Statement by H.E. Ertugrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey on UN Support to African Union Peacekeeping Operations

Ertuğrul Apakan 22.10.2010
Mr. President Honorable Eriya Kategaya1,

Let me begin by extending a warm welcome to you and thanking you for convening today’s open debate on “Support to African Union Peacekeeping Operations Authorized by the United Nations”. I would also like to express our appreciation to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his comprehensive and analytical report on this issue. I also wish to thank Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra Commissioner for the Peace and Security Council of the African Union for his briefing and contributions. We also extend a warm welcome to H.E. Mr. Henry Odein Ajumogobia, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and thank him for his contributions to this important debate.

Mr. President,

The Security Cou cil, at its summit-level meeting held on 23 September, reiterated its commitment to strengthening its strategic partnerships with and support to regional and subregional organizations in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Today’s debate p esents a unique opportunity to follow through our commitments and translate them into concrete action in the African context, contributing to the strategic vision of a partnership between the UN and the African Union.

We are also pleased with the growing recognition of the fact that the African Union has various comparative advantages that need to be utilized in such a way as to contribute to international peace and security. The UN has recently undertaken an important responsibility to support the AU’s efforts to enhance its capacity in this area. In this regard, we welcome the recent progress made in strengthening the strategic and operational partnership between the UN and the African Union, including the enhanced collaboration between the UN Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. The UN’s support to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), including the African Standby Force (ASF), and the Ten-Year Capacity Building Program for the African Union are essential elements of our common strategy vis-á-vis the African continent. The establishment of the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in September 2009 is also a serious step and we look forward to the full operationalization of this Office. We are also pleased with the inaugurationof a joint task force on peace and security between the UN and the African Union which represents a strong platform for further efforts.

We also welcome the steps taken by the African Union to enhance its capabilities in the field of preventive diplomacy. We are particularly pleased with the joint efforts of the UN Secretariat and the African Union Commission in the area of conflict prevention and peace mediation in a number of African countries. Inclusion of assistance in the development of the mediation strategy of the African Union in the Ten-Year Capacity Building Program is also commendable, insofar as peace mediation is a cost-effective and efficient way of crisis management and conflict resolution.

However, as highlighted in the the report of the Secretary-General, important challenges remain and more needs to be done. The Secretary-General, in his report, points to a number of such challenges, the most notable of which pertains to financing. We note that the conclusions of the Secretary-General on this issue are strikingly similar to those contained in the report of the Prodi Panel last year. Indeed, both reports point to the need for sustainable, flexible and predictable financing mechanisms for the AU peace support operations mandated by the UN. Voluntary contributions frequently constitute an unstable and unpredictable funding mechanism. That’s why Security Council resolution 1809 as well as the Presidential Statement of 26 October 2009 acknowledged the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing regional organizations when they undertake peacekeeping under a UN mandate.

Mr. President,

As the Secretary-General has also underscored in his report, the current financial frameworks for partnership in peacekeeping operations is not conducive to building a long-term strategy.

We fully share the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report on these
issues. In particular, we concur with him that a more predictable, reliable and sustainable funding mechanism must be found, especially with regard to ensuring that the African Union can fulfill the goals set out in the African Peace and Security Architecture. In light of the experiences gained in the context of AMISOM, where the logistics support package was financed through UN assessed contributions, we believe that the Security Council must be ready to consider the use of assessed contributions to support similar UN-authorized operations on a case-by-case basis in the future. This could help us to overcome the biggest challenge standing in the way of African peacekeeping operations as well as UN-African Union strategic cooperation.

Mr. President,

Investing on African Union’s peacekeeping capacity means investing in the security, stability, prosperity and thus the future of this great continent. It is a long-term investment that will surely pay off, as the African continent fully develops its own capabilities. Turkey is ready and willing to do its fair share in this regard.

With these considerations, we support the draft Presidential Statement prepared by Uganda and look forward to the next report of the Secretary-General that will define the UN’s strategic vision for UN-African Union cooperation in peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.

1 First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs of Uganda