On 1 December 2022, the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, held the 6th African Union-United Nations Annual Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General welcomed the continuing strong cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations. The Chairperson and the Secretary-General reviewed progress in implementing the “UN-AU Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security” and the “AU-UN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” They noted the considerable progress made while acknowledging that recent global developments, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have set back peace, security and development efforts. They emphasized the need to scale up joint efforts in advancing the effective implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the Youth, Peace Security agenda, ending poverty and hunger, reducing inequality, promoting food and energy security, and improving the health and wellbeing of African citizens.
The Annual Conference welcomed the recent developments in Ethiopia and reviewed current challenges in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions, including the transitions in Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali and the Sudan.
On Ethiopia, the Chairperson and the Secretary-General welcomed the African Union-led peace process that resulted in the signing of the Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities and the subsequent Declaration of the Senior Commanders on the Modalities for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. They urged the parties to ensure implementation of the Agreement and to address outstanding issues through the AU framework in a spirit of reconciliation in order to reach a lasting political settlement and silence the guns. Further, they commended the High-Level Panel comprising the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for their continued leadership of the peace process.
On Libya, the Chairperson and the Secretary-General agreed to continue working closely with Libyan stakeholders to sustain the ceasefire agreement and enhance its implementation. They further agreed to continue supporting the ongoing Libyan-owned and led political process facilitated by the United Nations. They also agreed to support efforts by the AU to organize the national reconciliation conference.
On the Sahel region, they expressed concern over the recent unconstitutional changes of government and reiterated their commitment to jointly support peaceful and timely return to constitutional order. The Chairperson and the Secretary-General further expressed deep concern over the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation, as well as the growing threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism in the region and underscored the importance of addressing the underlying conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. The Chairperson and the Secretary-General reaffirmed their commitment, in partnership with ECOWAS and the G5 Sahel, to support the Independent High-level Panel on Security and Development in the Sahel under the leadership of Former President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger. They also welcomed the momentum generated by the Accra Initiative to address the security challenges in West Africa and further called for enhanced cooperation among countries in the region in the fight against terrorism.
On Mali, the Chairperson and the Secretary-General took note of the progress attained in implementing the Transition Roadmap in Mali and the 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, resulting from the Algiers process. They further welcomed the conclusions of the 3rd Meeting of the Transition Support Group on Mali, held in Lomé on 6 September 2022, under the auspices of the Government of Togo and urged for the fulfillment of pledges of support for the Malian transition. The Chairperson and the Secretary-General noted the efforts by ECOWAS to address outstanding issues through dialogue and the promotion of peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General expressed deep concern over the situation in Burkina Faso, including the recent coup d’état and the deteriorating security and humanitarian situations. They urged the transition authorities to work towards the restoration of constitutional order.
On Guinea, the Chairperson and the Secretary-General took note of the preliminary agreement reached with the transition authorities on the duration of the transition and congratulated H.E. Yayi Boni, Former President of the Republic of Benin and ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea, for his efforts. They condemned the use of coercive measures that infringed fundamental freedoms and human rights and called on transition authorities to respect the individual and collective freedoms of Guinean citizens.
On Chad, the Chairperson and the Secretary-General called on all Chadian stakeholders to pursue inclusive dialogue towards an inclusive consensual and expeditious return to constitutional order in accordance with Chad’s regional and international commitments. They agreed to continue collaborating with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to support the transition process. They condemned the response to the protests of 20 October 2022 and called for a credible investigation. They reiterated the need to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of Chadian citizens
On the Sudan, the Chairperson and the Secretary-General stressed the importance of a political solution to restore a civilian-led government that meets the aspirations of the Sudanese people. They commended the commitment of all stakeholders to the process of restoring constitutional order in the Sudan. They reiterated the need for an inclusive political process to ensure full ownership and legitimacy of the outcome. They reaffirmed their support to the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism as the process facilitator and expressed appreciation to the international community for their continued engagement and assistance.
