that partnerships between the United Nations and regional organisations have become a critical factor for modern peacekeeping.
The strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, including the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), should continue to be developed. Efforts should be made to increase the efficiency of relations between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council as well as between the United Nations Secretariat and the African Union Commission. The European Union takes note of the proposed measures by the Secretary-General on how to move forward with this partnership.
In peacekeeping, a triangular dynamic is evolving between the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union. The current support to Somalia is a case in point. The United Nations and the European Union both give substantial support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and the European Union has deployed a naval operation (ATALANTA) to protect vessels of the World Food Program from pirates.
The European Union continues to support the institutional capacity building of the African Union. A roadmap to operationalise the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is about to be finalised by the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the European Union. The United Nations is engaged through a 10-Year Capacity Building Programme. The Secretary-General now proposes a number of new initiatives. One useful idea is to develop a broad roadmap for capacity building. African ownership has to be ensured, and it should be part of the wider strategic plan of the African Union. Lessons learned from inter alia the African Peace Facility (APF) should be taken into consideration for any new initiative for capacity building.
We recognize the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for African Union-led operations under a United Nations mandate, not ruling out any option currently being studied. We are committed to seeking pragmatic and effective ways by which bilateral and other international partners of the African Union could further support the development of the African peace and security architecture.
The European Union recognises the authority of the Security Council and the General Assembly to decide on United Nations modalities of support on a case by case basis for African Union-led peacekeeping operations under a United Nations mandate. Any proposal must be accompanied by appropriate accountability mechanisms. At the same time, long term capacity building should be pursued and aimed, among other objectives, at achieving adequate accountability standards.
The European Union remains strongly engaged with the United Nations and the African Union in peacekeeping. The United Nations and the European Union increasingly develop joint strategic responses, and the Members of the European Union bear roughly 40% of the costs for United Nations-led peacekeeping operations. Peace and security is a central part in the strategic relationship between the African Union and the European Union. The African Peace Facility (APF) has become an important tool for funding of African Union-led peacekeeping operations. Today, the European Union bears roughly 40% of the costs for peacekeeping operations under African lead.
The United Nations and the European Union share the ambition to support the African Union in general and, not least in peacekeeping. The information exchange and coordination of our respective support should be further strengthened to ensure coherence and additional synergies. These tracks could partially merge into a trilateral cooperation between the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union. This could be done along the lines established in the European Union-United Nations Steering Committee.
The European Union is strongly committed to further developing its partnerships with the United Nations and the African Union respectively, and to support similar endeavours between the United Nations and the African Union. We are determined to continue assisting the African Union in developing its own capacity to deliver peace and stability on the continent. The European Union would also welcome increased support for the peacekeeping efforts of the African Union from non-traditional donors.
I thank you.
* Croatia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process