Speaking Notes for Media Stakeout on outcomes of South Africa’s Presidency, 1 - 4 December 2020

Members of the Press,

I thank you for taking the time to attend to this press briefing on the outcomes of South Africa’s Presidency of the Security Council for the first week, 1-4 December.

A few days ago, I briefed you on the elective meetings and outcomes South Africa had envisioned for its Presidency of the Council this month.

Security Sector Governance and Reform

Yesterday, on 3 December, the Security Council held a High-Level debate on the topic "Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Security Sector Reform", which was chaired by the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor. We are grateful for the ministerial participation from some members of the Council as well as the Foreign Minister of South Sudan.

This meeting recognised the importance of Security Sector Governance and Reform (SSG&R) in conflict prevent, peacebuilding and sustaining peace and that SSR processes must be locally and nationally-owned to ensure support for countries undergoing SSR processes, and that support is aligned with national priorities and in response to local and national needs.

It also highlighted the importance of inclusive security sector reform processes, most notably the critical role and contributions on women, youth and civil society in SSG&R. The meeting also highlighted the need to improve the number of women participating in SSR including in uniformed components. In addition, the meeting recognised the important role of regional and sub-regional organisations including but not limited to, the African Union and the United Nations and its partners. The meeting also emphasised that SSR cannot be effective without adequate financing and resources and encouraged further cooperation in this regard.

I am also pleased to announce that following the High-Level debate, the Security Council unanimously adopted a Resolution 2553 (2020) on SSG&R effectively updating Resolution 2151 (2014), which was adopted over six years ago facilitated by Nigeria. This adoption is a significant contribution of the Security Council to prevent conflicts and strengthen its efforts to peacebuilding. The resolution received co-sponsorship from 31 countries.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Council and UN Member States for their support in this process and we look forward to working with all Member States to ensure the implementation of Resolution 2553.

AU-UN Cooperation

Earlier this morning, the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the High-Level debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organisation with a focus on the African Union. The Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union, briefed the meeting. This meeting was significant to highlight the strategic partnership between the AU and UN in prevention and resolution of conflict in Africa at a time that the African Union in fully seized with Silencing the Guns across the African Continent.

The High-Level debate concluded by issuing the Presidential Statement on Cooperation between the AU and the UN, S/PRST/2020/11. The Presidential Statement reinforced the vital strategic partnership between the AU and the AU in the maintenance of international peace and security in line with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. The meeting recognised the political leadership of the AU and its concerted efforts to rid Africa of armed conflicts and the gains made over the years to pave the path to achieve the African Union Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals.

The PRST encourages further strengthening of coordination efforts of the UN and the AU in a mutually supportive manner in the resolution and prevention of conflicts, peacebuilding and other areas of cooperation. This will ensure the continued implementation of the Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security.

Of equal importance, is the recognition by the Security Council of the crucial role of women and youth in peace processes and further encouraged their greater participation in the promotion of peace and security. It also calls for joint action between the AU and the UN to end sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations and emphasised the taking of the necessary measures to prevent such acts and respond adequately to situations of sexual violence in armed conflict in Council resolutions.

Burundi

It gives me great pleasure to announce that this morning, the Security Council also issued a Presidential Statement on the situation in Burundi in recognition of the evolution of peace and security in Burundi, S/PRST/2020/12. The peaceful electoral transition in Burundi, which has led to the formation of a new Government in Burundi, marks a new phase for Burundi, and it is our hope that it will user in a great future for the people of Burundi.

In recognition of the great strides made by Burundi, and evolution of peace and security in the Country, the Security Council has decided to cease the periodic reporting by the Secretary-General on the situation in Burundi in the Council – which means there will be no further meeting on Burundi.

The Security Council continues to underscore the importance of continued support to Burundi as it embarks on the next stage of its development. We welcome the willingness of the United Nations, alongside the AU, the region and the international community to continue its engagement with the country, in an effort to support Burundi in achieving economic stability, sustainable peace, reconciliation and development.

I thank you for your attention.

I welcome questions at this point.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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