The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.

 

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Statements and Speeches

Statement by Mr. Mahlatse Mminele, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic  of South Africa to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on "Peace and Security In Africa: Enhancing African Capacities in the Areas of Peace and Security"

New York, 19 July 2017

Mr President,

Allow me to congratulate you for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council. I would also like to thank you, Mr President, and the Chinese delegation, for the convening of this timely open debate on Peace and Security in Africa: Enhancing African Capacities in the Areas of Peace and Security. South Africa aligns itself with the statement delivered by the representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Mr President,

This debate is timely as it follows immediately on the successful conclusion of the 24th AU Summit in Addis Ababa where the African Union considered issues, which are of outmost importance to the Continent including the African Union's aspirations outlined in the Continent's Agenda 2063. It is important for the UN, at all levels, to work closely with the African Union in achieving our common security and developmental objectives as encapsulated in the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - including matters of peace and security. It should be noted that the Summit recommitted Africa to the "AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the year 2020"; and declared the month of September of every year until 2020 as "African Amnesty Month " for the surrender and collection of illegally owned weapons and arms in line with African and international best practice.

Mr President,

At the outset, South Africa recognises that in terms of the Charter of the United Nations, the maintenance of international peace and security is the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). However, as we have frequently reiterated, it is often regional organisations such as the African Union, which are the first responders to conflicts and deploy early in order to stabilise conflict situations, as necessary, thereby creating a more favourable environment for the United Nations to deploy and for peace processes to start.

This is by no means accidental. Regional organisations are often better positioned to understand the root causes of armed conflicts owing to their knowledge of the region. This advantage benefits all efforts to influence the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Furthermore, regional bodies have a comparative advantage due to their collective political resolve to address a conflict situation and to prevent regional instability. It is thus imperative for the UN to work closely with the AU and the various regional economic organisations on the Continent to achieve sustainable peace on the African Continent. This would necessitate not just collaboration on peacekeeping but also in building capacity in mediation and peace­ making efforts as well as post-conflict peace building and reconstruction - areas often overlooked.

Mr President,

President Alpha Conde, in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union, has appointed President Zuma to promote partnership between the African Union and the United Nations towards enhancing African capabilities in peacekeeping operations. In this regard, South Africa continues to encourage a strong collaborative relationship between the UN and the AU and further would like to highlight the following:

  • Firstly, the financing of AU peacekeeping operations remain one of the biggest challenges for peacekeeping on the Continent. As far back as Resolution 1809 adopted

    in 2008, this Council recognised the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing regional organizations when they undertake peacekeeping under a United Nations mandate. In Resolution 2320 (2016), the Council expressed its readiness to consider options in response to the African Union's decision to finance 25% of the cost of such operations by 2020. The Council further resolved to undertake a consultative analysis and joint planning with the United Nations to developing common, joint recommendations on the scope and resource implications of these missions. It is now time for the Council to expedite that process and ensure the implementation of its own decisions. South Africa believes that AU peace operations, authorized by the UN Security Council, must be adequately funded and resourced. In this regard, we support the AU's call for the use of UN assessed contributions to secure predictable, sustainable and flexible financing for AU peace operations authorized by the Security Council.
  • Secondly , the mutually reinforcing relationship between the UN and the AU should extend beyond the period of conflict, to critical areas such as peacebuilding, and post conflict reconstruction and development within the paradigm of Security Sector Reform. The nexus between peace, security and development underscores the importance of peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction and development in post-conflict settings. This is in support of strengthening the resilience of countries through a process of institutional capacity building to mitigate the risk of a relapse into conflict. In this regard, the African Union has established and consolidated a comprehensive Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) that recognises preventive diplomacy, post-conflict reconstruction and development as central to eradicating conflicts on our continent. The APSA provides the Continent with conflict prevention , resolution and management measures, as well as mechanisms for post conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction. South Africa calls on the international community to strengthen the capacity of the APSA to deliver to the necessary assistance and support to the affected countries to ensure long-term, sustainable peace.
  • Thirdly, we welcome the signing of the "Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security" by the UN and AU in April of this year, which elevates cooperation between the two organizations to a higher level. The Continent continues to experience challenges, particularly in combating terrorism, piracy, transnational organized crime and human trafficking. We hope that continued cooperation between the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat, characterized by mutual respect and understanding, will thus expand and strengthen cooperation on many other issues that the two organizations are faced with, including peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. We also hope that this will help align the African Union's Agenda 2063 with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that Africa, together with the rest of the world can meet its development goals.
  • Finally, we are pleased that many of our proposals are aligned with the nine (9) areas of reform outlined by the UN Secretary-General in this Council in April this year, in which he commits the Secretariat to enhance its technical cooperation and capacity-building partnership with the African Union Commission to further strengthen the partnership between the two organisations, especially regarding political issues and peacekeeping operations on the Continent; as well as his call for this partnership to be based on "solid, predictable funding" including for peacekeeping missions of the African Union, supported by the Security Council. The Secretary-General's reforms is another indication that true synergy has developed on this matter between the UN Security Council, the African Union   and  the   UN  Secretariat,   which  gives   us   hope  that   future   and   present
    peacekeeping operations will be more effective in implementing mandates as well as efficient.

Mr President,

In conclusion, South Africa emphasises that debates of this nature, should result in practical steps aimed towards strengthening institutional collaboration between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council.

I thank you.

 

Rev. Thursday, 02-Nov-2017 2:02 PM