By Prudence Arobani
The UN and AU have signed a new agreement to better respond to the changing dimensions and evolving challenges of peace operations on the African continent.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of AU, Moussa Mahamat, described the new agreement as a landmark framework to strengthen partnership between the two organisations on peace and security pillars.
Guterres, in his remarks to newsmen after the event, noted that the region was in crisis.
He, however, said that “Africa is a continent of hope and potential”.
“We no longer have the traditional peacekeeping operations, where peacekeepers separate two countries or two groups within the same country that have signed an agreement, and a makeshift peace essentially prevails.
“We are witnessing, in Africa, as around the world, changes that force us to have a strategic review of the way peace operations take place,” Guterres told newsmen, alongside Mahamat, after signing the framework .
According to him, the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhancing Partnership on Peace and Security is expected to boost the coordination between the two organizations at all levels.
The UN chief added that the joint framework “is also anticipated to strengthen cooperation on issues ranging from human rights and good governance, to sustainable and inclusive development.
“The new understanding will also help align the African Union’s Agenda 2063 with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that they are both a ‘success story’ in the continent.
Mahamat said the time has come for AU to critically assess the security challenges in the region and work with the UN to ensure peacekeeping operations on the continent are more effective.
The AU chief regretted the terrorist activities in Africa but expressed optimism that the continent has the potential to overcome the challenge.
He said a Hybrid Court would be established in South Sudan, alongside a national reconciliation conference and the deployment of the protection force, after resolving some operational issues.
“The decision of the United States administration to reduce its contributions to peacekeeping operations will affect the effectiveness of the operation.
“But AU is working to increase peacekeeping funds by African countries,” he said.
Guterres and Mahamat jointly led the first Joint UN-AU Annual Conference where they discussed the complementarity between the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063, as well as the fight against terrorism and the financing of operations led by the AU.
They also discussed situations in several countries, including Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, and Somalia, and discussed efforts to combat the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group. (NAN)