6 June 2011 - Security Council - Briefing by the Security Council mission to Africa (19 to 26 May 2011) - Statement by Mr Martin Briens, Chargé d’affaires a.i.
As in past years, the Security Council in May conducted a weeklong mission to Africa. From 19 to 26 May, the Security Council visited Addis Ababa; Khartoum and Juba, in the Sudan; and, finally, Nairobi, where it considered the issue of Somalia, since it was not able to go to Mogadishu.
The Security Council was able to meet with the political authorities of the countries visited and with representatives of the United Nations on the ground, in particular those responsible for Council-mandated peacekeeping operations. The mission also made it possible for the Security Council to meet representatives of civil society.
France coordinated the first segment of this mission, the visit to Addis Ababa. I will therefore speak about that segment, and then my United States, Russian, British and South African colleagues, who led the other segments, will take the floor.
As is well known, the Security Council now meets with the Peace and Security Council of the
African Union every year. Last year the meeting was held in New York; under the rule of alternation, it was held this year at the headquarters of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, on 21 May.
The Peace and Security Council was chaired by the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the African Union, Mr. Pepani. The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, also took part in the meeting.
During the meeting, which lasted more than four hours, the Security Council was able to discuss with the Permanent Representatives members of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union how the two institutions can work together and to assess their cooperation in terms of conflict prevention and settlement and of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
The members of the Security Council and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union reasserted the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security and the mandate of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union with regard to the promotion of peace and security in Africa. They also reasserted the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations with regard to regional arrangements in the settlement of conflicts.
The meeting enabled us to consider in detail four issues that are currently on the agendas of both institutions: Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, the Sudan and Somalia.
Each was the subject of frank and substantive discussions, with the objective being to establish a common vision that would allow the United Nations and the African Union to implement their actions more effectively.
Following the meeting, an outcome statement was adopted that welcomes in particular the enhancement of cooperation between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. It refers also to the concerns of and the priorities expressed by both Councils with regard to Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, the Sudan and Somalia.
In addition to meeting with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the Security Council met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr. Meles Zenawi. The discussions, which lasted for more than an hour, allowed us to consider mainly the situation in the Sudan and in Somalia, as well as the issues of Eritrea and Libya.
Before the Permanent Representatives of the United States and the Russian Federation — who will deal with the Sudan segment — take the floor, I should like to close by thanking the team at the United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa, which was established on 1 July 2010, for the support and the welcome they provided us during the Security Council’s visit, and in particular the Head of the Office, Mr. Zachary Muburi-Muita.