Statement by Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the UNSC Open Debate On Enhancing African Capacities in the Areas of Peace and Security

As delivered.

I would like to express our gratitude to You, Mr. President, for having convened this open debate. I would also like to welcome Secretary-General and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security who provided us with an update on strengthening the United Nations-African Union (AU) partnership.

Ukraine aligns itself with the EU statement, to be delivered later today, and wishes to make several remarks in national capacity.

Mr. President,

As we gather here today, peace remains as an elusive goal, as it has been throughout human history. Despite the universal appeal of peace and declared commitment to uphold it, wars and armed conflicts remain a recurring feature of today’s world affairs. Their causes may be different (some are internal in nature, some are instigated and sustained from outside), but consequences are similarly horrible.

It is true that the long overdue reform of our Organization is yet to be accomplished, in order to maintain its once unquestionable credit of trust and restore its ability to take prompt preventive measures. As a Chinese philosopher said: “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”.

Of course, I do not dare to challenge the Chinese philosophy. Nevertheless, I insist that in matters of preventing conflicts and gross violations of human rights the speed of the UN actions is crucial. In 1994 in Rwanda the UN failed to react promptly to prevent genocide. 20 years later in Ukraine the United Nations, the Security Council and the Secretary-General took no actions to stop occupation of Crimea and military aggression of Russia.

Turning to the role of the regional organizations, theyremain one of the most efficient mechanisms employed swiftly in response to a full-scale conflict or a situation where civilian population is endangered. Therefore, the UN should redouble its efforts to enhance strategic partnerships with them, building up joint planning and supporting collaboration.

Mr. President,

The African Union has made tremendous progress in developing its peace support capabilities since the deployment of its mission in Burundi back in 2003. It acts today as the first responder to crises in Africa with the authorization of the Security Council.

Ukraine, as an observer to the AU, follows closely the development of the Union’s peace support potential and shares the view of the UN Secretary-General that “the world can greatly benefit from African wisdom, African ideas and African solutions”. As a country associated with the EU we also support the approach of exploring possibilities for trilateral UN-EU-AU cooperation in order to ensure effective and sustaining peacebuilding assistance in Africa. The upcoming 5th AU-EU Summit in November will provide an important opportunity in this respect.

It is also in this light that Ukraine decided to cosponsor this year’s draft UNGA resolution on cooperation between the UN and AU.

Mr. President,

A variety of views the Council members have expressed in this Chamber last month on the ways to enhance the UN-AU cooperation. At the same time, there was a common understanding that both organizations have to work in concert using their competitive advantages.

We believe that given the complex nature of threats to international peace and security on the continent, supporting the full operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture should be seen as priority for the African Union. At the same time, we see the need to provide adequate support in logistics and funding for peace and security operations in Africa on a sustainable basis.

The African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur has become one of the vivid examples of how the two organizations can be partners in the design and implementation of peacekeeping operations. The African commitment, UN resources and experience allowed UNAMID to implement its mandate effectively, paving the way to transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in the region.

No less important is the African engagement in promoting political process in Darfur. We welcome the African Union efforts to meaningfully engage all parties in Sudan to the peace process. As Chair of the 1591 Committee, Ukraine fosters further collaboration and dialogue between the Government of Sudan and the UN.

In May, the Chair and Committee members visited Khartoum and Darfur, where they received first-hand accounts of the state of implementation of the measures imposed by relevant Security Council resolutions. The visit helped to develop a number of recommendations intended to review the sanctions regime in order to reflect needs and demands of the current situation.

In the Horn of Africa, strong relationship between the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, the UN Support Office in Somalia and the African Union Mission to Somalia, as well as the Somali security forces helped to significantly reduce terrorist activity and the number of recruits to Al-Shabaab, which, however, continues to constitute a threat to peace and security in the region.

Similar approach to and level of coordination with the international community is desperately required in Burundi. Without meaningful cooperation with the UN, AU and other international community actors, the road to a political settlement of the crisis will be even longer and, most likely, fraught with additional complications and dangers. While the Security Council resolution 2303 (2016) has yet to produce a breakthrough, we call on Burundi to accept the deployment of the AU human rights observers and military experts with increased human rights monitoring capacity and police component.

Developments in CAR are a cause for concern. As Chair of the CAR sanctions Committee, Ukraine is especially worried about the continuing presence and violent activity of armed groups. We are ready to continue our practical contribution to support all peace and reconciliation efforts. We recognize the important role of the AU in this process and welcome the AU’s initiative on peace and reconciliation in the CAR.

Being an active troop and capabilities contributor to the UN missions in Africa for many years, Ukraine is proud to be a part of success stories in that continent. We welcome Cote d’Ivoire being entrusted by the UN membership to serve on the Security Council as its elected member with the vast experience in peacebuilding and overcoming past conflict. UNMIL is another vivid example of UN’s positive peacekeeping and stabilization efforts.

We have to draw from these positive transitions from war to peace in order to reinforce UN and regional peace support capacities.

Mr. President, yesterday the world marked Nelson Mandela International Day. He was the person who devoted his life to the service of humanity in Africa. In this light, it is particularly encouraging that efforts on putting in place effective mechanisms of human rights protection have become an indispensable element of the AU activities and policies. Human rights and democracy are two prerequisites, which could bring lasting peace and security on the African Continent.

I thank you, Mr. President.