On 9 July, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, convened the second African Union-United Nations Annual Conference at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General welcomed the strong collaboration between the African Union and the United Nations, and expressed their commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership between the two organizations. They underscored the importance of multilateral organizations and multilateralism, as instruments for effective international governance and addressing global issues.
The second Annual Conference reviewed the implementation of the Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, and welcomed the progress made. It also endorsed the Action Plan on the African Union-United Nations Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The African Union and the United Nations undertook to enhance collaboration, cooperation and coordination in the search for sustainable solutions to ongoing and future challenges, based on the principles of complementarity, comparative advantage, burden-sharing and collective responsibility to respond early, coherently and decisively to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts.
The Conference expressed deep concern over the evolving uncertainties in the international order, the rifts in international relations and the negative impact on the state of global peace and security, noting the need to adhere to established international norms, principles and rules.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General called for further strengthening of a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated approach to conflict prevention by addressing the root causes of conflicts, strengthening political processes and respect for rule of law, as well as the promotion of sustainable and inclusive development.
The Conference also reviewed challenges to peace, security and development on the continent, including in Burundi, Central African Republic, Lake Chad Basin, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mali and the Sahel, Somalia and South Sudan, and agreed to jointly increase their support, in close cooperation with regional economic communities, for the peace, security, development and stabilization initiatives in these countries, while cooperating more closely, particularly with respect to political processes. They [the Chairperson and the Secretary-General] urged for robust action by the international community, to alleviate the humanitarian crises, risks and vulnerability in the affected communities. They welcomed continued dialogue towards the implementation of the Sahel Support Plan developed as part of the recalibration of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, and exchange on the African Union efforts in the Sahel including ongoing efforts to review its strategy.
The Chairperson of the Commission briefed the Secretary-General on the important decisions adopted by the African Union Assembly at its Ordinary Session in Nouakchott on the Western Sahara and Libyan conflicts. As a follow‑up, these decisions will be formerly conveyed to the Secretary-General and through him to the United Nations Security Council. The African Union looks forward to working closely with the United Nations on these two issues.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General paid tribute to the troop- and police‑contributing countries, and African Union and United Nations peacekeepers for their sacrifice and continued commitment to peace on the continent. They also discussed the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, which aims at making peacekeeping operations fit for the challenges faced today, including on the African continent, by jointly strengthening operations on the ground, as well as renewing the political commitment to peacekeeping. They further commended the efforts to harmonize political stances of both organizations in countries where peacekeeping missions are deployed, as illustrated by the recent joint visit of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security in Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General renewed their commitment towards predictable, sustainable and flexible financing for African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council. They further welcomed the significant progress achieved in the revitalization of the African Union Peace Fund, the ongoing efforts to the establish its governance and management structure, and agreed to sustain the high-level political engagement and consideration for the financing of African Union-led peace support operations through United Nations assessed contributions. In this respect, it was agreed to continue with the ongoing work pursuant to Security Council resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017).
The Annual Conference discussed the need to promote synergy between the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 through coherent integration of both agendas into national development frameworks, as well as building requisite research, analytical, monitoring and evaluation capacities, at both national and regional levels. In this regard, the meeting stressed the critical role played by the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa and the Africa Peer Review Mechanism, and urged all international partners to support Africa’s efforts to implement the two agendas as a precondition for the achievement of peace, security and development on the continent.
The Annual Conference reviewed the progress in the ongoing institutional reform processes of both organizations aimed at enhancing effectiveness and responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of their Member States, and ensuring that the two organizations are fit for purpose and have the right capabilities to address contemporary challenges. The meeting agreed to continue to share experiences and best practice, including through staff-exchanges and training in support of the two reform processes.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General briefed the Peace and Security Council on cooperation in peacekeeping missions in Africa.
The Chairperson and Secretary-General agreed to convene the next African Union–United Nations Annual Conference in New York in 2019. They also agreed to meet on the margins of the General Assembly and the African Union Summit, to take stock of progress in the partnership between the two organizations.