United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement on Relationship between the United Nations and Regional Organizations, in particular the African Union, delivered by Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, New York, 28 March 2007

At the 5649th meeting of the Security Council, held on March 28, 2007 in connection with the consideration of the item entitled "Relationship between the United Nations and regional Organizations, in particular the African Union, in the maintenance of international peace and security" the President of the Security Council made the following statement on behalf of the Council.

"The Security Council re-affirms its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

The Security Council recognizes the important role of regional organizations in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations as well as its relevant resolutions and presidential statements, in particular resolutions 1625 (2005) and 1631 (2005) and PRST 2006/39. In this respect, the Security Council recalls that cooperation between the United Nations and the regional arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of peace and security, as are appropriate for regional action, is an integral part of collective security as provided for in the Charter of the United Nations.

The Security Council recalls the relevant paragraphs of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document (A/RES/60/1), in particular the support expressed for the development and implementation of a 10-year capacity plan to enhance Africa's peacekeeping capacity, and welcomes the signing in November 2006, of the Declaration on Enhancing UN-AU cooperation between the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union in the field of peace and security (A/61/630).

The Security Council also recalls its Presidential Statements (S/PRST/2004/44) made in Nairobi in 2004 and in New York on 20 September 2006 (S/PRST/2006/39), where it expressed its intention to consider further steps to promote closer and more operational cooperation between the UN and regional, sub-regional and other intergovernmental organizations in the field of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and peacekeeping and acknowledges the important role played by them in the brokering of peace agreements in conflict situations. The Security Council also welcomes recent developments with regard to the cooperation between the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union.

The Security Council welcomes the growing contribution being made by the African Union and the resolve of its leaders to address and solve the conflicts on the African continent, the Security Council stresses, in accordance with Article 54 of the Charter of the United Nations, the need for the African Union at all times to keep the Security Council fully informed of these efforts in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

The Security Council recognizes that regional organizations are well positioned to understand the root causes of many conflicts closer to home and to influence the prevention or resolution, owing to their knowledge of the region.

The Security Council urges the Secretary-General in consultation and in cooperation with the relevant regional and sub-regional bodies to resolve regional conflicts in Africa by using existing UN capacities as effectively as possible; to support regional early warning and mediation, in particular in Africa; assess the risk of conflict at regional level and prioritize those areas of highest risk; and highlight possible methods at a regional level in combating illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources.

The Security Council stresses that common and co-coordinated efforts undertaken by the United Nations and regional organizations in matters of peace and security should be based on their complimentary capacities and comparative advantages, making full use of their experience, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the relevant Statutes of the regional organizations. In this regard the Council recognizes the need to build capacities with regional organizations so as to improve our collective effectiveness in the maintenance of international peace and security.

The Security Council recognizes the Peacebuilding Commission as a forum for coordination between the United Nations system and regional and sub-regional organizations.

The Security Council invites further collaboration with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in order to help build the latter's capacity to undertake, inter alia, rapid and appropriate responses to emerging situations and to develop effective strategies for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The Security Council recognizes that in some cases, the African Union may be authorized by the Security Council to deal with collective security challenges on the African continent. In this connection, the Security Council encourages increased exchange of information and sharing of experience, best practices and lessons learned between the Security Council and the African Union as well as other relevant regional organizations.

Emphasizing the primacy of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security the Security Council stresses the importance of supporting and improving in a sustained way the resource base and capacity of the African Union. The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to provide a report, in consultation with the relevant regional organizations, in particular the African Union, on specific proposals on how the United Nations can better support arrangements for further cooperation and coordination with regional organizations on Chapter VIII arrangements in order to contribute significantly to the common security challenges in the areas of concern and to promote the deepening and broadening of dialogue and cooperation between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

28 March 2007


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