Statement by Mr. Fazlı Çorman Charge D'Affaires a.i. and Deputy Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Open Debate on Security Council Resolution on Support to African Union Peacekeeping Operations Authorized by the United Nations

Fazlı Çorman 26.10.2009
Mr. President,

Allow me to begin by commending you for organizing this meeting about the United Nation's support to African Union peacekeeping operations. This issue has been on our agenda for some time now and today's meeting provides us a very timely opportunity to review the steps taken so far and to chart the course of our future work.

In this regard, I would like to pay a special tribute to the Secretary General for his leadership on this issue and for his dedicated efforts to further strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. His latest report, in particular, contains valuable assessments and proposals for the way forward on this issue. And I thank Undersecretary-General for presenting this report and focusing our debate on the right issues.

Last but not least, I wish to express our thanks to Mr. Tete Antonio, Acting Permanent Observer of the African Union, for his participation in today's meeting and for the very comprehensive briefing he has just given. What we are discussing today is indeed a partnership of vital importance for both organizations and we are pleased to see that the African Union approaches to that issue with the professionalism and commitment it deserves.

Mr. President,

For the last year or so, a lively debate has been going on in several fora, with the participation of all interested parties, on issues related to the UN peacekeeping system. Indeed, we have been putting our heads together with a view to finding the right ways and means to streamline the UN peacekeeping mechanism, which still stands as an indispensable tool for the maintenance of international peace and security.

One of the common points that emerged from all these debates has been the strong emphasis given to the necessity for an enhanced strategic dialogue among all the stakeholders, in particular between the UN and the regional and the sub-regional organizations. It has been stressed over and over again that the increasing demand for peacekeeping all around the globe can only be met by forging new and strategic partnerships between the UN and the regional organizations. This was also one of the main tenets of the recent New Horizon paper prepared by the Secretariat.

In fact that is a long-standing commitment we have collectively undertaken under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and paragraph 170 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, as well as the various other resolutions and the statements of this Council. After all, it is of no doubt that the role played by regional organizations in peace and security is indispensable and complementary to the work of the UN and in particular that of the Security Council.

African Union in this regard is a particularly important regional actor whose contribution to the settlement of conflicts in the African continent is of key significance for the overall efforts to maintain international peace and security. Indeed, given the time and energy we spend in this very Council to help resolve the various conflicts in Africa, it becomes obvious that the African Union provides a most needed added-value in an area of critical importance.

This is why since the adoption of the Resolution 1809, in particular, the Council is working very hard to develop a more effective partnership with the African Union--a partnership which mutually strengthens the capabilities of each organization and which creates a synergy of efforts towards peace and stability. Our point of departure has been and still is that the more efficient and well-equipped the African Union becomes in its peacekeeping operations, the stronger the UN and the entire international community becomes in its ability to maintain peace and security.

Within this framework, the joint African Union-United Nations Panel has put forward many useful recommendations, which were first addressed by the Presidential Statement adopted in March this year under Libya's Presidency. There, we have not only taken note of these new ideas but also called for further joint efforts in this direction, focusing on issues of mutual interests. We have also called upon the UN Secretariat to develop in coordination with the AU Commission a list of recommendations on ways to help the African Union further develop its military, technical, logistical, administrative and financial capabilities.

This is precisely what the Secretary General's report does. It further elaborates on these recommendations and proposes practical ways in which the United Nations can assist the African Union to enhance its effectiveness in the deployment and management of peacekeeping operations. As we see it, there are three main areas, which we can and should make further progress in order to realize the objectives we have collectively set out for ourselves.

These are developing a strategic partnership between the two organizations at both political and operational levels; supporting the institutional capacity-building of the African Union; and enhancing the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for the African Union-led peacekeeping operations under a UN mandate. Simply speaking, we support the Secretary General's recommendations in all these three areas and believe that time has come to translate them into practice. Indeed, we have spoken long enough and it is now time for action.

In this regard, we particularly share the Secretary-General's views concerning the need for the establishment of a predictable, sustainable and flexible funding system for AU-led peace support operations, as well as for developing a broad roadmap for capacity-building with a set of short to long term initiatives. Likewise, we very much welcome the idea of establishing a joint task force between the United Nations and the African Union to review immediate and long-term strategic and operational issues, as well as to conduct a lessons-learned exercise on the basis of our joint endeavors in Somali and Darfur.

Mr. President,

As I have mentioned in the beginning of my remarks today's meeting provides us a valuable opportunity to underline our commitment to forge a strategic partnership with the African Union, as well as to chart the course of our future work.

That being true, our deliberations today bears an even more particular importance in light of the recent statement made by the African Union Peace and Security Council on October 15th, which also called for an increased strategic partnership on peacekeeping issues between the UN and the African Union.

Therefore, the statement we will make today at the end of this meeting will be the response of the UN Security Council to this call and a testament to the Council's intention to the furtherance of our strategic cooperation. In our opinion, the comparative strengths of both organizations and the complementary nature of their aims and goals leaves no doubt about the value of an increased strategic relationship between the two.

This is why we fully support the draft Presidential Statement before us, which clearly underscores this point, and thank especially the Mission of Uganda, acting on behalf of the African Group, for their leadership in the preparation of this text.

Mr. President,

Investing in Africa's peacekeeping capacity means investing in the security, stability and future of this great continent, as well as the entire globe. It is a sound investment that will surely pay off as the African continent fully develops its own capabilities and realizes its potential. We have already come a long way in this direction and now is the time to further increase the momentum and redouble our efforts towards our shared objectives.

Turkey is ready and willing to do its fair share in this regard. The rapidly developing relations between Turkey and the African countries, as evidenced by the African Union's declaration of Turkey as one of its three strategic partners, provides us ample ground to build upon, and we are committed to doing so.

Thank you.