Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on issues relating to financing of African Union peace support operations
At the outset, we would like to congratulate all our African colleagues on the Africa Day. On this day 60 years ago the first conference of African governments convened in Addis Ababa, which gave start to the Organization of African Unity. Today, its mission is performed by the African Union. This event signified the termination of the first stage of decolonization on the African continent. Thanks to the efforts of African states, a mechanism for collective response to local crises has been established, and process of regional integration has started in various formats. By all means, this adds to Africa’s socio-economic development, boosts the role of the continent in global affairs. On a separate note, we would like to highlight the input of African states to the UN peacekeeping both on the continent and beyond. We pay tribute to all who sacrificed their lives in this noble cause. It is very symbolic that we are discussing the issue of African peacekeeping on this day.
We thank USG DiCarlo, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mr.Adeoye Bankole, as well as Ms.Bitania Tadesse for the briefing. We studied closely the report of the UN Secretary-General on the implementation of UNSC resolutions 2320 and 2378, which contains specific considerations for resolving the problem of funding of African peace operations that are carried out under the auspices of the Security Council.
Russia supports the position of African countries that effective measures are required to improve predictability, reliability and flexibility in this matter. We think it is not normal that peace and security in Africa depend on irregular assistance from individual states and associations.
Africans know better than anyone the true nature and the root causes of instability in their region. They have come a long way in building the regional peace and security architecture. By now they have developed mechanisms that take into account local specificities and harmoniously complement the efforts of the United Nations within their respective areas of responsibility and mandates. The Peace and Security Council, which is underpinned by support of the AU Commission, the Panel of the Wise, the Continental Early Warning System, and the African Standby Force, functions effectively. The Peace Fund is being replenished. African Union's flagship initiative on silencing the guns, which has been extended until 2030, is being implemented. Significant progress has been made on human rights, transparency and accountability in military contingents of African states.
The United Nations repeatedly provided material and financial support for African peace and security efforts, i.a. by employing the assessed contributions of UN member states. Among the latest examples was logistical support for African peacekeepers in Somalia via the UNSOS channels, hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur, support by the UN Blue Helmets in Mali for the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The advantage of African peacekeeping as compared to the UN peace operations is the ability to respond quickly to emerging threats and challenges, as well as preparedness to use force to establish peace. This is especially relevant given the growing terrorist threat on the continent and the volatility (if not complete absence) of peace agreements.
The unstopping proliferation of crises and armed conflicts in Africa, which regional states and organizations quickly step in to resolve, dictates the need for an in-depth discussion of the issue of predictable and sustainable financing. The lack of access to resources that are needed to settle these crises inevitably leads to the loss of effectiveness of the efforts undertaken and further spread of instability.
Our African colleagues are capable of taking responsible decisions for ensuring peace and security in their region. This was demonstrated by the recent AU summit and its decisions regarding the use of the Peace Fund and its Crisis Reserve Facility to support the operation of the East African Community in the DRC and addressing the problem with the financing of ATMIS. We appreciate the willingness of the regionals, which they confirmed at the summit, to self-sponsor 25 % of the total cost of peace and security activities on the continent, including peacekeeping operations. This step was practical confirmation of the principle "African solutions to the African problems".
We are studying the considerations presented in the report of the Secretary-General on lessons learned from United Nations-African Union interaction and possible future planning and joint decision-making on peacekeeping missions in Africa, including the most viable funding models, while maintaining exhaustive measures to increase transparency and spending control. We are ready to join the targeted discussion of the matter during forthcoming negotiations of a specialized UNSC resolution.