October 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 September 2010
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PEACEMAKING, PEACEKEEPING AND PEACEBUILDING

UN Support for Regional Peacekeeping

 

Expected Council Action
In October the Council will consider a report by the Secretary-General on UN assistance to the AU to improve effectiveness in deploying and managing peacekeeping operations. The foreign minister of Uganda, Sam Kutesa, will preside over the debate.

This issue has proved highly controversial in previous years. However a presidential statement is a likely outcome

Background and Key Recent Developments
On 16 April 2008, under the South African presidency, the Council held a debate on strengthening relationships between the UN and regional organisations and adopted resolution 1809 welcoming the establishment of a joint AU-UN panel to consider options for supporting AU peacekeeping operations. After its chair, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, it became known as the “Prodi Panel”.

The Prodi Panel’s report was transmitted to the Council in December 2008. It addressed capacity building for conflict prevention in Africa and offered several recommendations involving UN funding from assessed contributions, funding to support AU peacekeeping operations and to develop AU logistics capacity.

In March 2009 the Council held a high-level debate on the Prodi report which revealed considerable reservations among members about the panel’s recommendations. The Council adopted a presidential statement requesting the Secretary-General to submit a report on practical ways to provide effective support for the AU, including “a detailed assessment of the recommendations”, particularly those on financing and establishing a joint AU-UN team.

In September 2009, the Secretary-General proposed a number of alternate ways for the UN to help the AU improve effectiveness in deploying and managing peacekeeping operations. He made several suggestions for strengthening the partnership between the UN and the AU. (For more details on the Prodi report and the Secretary-General’s assessment see our March 2009 Monthly Forecast and 22 October 2009 Update Report.)

In a presidential statement of 26 October 2009 , the Council welcomed the intentions of the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission to establish a joint task force on peace and security. The Council requested the Secretary-General to update it by 26 April and submit a progress report no later than 26 October 2010.

In May Under-Secretary-General Susana Malcorra, the head of the Department of Field Support, briefed Council members during informal consultations on UN cooperation with the AU. Members were reportedly encouraged by the efforts being made by the joint task force of the UN and AU secretariats but urged the task force to establish priorities and develop further strategic thinking on the role of regional organisations in peacekeeping.

On 1 July 2010 the General Assembly formally established a UN presence for co-operation with the AU. The new office integrates various UN peace and security presences in Addis Ababa:

  • the UN Liaison Office;
  • the UN’s AU Peace and Support Team;
  • the UN Planning Team for the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM); and
  • the administrative functions of the Joint Support and Coordination Mechanism of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur.

Through an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the Council on 6 and 13 August, Zachary Muburi-Muita (Kenya) was appointed as the Head of the UN Office to the AU at the level of Assistant Secretary-General.

On 9 July members of the Council held a consultative meeting at UN headquarters with the AU Peace and Security Council and top AU Commission officials. Topics discussed included enhancing cooperation between the two Councils and modalities for organising future consultations between them. Participants also focused on two specific conflict situations where the AU and the UN are partners—Sudan and Somalia. They also discussed the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea. A joint communiqué issued at the end of the meeting said that participants recognised the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing the AU’s peace and security capability and agreed on modalities for future meetings between the two Councils, to be conducted annually. (The theme of peacekeeping has been a recurring one since the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council began holding annual meetings in 2007, alternating between Addis Ababa and New York.)

On 25 September the UN and the AU launched a joint task force on peace and security, as part of efforts between the two organisations to enhance conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding on the African continent. The task force will meet twice a year at the senior level with the objective of reviewing immediate and long-term strategic issues and its programme of work will be mapped out in coordination with the UN Office to the AU and the AU’s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN.

Key Issues
A key issue is whether the Council is ready to move forward with decisions regarding more predictable resources for AU peacekeeping efforts.

A second issue may be whether to determine more clearly
the role of the new UN Office to the AU and its relationship with the Council and Council expectations.

A related issue may be whether to articulate a clear Council position on the UN’s and the AU’s comparative advantages in addressing peacekeeping and contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Council Dynamics
Most Council members welcomed the efforts being made by the UN and AU secretariats in enhancing the state of cooperation with the AU in the area of peacekeeping operations during informal consultations on the issue in May. However, real differences remain regarding the issue of UN financial support for AU regional peacekeeping missions authorised by the UN. African countries on the Council have argued that UN financial support should be provided for AU missions, citing the primary responsibility of the UN for ensuring global peace and security and the consequent need to collaborate in a substantial way with regional peacekeeping.

The P5 and Japan have consistently expressed reservations about any generic or thematic decision related to using funds from the assessed contributions of the UN peacekeeping budget to support peacekeeping operations by regional organisations. They prefer to address this issue on a case-by-case basis such as in Darfur and Somalia. (In January 2009 the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund to provide financial support to AMISOM, which is dependent on donor funding.)

The African Council members tried unsuccessfully to get an explicit commitment from the Council in its 18 March 2009 presidential statement to explore the use of assessed UN contributions for supporting AU peacekeeping endeavours, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The issue is important to Uganda given the pivotal role it plays in AMISOM as a major troop-contributing country. It emphasises the need to press further the need for more predictable and sustainable funding for such missions.

Some other Council members are sympathetic because of circumstances which have driven much of the AU peacekeeping activities—operations which should ideally have been under the UN. But they are also cognisant of the fact that there is no established precedent for the UN giving financial support on a regular basis from its assessed contributions to support peacekeeping operations that are led by regional organisations. Many Council members are also conscious in that regard of the prerogative of the General Assembly on financial issues.

