Statement by H.E Valentine Rugwabiza at the UNSC Debate on Peace and Security in Africa: Enhancing African capacities in the areas of peace and security

Thank you Mr. President,

Rwanda congratulates you for assuming the Presidency of the Council for the month of July and for convening this debate on a subject of paramount importance to Africa.

I also thank the briefers, the UN Secretary-General H.E Antonio Guterres and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui  for their earlier briefings.

Today’s threats to peace and security, worldwide and on our continent have become more complex and this calls for multi-faceted interventions and stronger partnerships with regional organizations.

The African Union is better positioned in terms of knowledge and proximity to mobilize and respond quickly to existing and new threats to peace and security. We believe that the UN and African Union framework for an enhanced partnership in peace and security, which was signed on 19th April, 2017 by the UN Secretary General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, provides the necessary framework for a much needed closer and more focused cooperation between the two organizations. It now needs to be institutionalized.

Mr. President,

Allow me to make specific recommendations on the issues being considered in our debate today.
First, Rwanda believes in the value of holding regular dialogue and consultations between the African Union and the UN Security Council on all conflicts on the continent. The information shared by both institutions during this dialogue, will, in our opinion increase the understanding of the context and the root causes of the conflicts and therefore help design adequate responses.

Second, Rwanda strongly recommends increased investment in the African Union capacities to intervene and respond effectively to warning signals with rapid interventions to protect civilians and prevent conflicts.

Often in conflict situations, the only credible prevention is rapid action. Enhancing African capacities in the areas of peace and security and more specifically to address the deficit in training, equipment and capacities of security institutions, will augment their ability to respond effectively to current and emerging threats.

Third, in post conflict situations, Rwanda recommends that investment in institutions’ capacities and inclusive governance systems be given priority in development cooperation.

Fourth, predictable and sustainable funding remains however a major challenge to the African Union ability to engage more effectively and use its comparative advantage to address conflicts and sustain peace on the continent.

To address this challenge, the African Union Summit decided at its 24th Ordinary Session held in Kigali in July 2016, to finance 25% of the African Union led peace support operations. The African Union Peace Fund, which was established by the African Union and the report of Dr. Kaberuka serves that purpose. Support to the African Union Peace Fund including access to UN assessed contributions will go a long way in ensuring predictable financing and contribute to the goal of ending conflicts in Africa.

The management structure and accountability as well as transparency systems built in the management of the African Union Peace Fund will ensure value for money. However, Rwanda knows by experience that the highest value for money lies in the millions of African lives that can be saved and protected from mass atrocities by enhancing Africa’s capabilities in peace and security.

None of the ambitious 17 SDGs of Agenda 2030 can be realized without peace and security. Therefore, increased investment in Africa’s capacities in the areas of peace and security are investments in the ensuring that Agenda 2030 leaves no one behind, including and mainly those affected by conflicts today.

I thank you for your kind attention.