Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Security Council Open Debate: Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security “United Nations-African Union peace and security cooperation: Chapter VIII application and the future of the African Peace and Security Architecture”

Statement by H.E. Mr Paul Menkveld, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New York, 24 May 2016

Mr. President, thank you.

I align myself with the EU intervention.

I thank the Egyptian Presidency for its excellent and detailed concept note on this pivotal subject.

In my intervention, I would like to address the 3 main phases of the continuum: conflict prevention, peacekeeping and sustaining peace.

1.  Conflict prevention

We need to get better at conflict prevention.
A shared understanding of how joint prevention efforts result in peace and stability, with sustainable and predictable financing, is urgently needed.
Let me highlight mediation in particular.

It is important that we learn from successes, but also from the occasions where mediation did not bring the desired results, because responsibilities and strategies were not well enough coordinated and undermined mediation efforts.

Both the UN and the AU have strengthened their mediation systems recently.
The AU regularly deploys Special Envoys and negotiators, such as in South Sudan.
UNDPA too has become more effective, and its work is in high demand.
Given our belief in the primacy of prevention, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has increased its contribution to DPA by 25%, to $1.25 million a year.
In addition, we finance the Clingendael Mediation Facility, which trains a group of senior AU African Women Mediators together with DIRCO, UNWOMEN and the AU.
The women are also supported to develop a sustainable network, gain access to resources and increase their own expertise and skillset, and with that, strengthen the position of women in peace processes.

2.  Peacekeeping

Peacekeepers, be they UN or AU, increasingly face complex conflicts, where terrorism and violent extremism add to the volatile mix.
Peacekeepers must understand the local context in order to be effective.
Therefore, the growing role played by the AU in crisis situations on the African continent is encouraging and inspiring, thanks to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
When missions are rehatted, the process is ardous.
A more institutionalized, practical cooperation between the AU and the UN could improve this process.
As the Secretary-General in his report on the implementation of the HIPPO recommendations stated, we need to “move away from improvisation in how we work together”.
This requires commitment from both sides, with clarity on what each may expect from the other, in terms of political, logistical and financial support, and deliverables on the ground.

3.  Sustaining peace

The post-conflict phase also requires an integrated approach between international actors, with a coherent and cooperative attitude towards African initiatives from both the UN and the EU.

An example of the merit of increased triangular EU-UN-AU collaboration lies in the field of Security Sector Reform: the three organisations jointly worked on their SSR strategies, experiences and their specific plans to jointly boost SSR efforts in the Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau and Madagascar.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands was proud to be able to contribute to that effort, and we stand ready to support similar joint SSR-efforts in Mali and Somalia.
Such efforts should keep in mind long-term reconstruction and development needs, in line with the 2030 Agenda and the AU Agenda 2063 for Africa Development.

4.  Concluding

In every phase of the continuum, a new form of cooperation between the AU and the UN must be worked out.
In that regard, a permanent African presence on the Security Council may not be without merit.
We hope that the Joint UN-AU Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security will succeed in institutionalising the strategic partnership between both organisations, creating the conditions for an equal partnership between the AU and the UN, including their respective roles and responsibilities, fostering a common understanding and shared analysis of threats to international peace and security.
The presence of the AU PSC ambassadors here today is a great step in that direction.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands, your partner for peace, justice and development, is committed to supporting such cooperation.

Thank you.