Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, 12 September 2017, New York.
Thank you, Mr President, for organizing this meeting, and not least for your leadership in our trip to Addis and also your very accurate and good report this morning. And I also want to thank Ethiopia for the hospitality during our trip, and thank you to the Special Representative, Haile Menkerios, for your briefing this morning.
Last week's Mission to Addis Ababa for our eleventh joint consultative meeting with the AU Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) marked an important moment in the ever stronger partnership between our two organisations. We were encouraged by the constructive discussions and by the degree of commonality in our approaches to a number of security challenges on the African continent, and I think you very accurately referred to them in your report this morning, Mr. President. We look forward to a swift adoption of the joint communique, and we stand ready to work very diligently on that towards that objective.
The United Nations, including this council, cannot achieve our goals without an ever stronger partnership with African Union and the sub-region. We understand that when the African Union acts, it acts on behalf of all of us. And therefore, we continue to be a staunch supporter of an enhanced strategic partnership between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa. Last week's meetings, as well as the Joint Framework signed in April, only serve to reinforce this conviction. It is clear to us that the African Union and its regional partners are undertaking vital operations that are not only in the interests of the African continent, but, in a world of increasingly interconnected challenges, are in the interests of all of us.
So we must now mobilise political will and concrete support for the AU – UN partnership in order for that relationship to reach its full potential.
I want to commend the efforts of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the African Union Commission and the UN Office to the African Union for their efforts in developing and implementing the partnership. The current momentum needs to be seized and built upon. This entails looking at concrete options for more flexible, predictable and sustainable funding for AU peace operations, including access to assessed UN contributions. I bring back a sense of urgency in resolving this, not least in order to safeguard the security gains that have been made in Somalia thanks to AMISOM.
The women, peace and security agenda remains a vital area of partnership. The recent launch of the African Women Leaders' Network represents a positive step. We hope that the use of joint AU visits to raise awareness on gender can be used more and we welcome the joint visits to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in July. We also support looking into joint field visits of the two councils as was suggested during our trip. We also welcome the positive developments with regard to UN – AU cooperation on International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law in peace support operations and we would welcome more attention to this in the next report of the Secretary-General.
Thank you very much, Mr President.