UN security council and AU peace and security meeting opens in Addis Ababa

Since Thursday in Addis Ababa, the peace and security bodies of the UN and the African Union (AU) have been discussing the financing of peacekeeping operations carried out under the aegis of the pan-African organization on the continent.

The member countries of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) are holding their annual meeting on Thursday and Friday in the Ethiopian capital, headquarters of the AU.

Opening the proceedings, AU Peace and Security Commissioner Bankole Adeoye called on participants to “specifically address the central issue of predictable, adequate, flexible and sustainable funding” for the continental organization’s peacekeeping operations in Africa.

This issue has been on the UNSC table for over a decade.

“African countries are asking for them to be financed by compulsory contributions” from UN member countries, an African diplomat told AFP before the meeting.

Long delayed, notably due to dissension within the AU, a draft resolution has been negotiated since 2018 between the two organizations, but was until recently deadlocked.

Since the establishment of its “African Peace and Security Architecture” in 2002, the AU has struggled to finance its peace operations, which are largely dependent on partners such as the European Union (EU).

UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ representative to the AU, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, expressed the hope that the discussions in Addis Ababa would “lead to a framework resolution enabling us to dispense with the current ad hoc agreement on the financing of essential peace operations on the continent”.

Tackling the threats

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He recalled that Mr. Gutterres, in his New Agenda for Peace published in July, stressed that threats to peace and security on the continent “required new responses implemented by African partners, with a mandate from the UN Security Council” and “financed by mandatory constributions”.

“Funding AU-led peace and security operations will strengthen the capacity of both organizations to tackle threats to peace and security on the continent”, said Mr. Onanga-Anyanga.

Among the reservations raised by some UN Security Council members are the type of operations that can be financed (peacekeeping only or anti-terrorist missions, for example) and the question of criminal liability in the event of abuse.

The PSC is “an important partner of the UN Security Council in the implementation of the mandates it authorizes”, nevertheless stressed Sergio Franca Danese, Brazil’s ambassador to the UN, which will chair the UNSC in October.

The two councils will also discuss the security situation on the continent, particularly “in Sudan, the Sahel, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo”, the African diplomat told AFP.

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