African cooperation on peace â€˜increasingly strongâ€™, Security Council told
New York: African countries are building increasingly strong partnerships for advancing peace and security, as well as inclusive sustainable development across the continent, the Security Council heard on Thursday, during a briefing by the UN Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti.
Viotti recognized the African Union and Member States’ success in achieving important milestones in their pursuit for higher effectiveness, self-reliance and cooperation, and welcomed the work of the African Union Mediation Support Unit and the FemWise Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation, which are, she said, “boosting capacity to defuse crises and making such efforts more inclusive”.
Progress evident at regional and country level
Viotti went on to outline some of the progress being made in certain African countries, such as the peace talks, led by the African Union, in the Central African Republic which led a Political Agreement which is being overseen by the UN; the signing of a Constitutional Declaration in Sudan, which has allowed for the establishment of a civilian-led government, following efforts led by Ethiopia and the African Union (AU), with UN support; and free and fair elections in Madagascar, supported by the Southern Africa Development Community, the African Union, and UN.
Cooperation between the UN, African Union and other partners in the area of elections is growing, said Ms. Viotti, citing visits organized by the UN Office for West Africa to several countries, ahead of legislative or presidential elections, over the last two years.
The UN and AU, she continued, are cooperating closely to ensure that the voices of women and youth are integral to peace processes, and both organizations have youth envoys and strategies, acting as advocates and agents of change.
More effective support needed from international community
Despite the many examples of progress, Viotti declared that the international community needs to do much more to support African efforts. For example, more predictable, flexible and sustainable financing for African Union-led peace support operations is needed; more political will and resources for peacebuilding and sustaining peace efforts; and active support for the AU Initiative on Silencing the Guns.
“Building partnerships and harnessing their power requires long-term vision and commitment”, Ms. Viotti told the Security Council, adding that the Secretary-General is looking forward to “even greater partnership and collaboration, enabling the African Union to achieve its 2063 vision of equitable, people-centred transformation and lasting peace and security”.
Photo caption and crdeit: MINUSMA/Gema Cortes A United Nations peacekeeper in Mali interacts with children in the Mopti region of the West African country. (July 2019)