9518th Meeting (PM)

Security Council Opens Door to UN Funding for African-led Peace Missions, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2719 (2023)

The Security Council unanimously agreed today to consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests from the African Union Peace and Security Council seeking for authorization to access United Nations assessed contributions for African-led peace support operations.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2719 (2023) (to be issued as document S/2023/999), the Council, enhancing its partnership with the African Union, also acknowledged that such operations, including peace enforcement, can be deployed quickly with a mandate limited in time and exit strategy defined from the outset.

By the terms of the resolution, the support extended to African Union-led peace support operations will include costs and reimbursement of all categories of support as negotiated between the troop-police contributing country, the African Union and the United Nations.

Also through the text, the Council determined that support provided to African Union-led peace support operations will be delivered in accordance with the UN’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy for non-United Nations security forces and within the regulatory and administrative framework established by the General Assembly.

At the outset of the meeting, the Council adopted — by a recorded vote of 9 in favour to none against, with 6 abstentions (Gabon, Ghana, China, France, Mozambique, Russian Federation) — an amendment, presented by the United States, whereby African-led peace operations will have access to funding from UN assessed contributions not exceeding 75 per cent of their respective annual budgets, with the remaining amount to be jointly mobilized as extra-budgetary resources.

Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), speaking also on behalf of Gabon and Mozambique, said the idea of the United Nations helping to fund African-led peacekeeping operations dates back to 1981 when then-President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, in his capacity as Chair of the Organization of African Unity, wrote to the Council for resources to deploy a pan-African peacekeeping force in Chad.

Driven by the ambition of the African Union to work closely with the United Nations, the draft resolution — put forward by the Council’s three African members — is an opportunity to address the question of adequate, predictable and sustainable financing that has been at the bane of African Union peace support operations, away from the ad hoc arrangements that have so far existed, he said.

It sets out in clear and simple terms the commitments of the African Union in complying with expected standards, the decision-making process, the financial arrangements and the oversight and reporting requirements, he continued.  “We believe that the United Nations support for enforcement operations led by the African Union brings enormous benefits to all of us and serves the interest of global peace and security,” he added, speaking prior to adoption.

Robert A. Wood (United States), speaking before the vote on the amendment, noted that the draft resolution, in its original form, lacked an explicit delineation of the financial burden-sharing.  The amendment would ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page about what the resolution means, he explained.

Nathalie Broadhurst Estival (France) emphasized the importance of reaching a unanimous agreement on the cost-sharing terms to avoid future sensitive discussions and concentrate on effective multilateral responses to restore peace.  She also said that France could not support the amendment as it was unclear how the 25 per cent not covered by assessed contributions would be funded.

Vanessa Frazier (Malta) called the resolution, as amended, a compromise to move forward.  Responsibility for funding missions should not rest on one country or one regional group, she added.

Dai Bing (China) said that the Council’s future deliberations on financing the African Union’s support operations should not be linked to human rights issues.  Furthermore, traditional donors should not reduce their contributions. He also expressed support for streamlining and optimization of some peacekeeping operations to avoid duplication and wasted resources.

Anna M. Evstigneeva (Russian Federation) supported the development of cooperation between the African Union, the UN and subregional organizations on the principle of “African solutions for African problems”.  Today’s resolution will increase the sustainability of resources for the maintenance of peace and security in Africa with the African Union playing a leading role, she said. 

Also speaking today were representatives of Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Japan, Mozambique, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

For information media. Not an official record.