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Statement at the UNSC Open Debate on Regional Organisations (African Union)

Thank you, Mr. President.

I would like to begin by thanking Gabon for convening this important discussion, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the African Union.

I would also like to thank the Secretary-General and Commissioner Faki Mahamat for their briefings.

Mr. President,

Global threats to international peace and security such as terrorism; climate change; and the intersecting food, energy and financial crises are disproportionately affecting the African continent.

Enhanced coordination and cooperation between multilateral organisations, such as the United Nations and the African Union, are essential tools in responding to these crises.

In recent years, we have seen how deeper engagement between the UN and the African Union can enable positive developments in responding to peace and security challenges facing the continent.

In Sudan, a trilateral mechanism between the UN, AU and IGAD, has been created to jointly facilitate a solution to the ongoing political and security crisis there.

In the Sahel, the UN and the African Union are undertaking a joint assessment aimed at strengthening international coordination to address the multidimensional crisis.

On Ethiopia, we welcome the close engagement between the African Union and the UN to find a pathway towards a negotiated, durable resolution of this appalling conflict. We urge this Council to remain closely engaged.

These initiatives are positive but all face some challenges. They must be strengthened and built upon.

The African Union can draw upon the expertise and support of the UN where appropriate. The UN must continue to help build the capacity of the African Union and support its work in trying to resolve some of Africa’s most serious challenges.

Mr. President,

There remain a number of areas that would benefit from greater collaboration.

Firstly, we must work together to address the global challenges affecting peace and security in Africa. This includes the food, energy and financial crises that have been exacerbated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

These interlocking crises mean urgent action is needed to provide affected countries with immediate humanitarian assistance and to address the issue of debt relief. 

We welcome the initiatives of the African Union, and those of the regional organisations, ECOWAS and IGAD, to address the global challenge of climate change.

The Security Council must play a greater role in supporting Africa to respond to this threat. Climate change is driving insecurity and acting as a threat multiplier across the continent.

As the UN body charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, this Council must discharge our responsibilities in this area.

Secondly, this Council must support efforts to strengthen the African Union’s central role in promoting good governance. The recent wave of coups d’état across the continent, including most recently in Burkina Faso, are a matter of grave concern. They demonstrate the need to better support citizens and civic movements across Africa in order to advance inclusive and accountable governance.

This includes the full protection of freedom of expression and assembly.

This includes transparent elections.

And this includes the promotion of the rule of law.

The multi-dimensional crises in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa have proven that failing to address political and security crises, and their underlying causes, leads to humanitarian and economic crises.

Thirdly, Ireland recognises the need for predictable and sustainable financing for UN-authorised, AU-led peace support operations. We hope that the Secretary General’s upcoming report on this issue will prompt an open and frank discussion as well as provide a window of opportunity to make concrete progress.

Finally, President,

The challenges we face are too complex for any one nation, large or small, to address alone. It is only by working together that we can hope to resolve them successfully.

Ireland looks forward to continuing our commitment to work across the UN in order to support the vital efforts of the African Union and of African-sub-regional organisations towards the maintenance of peace and security in Africa. 

Thank you.

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