World must help fund, train African Union peacekeeping missions: UN

October 26, 2009 10:38 pm 

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 27 — The international community must more actively and systematically support the African Union's (AU) peacekeeping role with enhanced funding and training to bring stability and development to the continent, the United Nations peacekeeping chief said here Monday.

"If the international community requests that the AU bear the brunt of its initial response to a crisis, it has an obligation to support the AU in ensuring that that response is credible," UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy told the Security Council at the start of a debate on UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon's latest report on the issue.

"There is a need to provide resources for peacekeeping in a sustainable and predictable manner without undermining the flexibility required to respond to a crisis quickly," he said. " Currently, AU peacekeeping is entirely dependent on the same small pool of donors."

Citing UN support for AU missions in Sudan and Somalia, he said the international community must ensure that the most effective mechanism is made available to the AU when the 15-nation Security Council authorizes it to undertake peacekeeping operations.

"Building a resilient and responsive African Union is vital for the establishment of an effective complementary system for global peacekeeping," he said.

Le Roy noted that Ban's report laid out a number of areas for immediate action, including streamlining the UN presence in Addis Ababa, the seat of the AU headquarters, and providing additional capacity-building, calling it a further step in a long-term process of UN support to AU peacekeeping.

"Our partnership is strong and recognizes that security and the means of providing it is a prerequisite for long-term sustainable development," he said. "This is particularly true in Africa, where instability and conflict continue to undermine the aspirations of the people in a number of countries."

He cited cases where the AU has taken on responsibilities in complex situations with the Council's authorization when conditions have not been conducive to a UN peacekeeping role, and stressed the joint efforts of the two in Darfur (with the force known as UNAMID) and UN support for the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia (known as AMISOM) as examples of the kind of partnerships that can be achieved.

"Serious capacity and resource constraints have, however, hampered the ability to fully realize the potential of this partnership," he warned.

Ban's report outlined steps to boost AU capacity in UN- authorized peacekeeping and assessed the recommendations of an AU- UN panel which issued its own report last December, advocating concrete steps to strengthen the mutual relationship. Twenty-two speakers are scheduled to take part in today's debate.

Le Roy will travel to Abuja, Nigeria, on Tuesday to attend a high-level meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council. He is also scheduled to visit peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he will assess security in the strife-torn east and discuss the extension of state authority and institution building, and Burundi, where he will see first-hand how the UN integrated mission is working. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

Comments

Comments are closed.