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Speech on the occasion of the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening Peacekeeping Operations in Africa” - November 20, 2018

20.11.2018 - Speech

-- Check against delivery --

  

Mr. President,

  • I join others in thanking you for convening this timely open debate on Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening Peacekeeping Operations in Africa.
  • We also thank the Secretary-General for his remarks.
  • Germany aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

I will focus on three points during my intervention:

  1. Support by the UN and the international community to African countries;
  2. Efforts by the United Nations and the international community to help African Union-led peace operations obtain more predictable and sustainable financing.
  3. Partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in peacekeeping;

1) Support to African troop-contributors

  • Germany was among the first countries to endorse the Declaration of Shared Commitments on Peacekeeping Operations put forth by the Secretary-General in August this year. We are committed to its implementation.
  • We take the shared commitment of improving cooperation with regional organizations very seriously and in particular with the African Union. It is important to strengthen regional organizations to enable them to secure peace and stability in their own region.  
  • Throughout the past years already, Germany has stepped up its contribution to crisis prevention efforts and peacekeeping on the African continent. Examples: We support capacity-building of APSA, provide training and specialized equipment to a large number of African TCCs and PCCs. We are also contributing to the Africa-wide roll-out of best-practices in controlling Small Arms and Light Weapons by UN Peace Missions in order to stop their proliferation into the hands of non-state actors.
  • In addition, we support the ongoing process of enhancing the performance and effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations through bilateral and multilateral programs. For instance, Germany  offers Mobile Training Teams for pre-deployment IED training to Troop and Police Contributing Countries in MINUSMA (already trained EGY, GIN, ongoing SEN), we provide in-mission training to further increase command capabilities of high-risk missions in Africa and we support peacekeeping training Institutes in Mali, Ghana and Kenya.
  • Also in the context of the EU, and as highlighted by the representative of the European Union, Germany is actively engaged: the EU currently supports seven African missions.  Germany is the largest contributor to these projects.
  • Looking for instance at Mali, in the context of the EU Training Mission, currently led by a German force commander, we provide training for the soldiers of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and deploy personnel to the two civilian missions EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUCAP Sahel Mali which advise their host countries on security sector reform. Or in Somalia, the EU is the largest financial contributors to the African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM. The EU's support to AMISOM is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive and long-term support for security and development efforts in Somalia, including three CSDP missions in and around Somalia.

2) Financing

Let me now turn to the question of financing:

  • While Germany recognizes that financing is an integral aspect of any peace operation, we would like to the see a broader debate about performance, about human rights compliance but also about the nexus of peace operations with prevention and peacebuilding activities. It is important to take a holistic approach, involving civilian and military means and addressing all phases of a conflict, from the outset.
  • At the same time, there is a need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for AU-led peace operations authorized by the Security Council.
  • We believe that establishing a mechanism through which AU-led or AU-mandated peace operations could be partly financed through UN assessed contributions should be given further consideration, on the understanding that such funding would be on a case-by-case basis, complement African contributions and respect the primacy of the Security Council.
  • In addition to the mentioned above, we would be reassured if two aspects received due attention:
    • First, the establishment of a robust accountability and compliance framework to ensure strategic and financial oversight;
    • Second, a human rights and conduct-and-discipline framework in accordance with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
  • While there can be no doubt that the UN and the international community must help provide the resources peacekeeping missions need to deliver on their mandates, we also commend the AU’s ongoing efforts to enhance self-reliance and financing of its activities. 

3)  UN-AU partnership

  • To conclude, Mr. President, and this is my third and final point: the African Union is undoubtedly one of the UN’s most important partners in peace and security on the African continent.
  • Germany, jointly with our African partners, is committed to support and further develop the UN-AU partnership, in line with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.
  • Based on the Joint UN-AU Framework for an enhanced partnership in peace and security, we would like to see this partnership develop even further and to address all phases of a conflict, from prevention, over peace operations to post-conflict peacebuilding. 
  • We are on a good track. We should sustain this momentum and maintain the political will to take the next step, with a view to “sustaining peace”. 

I thank you.

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