Ambassador Tekeda briefs Security Council on mission to Ethiopia

13 Sep 2017

President of the United Nations Security Council for September and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, briefed members of the Security Council on the successful conduction the Council’s joint consultative meeting with the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa from 5th – 9th September 2017.

 

Full briefing follows. Check against delivery.

Excellencies and colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to brief the Security Council on the successful conduct of its mission to the African Union which took place from 05-09 September 2017 in Addis Ababa. Allow me to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Under-Secretary General Hiale Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary General to the African Union, and the UN Secretariat for their full support and assistance during the preparation and holding of the Council’s visit to Addis Ababa.

As stated in the Terms of Reference of this mission, the purpose of the Council’s visit to Addis Ababa was to strengthen partnership and enhance cooperation between the United Nations and African Union in the areas of peace and security. It was undertaken within the framework of cooperation between the United Nations Security Council and African Union Peace and Security Council under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.

During the delegation’s stay in Addis Ababa, members of the Security Council met and held discussions with the AU PSC for the 11th Joint Annual Consultative meeting which took place on 08 September 2017. The Consultative meeting was preceded by the informal meeting between the two Councils which took place on 07 September 2017. Both meetings were co-chaired by the Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council and Permanent Representative of Botswana to the African Union, and myself. Both Council’s had lead members to introduce each topic or respond to the introduction made by a designated member of the other Council.

Both the informal meeting and the 11th Joint Consultative meeting provided an opportunity for the two Council’s to exchange views on matters related to peace and security in Africa. The meetings were conducted in a frank manner while the discussion was also substantive and very enriching. I believe I reflect the sentiments of Council members who took part in the Mission when I say we found the meetings to be very useful and enabled us to better understand the position of African Union on some of the issues that are of great importance to the work of the Security Council.

During the informal meeting, the two Councils held discussions on three thematic issues, namely: partnership between the UN and AU, funding for African peace and security activities, and post-conflict peacebuilding. The informal meeting was found to be very meaningful for both sides as it provided them with an opportunity to hear the views of the other side on some of the issues where there are diverging views such as on the issue of funding of AU peace support operations. Here, one noted, justified or not, the deep disappointment of the African side with respect to what in their view has been a huge deficit in burden sharing whose effect has been to give short shrift to the sacrifices by the African side. This was also stressed in a notably passionate manner by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.

During the 11th Joint Consultative meeting, the two Councils exchanged views covering three country specific and regional issues, namely: the situations in Somalia, South Sudan, and Lake Chad Basin. The discussion demonstrated that there are many points of convergence between the two Councils especially on most aspects of situations of South Sudan and some of the issues concerning Somalia and Lake Chad Basin.

On South Sudan, both Councils expressed their concern on the continued violence and suffering of the South Sudanese people; urged parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire and implement the 2015 Agreement; commended the leading role played by IGAD to help stabilize the country and expressed support including for IGAD’s latest initiative to revitalize the 2015 Peace Agreement; underlined that there is no military solution to the problems in South Sudan and urged parties to commit to the peaceful dialogue while also calling for urgent deployment of RPF.

On the Lake Chad Basin, the two Councils stressed the need to address the underlying cause of the conflict in the sub-region, including challenges resulting from climate change, underdevelopment and unemployment among others; recognized the regional dimension of the security threats and their cross-cutting nature and called for an integrated approach; commended the crucial role being played by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the resulting progress achieved thus far in fighting Boko Haram.

On Somalia, both Councils recognized the key role played by AMISOM in degrading the capability of AL-Shabaab; underlined the importance of supporting the capacity of Somali National Army so that it could take over from AMISOM; called for concerted efforts among the UN, AU and sub-regional countries to help address the fragile situation and bring lasting solution in Somalia.

The meeting that members of the Security Council had with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalgen and senior officials of the African Union Commission, were also extremely useful. The Prime Minister briefed Council members on the latest developments on the peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa and exchange of views were held on situations including Somalia and South Sudan.

Finally, I would like to raise a point about the outcome of the joint consultative meeting. Last year, it took the two Councils one year to agree and adopt the joint communique. We had originally hoped that we would be able to avoid this unnecessary delay this year. Although negotiations were undertaken among the experts of the two Councils, there are some pending issues in the draft joint communique that are subject to further negotiation and it is my hope that this would be finalized soon.

I thank you.

Source: Ethiopia at the UN

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