This nuanced appreciation of the resourcing of AU peacekeeping missions has led to some elected members advocating an incremental approach to resolving the issue of finding predictable and sustainable sources of funding for UN mandated AU peacekeeping missions, which may suggest that while some movement may be possible in October a major breakthrough is unlikely.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1863 (16 January 2009) requested the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund to provide financial support to AMISOM.
  • S/RES/1809 (16 April 2008) welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposal to set up an AU-UN panel to consider the modalities of how to support AU peacekeeping operations established under a UN mandate.
  • S/RES/1769 (31 July 2007) established UNAMID.
  • S/RES/1706 (31 August 2006) was the resolution on the situation in Sudan mandating UN assistance to AMIS.
  • S/RES/1631 (17 October 2005) was the first resolution adopted by the Council on regional organisations.
  • S/RES/1625 (14 September 2005) was a declaration on the effectiveness of the Council’s role in conflict prevention, calling for the strengthening of cooperation and communication between the UN and regional and subregional organisations in accordance with Chapter VIII (on regional arrangements).
  • S/RES/1497 (1 August 2003) recognised the role Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) played in implementing the June 2003 ceasefire in Liberia and cited Chapter VIII.
  • S/RES/1464 (4 February 2003) welcomed the actions of ECOWAS in response to the violence in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 with reference to Chapter VII and Chapter VIII.
  • S/RES/1318 (7 September 2000) was the adoption of the Millennium Summit declaration on maintaining peace and security, especially in Africa.
  • S/RES/1197 (18 September 1998) was on the need for the UN to provide support to regional and subregional organisations and to strengthen coordination between the UN and those organisations.

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2009/26 (26 October 2009) welcomed the intention of the UN Secretariat and AU Commission to establish a joint task force on peace and security and requested an update by 26 April 2010 and a progress report by 26 October.
  • S/PRST/2009/3 (18 March 2009) welcomed of the AU-UN Panel on modalities for support to AU peacekeeping operations established under a UN mandate and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report by 18 September 2009, on practical ways to provide effective support for the AU when it undertakes such peacekeeping operations.
  • S/PRST/2007/42 (6 November 2007) was a presidential statement on the role of regional and subregional organisations in the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • S/PRST/2007/31 (28 August 2007) requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the options for further implementation of resolution 1625.
  • S/PRST/2007/7 (28 March 2007) was a presidential statement on relations between the UN and regional organisations, particularly the AU.
  • S/PRST/2006/55 (19 December 2006) called for the immediate deployment of light and heavy support packages to AMIS and endorsed the phased approach towards a hybrid AU-UN force agreed by the AU Peace and Security Council.
  • S/PRST/2006/39 (20 September 2006) welcomed the progress made in realising the goals of resolution 1631 and urged contributions to the capacity building of regional organisations and subregional organisations, particularly of the AU and African subregional organisations.
  • S/PRST/2004/44 (19 November 2004) recognised the importance of strengthening cooperation with the AU in order to help build its capacity to deal with collective security challenges.
  • S/PRST/2004/27 (20 July 2004) was the statement after the Council’s debate on cooperation between the UN and regional organisations in stabilisation processes.
  • S/PRST/1998/35 (30 November 1998) reaffirmed the increasingly important role of regional arrangements in maintaining peace and security.
  • S/PRST/1998/28 (16 September 1998) focused on enhancing Africa’s peacekeeping capacity and highlighted the problem of children and armed conflict.
  • S/PRST/1997/46 (25 September 1997) noted that addressing the challenges of conflict in Africa required a comprehensive approach and called on the Secretary-General to produce a report to address the issue.
  • S/PRST/1994/22 (3 May 1994) said that regional and subregional organisations should be taken into account when setting up new peacekeeping operations.

Selected Reports

  • S/2009/470 (18 September 2009) was the Secretary-General’s report on support to AU peacekeeping operations authorised by the UN.
  • S/2008/813 (31 December 2008) was the report of the AU-UN Panel on modalities for support to AU peacekeeping operations established under a UN mandate.
  • S/2008/186 (7 April 2008) was the Secretary-General’s report on enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional organisations, in particular the AU.
  • S/2006/590 (28 July 2006) was the report A regional-global security partnership: challenges and opportunities.
  • A/59/2005 (21 March 2005) was the report, In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All.
  • A/59/565 (2 December 2004) and Corr. 1 (6 December 2004) was the report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.
  • S/2000/809 (21 August 2000) was the Brahimi report on peacekeeping.

Selected General Assembly Resolutions

  • A/RES/60/1 (24 October 2005) was the World Summit Outcome Document.
  • A/RES/49/57 (9 December 1994) was the Declaration on Enhancement of Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Arrangements or Agencies in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security.

Other

  • S/2010/433 (6 August 2010) and S/2010/434 (13 August 2010) was the exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the president of the Council appointing Zachary Muburi-Muita (Kenya) as the Head of the UN Office to the AU.
  • S/2010/392 (20 July 2010) was the letter transmitting the joint communiqué issued at the end of the fourth meeting between the UN Security Council and the AUPSC.
  • S/PV.6206 (26 October 2009) was the record of the open debate on the Secretary-General’s report on support to AU peacekeeping operations authorised by the UN.
  • S/PV.6092 and resumption 1 (18 March 2009) was the high-level debate on the AU-UN panel report on options for supporting UN mandated AU peacekeeping operations.
  • S/PV.5868 and resumption 1(16 April 2008) was the debate combining the thematic issues of UN cooperation with regional organisations and conflict prevention and resolution, in particular in Africa.
  • S/PV.3819 (25 September 1997) was the first ministerial-level debate on the situation in Africa.

Other Relevant Facts

Head of the UN Office to AU

Zachary Muburi-Muita (Kenya)

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