President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the United Nations (UN) and the African Union to speed up deliberations to ensure that peacekeeping operations on the African continent are realised.
The President made the call during his address to the UN Security Council high-level debate on the cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations on Friday.
The meeting comes as South Africa’s term as an elected member of the UN Security Council draws to a close at the end of this month.
“We underline once again the need for the United Nations and the African Union (AU) to expedite deliberations to ensure that AU-led peace support operations authorised by the Security Council are financed through the UN assessed contributions,” said the President.
South Africa’s tenure at the UN Security Council coincided with its tenure as chair of the African Union.
As chair of the AU, South Africa advanced the continental body’s call to silence the guns on the African continent.
“We have made significant gains towards the achievement of this necessary goal, as evidenced by ground-breaking peace agreements in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan and, most recently in Libya,” said President Ramaphosa.
While acknowledging work done to ensure peace on the continent, President Ramaphosa said through cooperation, the UN and AU must address the root causes and drivers of conflict in Africa, including development and governance issues.
“We must look at all factors that may impede the realisation of a peaceful and prosperous Africa,” he said.
Despite the significant gains made, the President said there remains concern at the immense humanitarian challenges faced as a result of on-going conflicts on the continent and the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Africa supported the Secretary-General’s call earlier this year for a global ceasefire to respond to the humanitarian challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We are heartened to note that this call has resulted in progress on some protracted conflicts on the continent.
“This pandemic has shown that solidarity and cooperation through multilateral action is the most effective means to confront a common threat,” said the President.
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and 20 years since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
These are cardinal policy frameworks that compel the international community to spare no effort in ensuring that women assume their rightful place in promoting and preserving international peace and security.
In this regard, President Ramaphosa welcomed the role played by women and youth in the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding.
“We are deeply concerned at the targeting of women and children, often through sexual violence used as a tool of war, terror and intimidation. Addressing this scourge is the litmus test for how effective we are in protecting our populations from the ravages of conflict,” said the President.