UN General Assembly hears more funding is needed for AU peace support


South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor told the UN General Assembly more financial assistance is needed from the world body for AU-led peace support missions.

She said commitments had been made to the continental body to help fund AU peace support operations but response was slow.

“It is unfortunate despite commitments to this effect, there has not been much progress on predictable and sustainable funding for AU-led peace support operations from UN assessed contributions,” Pandor said during the UN Security Council briefing on Peace and Security in Africa: Partnership to Strengthen Regional Peace and Security, at the 74th General Assembly in New York.

The continent, she said, has developed a strong and effective framework for addressing security challenges and threats. These frameworks cascade to sub-regional levels creating synergy between the AU and regional blocs, such as SADC (Southern African Development Community) for conflict prevention, management and resolution.

“Through the success of these initiatives, the continent made significant strides in reducing violent and armed conflicts guided by principles of subsidiarity and complementarity between the AU and sub-regional organisations,” Pandor said.

She also highlighted the need for effective measures in post-conflict situations.

“Another area of importance deserving more attention is effective measures for transitions and drawdowns from peacekeeping to post-conflict reconstruction and development. It is important efforts be co-ordinated and harmonised by all stakeholders to ensure peacebuilding is effective and peace dividends are consolidated,” she said asking for closer co-operation between the world body’s peacebuilding commission and the continental body’s post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD) framework.

Pandor admitted Africa faced factors contributing to insecurity. These included poverty, marginalisation, inequality, unemployment, failure to manage diversity, governance, the scramble for natural resources, external interference and, more recently, the impact of climate change.

“An upsurge in terrorism, violent extremism and inter-communal violence has perpetuated instability in some parts of the continent taking advantage of the vacuum created by continued conflict, poverty and inequality. Coercive and often unconstitutional changes in governments through military adventurism also degrades social capital and the economies of countries, resulting in widespread violence and humanitarian crises.

“The impact of these challenges is not only felt in Africa but reverberates to other countries and regions.”