By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 8, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on Friday held their 11th Annual Joint Consultative meeting here in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa at the AU Headquarters.
Representatives of the 15 UNSC member countries arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday.
Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, head of Ethiopian Mission to the UN told journalists that the meeting deliberated on peace and security situations in Africa, particularly on conflict and crisis situations in South Sudan, Somalia, and the Lake Chad Basin.
Tekeda who is President of UNSC for the Month of September said the meeting helps to discuss ways to resolve the crisis in these countries.
He said the joint consultative meeting would further strengthen and deepen the cooperation between the two organizations.
“At a time when current security challenges are growing in a scale and complexity, it is important that the councils strengthen their cooperation,” Tekeda told the councils at the meeting Friday.
“The two organs should explore measures that could further strengthen their cooperation and working relations including joint field visits and harmonization of their respective programs of work among others” added the Ethiopian envoy.
Ambassador Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, for his part said the joint meeting would create a good opportunity to fight against the growing threat of extremism.
Somalia has shown improvement compared to where it was 10 years ago, Ambassador Chergui said, citing the recent election held in that country as a case in point.
However, building strong public institutions and eradicating Al Shabaab from Somalia are our assignments ahead, he added.
The Somali Nations Security Forces need support to take over the security operation from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Commissioner indicated.
The joint councils today urged South Sudan warring factions to respect and effectively implement the peace agreement signed in 2015 to avoid the suffering of people in the youngest African country.
In her opening remarks, Punkie Josephine Molef, chair of AUPSC, noted that the African continent has continued to grapple with a myriad of challenges on peace and security since the last consultative meeting held in New York.
“We shall exchange views on the situations in South Sudan where the crises persist, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated and several efforts have been made with AU, IGAD and the international partners working with the government of South Sudan and other players to the conflict towards the implementation of the peace agreement,” said Molef.
Molef also Botswana’s envoy to Ethiopian and the AU said conflict situations in South Sudan, Somalia and Chad basin have seen some positive developments but still face serious challenges in their resolutions.
Ahead of today’s meeting, The two Councils held informal consultations on Thursday, which focuses on the partnership between the AU and the UN, funding for AU peace and security activities, and post-conflict peace building.
The meeting also discussed ways how to further strengthen financial support to peace keeping operations.
The horn Africa’s nation started its presidency of the United Nations Security Council last Saturday