On the Central African Republic (CAR), the Chairperson and the Secretary-General condemned all attacks perpetrated in CAR against civilians, including conflict-related sexual violence, as well as attacks, provocations, and incitement to violence, against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission for the Stabilization of CAR (MINUSCA). They commended the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) for their continued support of the peace process in the CAR. They underscored the need for advancing the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (APPR) and the Luanda Roadmap and commended plans for deploying the AU Panel of the Wise. The Chairperson and the Secretary-General appealed for continued international humanitarian assistance, including finding solutions to the issues of forced displacements linked to the crisis in CAR, in accordance with the provisions of the Global Refugee Compact.
On the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), they expressed deep concern over the continued violence perpetrated by armed groups in eastern DRC. They deplored the humanitarian impact of continued violence, called on all parties to permit unfettered humanitarian access, and encouraged international partners to redouble their support to the humanitarian response. They reaffirmed their commitment to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region. They renewed their support for the East African Community-led process and its facilitator, Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, and the implementation of the ICGLR-led initiative under the auspices of President João Lourenço of the Republic of Angola. In this regard, they welcomed the final Communiqué issued following the Mini-Summit in Luanda on 23 November 2022 and called for its full implementation.
On the humanitarian front, they expressed deep concern about the dire humanitarian situations in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions due to drought and conflict with severe consequences for the populations. They reaffirmed their commitment to addressing these challenges and appealed to the international community to scale up humanitarian support for the affected regions. They also noted the gender dimension of the humanitarian situations and called for special attention to the plight of women and girls.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General noted the initiative of the African Union to establish the Africa Supporting Inclusive Transitions Facility (AFSIT) to, among others, promote the inclusivity of women and youth in transition processes.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General reiterated their commitment towards predictable, sustainable, and flexible financing for AU-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council, including through access to UN-assessed contributions. The meeting also highlighted the need for predictable and multi-year financing to be secured for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, which is essential for the Mission to attain its mandate and key to supporting the ongoing security transition in Somalia.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General discussed the human rights situation on the continent and reiterated the commitment to further strengthen cooperation on promoting human and peoples’ rights in Africa as part of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to be commemorated in 2023.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General welcomed the progress made at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh and were encouraged by efforts to address the cascading effects of climate change on sustainable development and stability in Africa. They emphasized the importance of investing in and meeting the challenges of mitigation and adaptation to climate change and called for enhanced access to climate finance, including in conflict-affected contexts. They further underscored the need to increase efforts to integrate climate change considerations into conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, recognizing the differentiated vulnerabilities and capacities of women, men, girls and boys.
They underscored the need for strengthening capacities to address climate change, food security and energy issues. They welcomed the new UN Global Early Warning Initiative for the Implementation of Climate Adaptation and agreed to cooperate further in analyzing climate-related security risks and developing effective risk management strategies.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General underscored the importance of deeper horizontal and vertical integration, coordination, collaboration, and alignment of UN-AU work towards implementing Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda in support of AU Member States, including through the Regional Collaborative Platform and UN country teams. They agreed to enhance the joint implementation of Agenda 2030 and the 2063 Agenda by promoting a results-based approach focused on energy access, food security, climate action, financing for development and governance.
On the post-COVID recovery, they called for a major financial infusion from the global financial and development community, addressing illicit financial flows and adequate compensation for the damages of climate change on the continent.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General noted that the current global challenges offer an opportunity for Africa to re-engineer its development path and promote rapid economic recovery that is both inclusive and sustainable. The effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area will boost economic integration, industrialization and diversification, and productivity and foster private sector development. They underlined the imperative to boost domestic resource mobilization, improve infrastructure, transform the mining sector and invest in skills development. They called for the revitalization of the trilateral framework between the AU, EU and the UN.
The Chairperson and the Secretary-General agreed to convene the Seventh AU-UN Annual Conference in 2023 in New York at a date to be mutually agreed.
Source: UN Secretary-General