The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.

 

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Statements and Speeches

Statement by H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, during the High-Level Open Debate in the Security Council on the "United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Reform of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Implementation and Follow-Up"

New York, 20 September 2017

The President of the United Nations Security Council, Your Excellency, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn,

UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Gutieres,

Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat Members of the Security Council,

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Heads of Delegations,

South Africa welcomes the convening of this open debate on peacekeeping operations.
For African Union Member States, the issue of peacekeeping operations, in particular, AU-led peace support operations is one of great importance.

Excellencies,

The debate is timely as it comes amidst a manifestation of diverse threats to peace and security in Africa.

The scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, as well as the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons are some of the security challenges that Africa has to contend with currently.

Furthermore, the emergence of new armed groups and splinter armed groups and the presence of negative forces in some of the conflict situations on the continent are a source of concern.

Some of these threats may be peculiar to the African continent. At the same time, it could be argued that some of these such as terrorism and violent extremism are global phenomena with implications that transcend borders. As such, the UN has an obligation to support regional peace and security initiatives undertaken in accordance with Chapter VIII (8) of the UN Charter.

Significant progress has been made in advancing the partnership between the UN and the AU on matters of peace and security. In this regard we welcome the signing of the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security on 19 April 2017.

The Framework is a clear demonstration that African peace and security challenges cannot be left to the AU alone to resolve because of their complexity and far reaching implications.

The Framework will further enhance and consolidate coordination, cooperation and collaboration between the two organisations.

Excellencies,

The issue of predictable, flexible and sustainable financing for AU peace support operations authorized by the UN Security Council is one of great concern to South Africa.

While we understand the apprehension of some members of the Security Council regarding the use of UN assessed contributions for the financing of such operations, we also maintain the view that the discussions on this fundamental issue to Africa by the UN Security Council should be guided by the principle of primacy of the UN, through the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security and the common understanding that when the AU intervenes in conflict and crisis situations on the continent, it is doing so on behalf of the UN Security Council.

Therefore, the UN has a duty to provide UN assessed contributions for AU-led peace support operations that are authorized by the UN Security Council.

South Africa therefore welcomes the steps taken by the Secretary-General in finding a solution to this matter. We have taken note of the four financing model options, through which UN assessed contributions can be utilised to meet the financial gaps in AU-led peace support operations, presented by the Secretary-General in his Report on options for authorization and support for African Union Peace Support Operations.

These include subvention in exceptional and emergency circumstances; joint financing of a jointly developed budget; UN support offices; and joint financing of a hybrid mission.

We further note that out of these four, the Secretary-General has recommended that the Security Council endorse, in principle, the option of joint financing through a jointly developed budget.

It is this delegation's considered view that the Security Council should explore implementing all the financing model options proposed in the Secretary-General's report on a case-by-case basis noting that this will be determined by the nature and peculiarity of each AU-led peace support operation. However, these should be applied in such a way as to build on the successes while also addressing the weaknesses of these models, learning from past experiences.

I wish to re-iterate South Africa's continued commitment to the revitalization of the AU Peace Fund and we support the three windows of activities to be financed by the Fund. Our evaluation is that mediation and preventive diplomacy should remain the primary priority of our peace and security activities so as to mitigate the impacts of conflicts.

Excellencies,

South Africa agrees with the observation in the Report of the UN Secretary General, that "peace support operations are a key tool on which the international community increasingly relies to address the challenges to peace and security in Africa".

For this reason, this delegation believes that more can be done by the UN on the issue of financing of African peace support operations, taking into consideration the circumstances under which African peace operations are deployed, often at significant human sacrifice.

In essence, this is a fundamental contribution to any peace support operation that ought to be appreciated by the international community at large.

To conclude, I further wish to remind all of us of our shared goal and responsibility towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous in line with our objectives of AU Agenda 2063's flagship programme on Silencing the Guns by 2020.

Thank you.

 

 

Rev. Thursday, 02-Nov-2017 2:51 PM