I am very happy to be here in Addis Ababa, at the heart of the African Union. Having this meeting here, in the presence of so many prominent representatives of the AU and its Member States, is a testament to the close cooperation between the PBC and the AU PSC.
Many key issues were discussed in past PBC-AU meetings. Last year’s discussion on climate and security and the AU’s many initiatives in this field was very fruitful. We would very much welcome a follow-up to it, maybe next year.
This year‘s focus on further strengthening coordination and cooperation between the two institutions is very welcome. As Vice-Chair of the PBC and joint Co-Facilitator of the “Summit of the Future” with Namibia we hope to see specific language on the enhanced role of the PBC as well as regional organizations such as the AU in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
The Secretary General‘s “New Agenda for Peace” contains very good recommendations on strengthening the role of regional organizations in prevention and peacebuilding that our two institutions should jointly flesh out and specify. We need to develop concrete ways for UN fora and instruments such as the PBC and the PBF to better support AU initiatives in specific areas:
Early warning and conflict prevention is one such area. Both the AU and the UN are actively working on both, however, not in a sufficiently connected and coordinated way. The PBC could serve as a forum to enhance coordination and cooperation, focusing on specific sub-regions or conflict drivers, such as climat change or resource competition.
Peacebuilding Financing is another field, where a closer cooperation between our two institutions could deliver concrete results and progress:
The joint push by AU members states and many members of the PBC will hopefully lead to the introduction of assessed contributions for the Peacebuilding Fund.
As a next step, the PBC and the AU PSC should also join efforts to mobilze more voluntary funding for the Peacebuilding Fund and explore innovative approaches to funding for and investments in Peacebuilding in Africa.
The AU PSC and its members could also advise the PBC on specific regional or country contexts in Africa that could be discussed in the Commission. You are much closer and have a better understanding of conflict prevention and peacebuilding needs on the continent.