Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Briefing on cooperation between the UN and Regional or Sub-Regional Organisations, 12 March 2019
South Africa would like to thank Ms Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for her informative briefing on “Cooperation between the UN and Regional or Sub-regional Organisations”. Her briefing clearly illustrates the added value that regional organisations provide in the maintenance of international peace and security.
The international community, including the EU and its member states and millions of their ordinary citizens, played an indispensable role in the liberation of all South Africans and the fight against the apartheid regime. None of this progress would have been possible without the efforts of regional and international organizations. This is why multilateralism is today a core pillar of South Africa’s foreign policy which also underpins our belief in the strengthening of multilateralism through inter-organisational cooperation.
In this regard, I wish to touch on three major areas of focus, firstly, on the African Union-European Union-United Nations trilateral cooperation arrangement. Secondly, I will touch on the importance of elevating the women, peace and security agenda; and finally on funding peace operations.
At the Third African Union-European Union-United Nations Trilateral Meeting, the Joint Communiqué stated that the parties to this trilateral cooperation arrangement intend to increase their coordination and cooperation at political, economic and operational level on a range of issues including in the area of peace and security. The focus in this regard would particularly be on conflict prevention and mediation, as well as implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. Through this Trilateral arrangement we also hope to highlight the nexus between peace and security and development by promoting and ensuring sustainable growth, advancing human rights and addressing issues of climate change and migration, as well as supporting the implementation of AU and UN reforms.
Of particular importance to South Africa is the role of women in peace and security. This is another area that was stressed by the AU-EU-UN meeting. This is in reference to initiatives aimed at supporting women’s equal and meaningful participation including leadership in political and peace processes at all levels, as well as peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities.
South Africa appreciates the focus of the European Union on women, peace and security.
Too often WPS issues are treated as a soft issue. However, it is an integral part of the peace and security agenda. Mainstreaming the WPS agenda into the broader peace and security agenda will impact positively on peacekeeping, peacebuilding as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Mr President, allow me to come to my third and final point.
Adequate funding of peace missions has a significant influence on the effectiveness of how this Council prevents and responds to conflict situations. The AU-EU-UN leaders were cogniscent of this reality. Furthermore, they indicated their intention to reflect together on how to ensure the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council, and consistent with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.
In this regard, we wish to acknowledge and welcome the contributions that the EU makes to peacekeeping missions. This invaluable role has been most evident in Africa where the EU have been involved in capacity building, training and providing resources, while working closely with the AU.
South Africa, through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union will continue to promote inter-organisational cooperation, as it fosters multilateral efficiency, openness and dialogue. We thank the EU, and appreciate their efforts in this regard and we look forward to even closer collaboration between the AU, the EU and the UN in the future.
I thank you.
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