AU Commission Chairperson and UN Secretary General brief media within the framework of the UN-AU Annual Conference. New York. 19 April 2017.

April 20, 2017

AU Commission Chairperson and UN Secretary General brief media within the framework of the UN-AU Annual Conference. New York. 19 April 2017.

United Nations-African Union Annual Conference
New York, 19 April 2017

Communiqué

On 19 April 2017, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, and African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, convened the first United Nations-African Union Annual Conference, at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Secretary-General and Chairperson acknowledged the significant progress made in strengthening mechanisms for collaboration between the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission over the recent years and pledged to strengthen and deepen the partnership between the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU). The meeting underscored the importance of the strategic partnership between the two Organizations in efforts to promote sustainable development, peace and security as well as human rights on the continent.

The Secretary-General and the Chairperson discussed the need to promote complementarity between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.

The meeting underlined the need for a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, particularly through collaboration on prevention, addressing the root causes of conflict, strengthening the rule of law and promoting sustainable economic growth. The two organizations agreed to work together towards the implementation of the AU initiative on Silencing the Guns by 2020 and to ensure coherence with Sustainable Development Goal 16.

The Secretary-General and the Chairperson also reviewed a number of peace and security challenges on the continent, including Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Chad Basin, Libya, Mali/Sahel, Somalia, South Sudan and Western Sahara, with a view to identifying, as appropriate, joint initiatives and approaches to address the challenges. They paid particular attention to the humanitarian implications of some of the crises, including in Somalia, South Sudan and the Lake Chad Basin, called on States to invest in disaster risk reduction, increase people’s resilience and national capacities to respond and stressed the importance and need for the international community to urgently meet humanitarian needs in the affected countries.

Recognizing the complexity of peace and security challenges on the continent and the threat they pose to stability, the meeting acknowledged that preventing and resolving the challenges exceeds the capacity of any single organization. The United Nations and African Union agreed to promote systematic, predictable and strategic approaches based on the principles of consultation, burden sharing, complementarity and comparative advantage. In that regard, the Secretary-General and Chairperson endorsed and co-signed a Joint United Nations-African Union Framework on Sustainable Development and Peace and Security. The Framework outlines priority areas for cooperation between the two Organizations from early warning, prevention, mediation, conflict management and working together to sustain peace. The Framework also highlights the inextricable link between peace and security, human rights and development. It emphasizes the inclusion of women and youth in national processes to ensure lasting peace.

The Secretary-General and the Chairperson expressed concern at the growing threats posed by terrorism, the spread of illicit arms, in particular small arms and light weapons, and the linkages between terrorist organizations and transnational organized criminal groups. They agreed on the need to strengthen the partnership between the African Union Commission and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).

The Secretary General and the Chairperson also discussed ongoing efforts to secure sustainable, predictable and flexible funding for African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council. The Chairperson briefed the Secretary-General on progress made in the implementation of the decision of the AU Assembly in July 2016 on financing of the African Union, including the operationalization of the African Union Peace Fund. The meeting welcomed the close cooperation between the Secretariat and the Commission in developing modalities to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the two Organizations in peace operations. The Secretariat and the Commission will report and update the Security Council in May, in line with Security Council resolution 2320 (2016), on planning, mandating and financing of AU peace support operations. The Secretary-General and the Chairperson agreed to enhance political consultation in the lead up to the consideration of the issue by the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council.

The Secretary-General and the Chairperson agreed to convene the next United Nations-African Union Annual Conference in April 2018. They also agreed to meet on the margins of the General Assembly and African Union Summits to take stock of progress in the United Nations-African Union partnership. In the meantime, the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission will follow up on the steps agreed upon, including developing an implementation matrix and convening regular meetings at various levels to review progress and address challenges.

New York, 19 April 2017