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Source: South Africa News Agency

While commitments have been made to help fund African Union-led peace support measures, the financing of such operations has been slow, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.

“A key area pertaining to strengthening this relationship is the financing of AU-led peace support operations.

“It is unfortunate that despite commitments to this effect, there has not been much progress on the predictable and sustainable funding for AU-led peace support operations from United Nations (UN) assessed contributions,” said the Minister.

She was speaking during the UN Security Council briefing on Peace and Security in Africa: Partnership to Strengthen Regional Peace and Security, at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently underway in New York.

Pandor said Thursday’s meeting affords countries an opportunity to reflect on efforts to resolve conflicts in Africa, by including African countries themselves, as well as through partnerships with continental and external role-players.

The Minister acknowledged the positive strides made by African countries in realising the African Union’s (AU) aspirations to silence the guns by 2020 and in pursuing African solutions to problems in Africa.

Strides made to reduce conflict

“The continent has developed a strong and effective framework for addressing security challenges and threats to Africa. These frameworks have cascaded to sub-regional levels creating a synergy between the AU and the regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution.

“Through the success of these initiatives, the continent has made significant strides in reducing violent and armed conflicts guided by the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity between the AU and the sub-regional organisations,” said Pandor.

The Minister highlighted the need for effective measures to be undertaken in post-conflict situations.

“Another area of importance that deserves more attention is the need for effective measures for transitions and drawdowns from peacekeeping to post-conflict reconstruction and development. It is important that efforts are coordinated and harmonised by all relevant stakeholders to ensure that peacebuilding activities are effective, and that the peace dividends of these operations are consolidated,” she said.

Poverty, marginalisation, inequality, unemployment, and the scramble for natural resources, among others, have historically been contributing factors for instability on the continent.

In addition to an upsurge in terrorism, violent extremism and inter-communal violence has perpetuated instability in some parts of the continent taking advantage of the vacuum created by continued conflict, poverty and inequality.

The Minister urged the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) Framework to work together to provide assistance to post-conflict countries as requested by these countries.

“National ownership and leadership is pertinent for the success of peacebuilding efforts, and most importantly to prevent countries from relapsing back into conflict,” she said.

South Africa would also like to see more women involvement in peace and security processes.

This should not only be limited to countries in conflict but include all UN member states, in order to ensure the prominent role of women in issues discussed in the Security Council.

The inclusion of the youth in these processes is also necessary, said Pandor. – SAnews.gov.za

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