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UN-African Union cooperation a must, as landscape of conflict shifts

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU, told ambassadors in New York that the alignment between the two organizations is particularly relevant for current challenges.

“The African conflict landscape is evolving, becoming more complex and often intractable,” he said.

He referred to the report on cooperation between the UN and AU on peace efforts, noting the rise in political violence, terrorism and extremism in Africa is exposing serious weaknesses in governance.

The spate of military coups, notably in the Sahel, have worsened instability, human rights abuses and humanitarian crises, while Sudan faces a catastrophic conflict. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is also grappling with security and humanitarian concerns during election preparations.

Empowering AU

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga, who also heads the UN Office to the AU, further noted that empowering AU-led peace support operations would in turn strengthen the authority of the Security Council and its responsibilities as outlined in the UN Charter.

He highlighted the important of international partnering with the AU to enhance capacities to address the complex and dynamic threats to peace and security on the continent.

“Working through the established mechanisms of the African Governance Architecture and the African Peace and Security Architecture, the full range of responses to conflict can be effectively supported and strengthened to deliver peace,” he added.

Joint visits

Collaborative efforts between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council – particularly through joint field visits and coordination meetings – are also seen as key to addressing the complex dynamics in conflict situations, advancing prevention and mitigation measures and enhancing strategic coordination.

“Such visits could help advance a common understanding of the complex dynamics at work in conflict situations, explore prevention and, where appropriate, mitigation measures and provide opportunities to deliver common messages,” Mr. Onanga-Anyanga said.

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