13 January 2012
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution to enhance ties between the UN and regional organisations, particularly the African Union.
Resolution 2033, adopted in New York on Thursday, urges the UN and the African Union (AU) to work closely together in the areas of prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa.
It was approved after an initiative by South Africa, led by President Jacob Zuma, who was in New York to oversee the country’s assumption of the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of January.
Zuma said he was happy that other countries had heard the message and unanimously supported calls to strengthen the relations between the UN and regional bodies, particularly the AU.
“While we are pleased with the current relations between the two bodies, we also feel that we can deepen them further for better co-ordination when it comes to dealing with issues affecting our continent,” Zuma said. “We want the views of the African Union to be respected by the UN.”
Africa not a ‘playground’ for global interests
Zuma chaired the Security Council summit debate on “Strengthening the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular the African Union, in the maintenance of international peace and security.”
During the debate, Zuma strongly urged the Security Council to avoid a situation such as the one which transpired during the conflict in Libya last year, in which the 1973 Resolution of the UN Security Council was largely abused in some specific respects.
Zuma further warned that Africa should never again be a playground for furthering the interests of other regions, as had happened during the Cold War.
“Conflicts in Africa will be manageable if they are not promoted or aided from outside the continent,” he said.
Call for Security Council reform
He also repeated his call for the fundamental reform of the UN Security Council to become more representative and legitimate.
Earlier, Zuma co-chaired the 6th Session of the Global Sustainability Panel with President Tarja Halonen of Finland.
The panel dealt with issues of sustainable development, a sustainable economy and strengthening institutional governance, as well as strengthening the panel as a means of accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Outcomes adopted by the Panel will be released to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and also feed into preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio in June.
Zuma also held bilateral meetings with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on the margins of these high-level meetings.