SA aims to strengthen UN, AU security ties

South Africa said on Wednesday it plans to use its presidency of the United Nations Security Council in April to enhance security cooperation between the world body and the African Union on the continent.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad told reporters in Pretoria that South Africa—taking over the rotating leadership for the second time—would call a summit this month at the UN to discuss conflict resolution in Africa.

“On April 16 and 17 South Africa, as president of the UN Security Council, will convene a debate at the level of heads of state with an aim to adopt concrete measures on strengthening the relations between members of the Security Council and of the African Peace and Security Council,” Pahad said.

He spoke during the opening of a bi-national commission meeting in Pretoria with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that will be joined on Thursday by Congolese President Joseph Kabila and South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki.

Invitations to the summit have been sent to members of the UN Security Council, the African Peace and Security Council and a number of African countries, including the DRC.

Pahad said the high-level debate would offer an opportunity to discuss the complex nature of current conflicts in Africa, post-reconstruction development and how best to maximise the relationship between the UN and the AU.

The goal of strengthening regional cooperation with the UN has been pegged as the main theme of South Africa’s two-year tenure on the Security Council.—AFP

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