Zuma proposes closer ties between AU, UN

The relationship between the United Nations Security Council and African Union should be institutionalised, President Jacob Zuma said in New York on Thursday.

“We therefore believe that we should institutionalise the relationship between the two councils if our common objective of maintaining international peace and security is to be maintained,” he said during the Security Council summit debate, according to a copy of his speech.

This was one of four proposals Zuma made on how to strengthen cooperation between the two bodies.

He said aligning policies and mechanisms for conflict prevention, mediation and resolution in Africa was paramount.

His second proposal was that the two bodies should consider developing modalities for cooperation and decision making between the two institutions.

“This will assist in ensuring uniformity, consistency and certainty when the two institutions are pursuing a common objective.”

‘Exploring solutions’
Thirdly, a clear division of labour would be crucial to the success of the partnership between the two organisations.

“This has to take into account the different competencies, capacities and comparative advantages of the two bodies.”

Finally, Zuma said, capacity building and sustainable resource allocation remained a fundamental problem.

“This is something that the AU needs to discuss with the UN to explore solutions.”

The African continent had in the past decade demonstrated sufficiently the political will and commitment to rid the continent of all conflicts and wars, he said.

Critical to building a stronger relationship between the bodies would be avoiding a situation similar to that which transpired during the conflict in Libya last year.

“The views of the African Union must be listened to if we are to strengthen our relationship and prevent further conflict.”

Regional problems
Zuma said the AU’s political roadmap, which would have helped resolve the conflict in Libya, was completely ignored in favour of bombing Libya by Nato forces. He said the consequences of actions carried out in Libya in the name of the UN Security Council had spilled over into other countries in the region.

“A problem which was confined to one country, Libya, has now grown to be a regional problem. The lesson we should draw from the Libyan experience is that greater political coherence and a common vision between the AU and the UN are critical in the resolution of African conflicts.”

Zuma said the AU was working hard to move the continent onto a sustainable path of socio-economic development and prosperity.

“We pledge to continue our dedication and commitment to human rights, peace, democracy and justice so that the support of countless men and women here at the UN headquarters can prove to have not been in vain.”—Sapa

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