The UN, the AU and ECOWAS - A Triangle for Peace and Security in West Africa?
Page content transcription ( If your browser does not render page correctly, please read the page content below )
Regional Governance Architecture FES Briefing Paper February 2006 Page 1 The UN, the AU and ECOWAS – A Triangle for Peace and Security in West Africa? = qfqfilmb=^g^vf= = = = = = =
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 2 1 Introduction rica. The challenges of and opportunities for greater cooperation are the focus of this paper. The central question in the regional-global secu- Following a brief overview of the history of rela- rity debate is how the relationship between the tions between the UN and the AU and the UN UN and regional organisations should be struc- and ECOWAS, the paper considers the opportu- tured so as to maximise the comparative advan- nities for, and challenges to more fruitful col- tages of each body and ensure the complemen- laborations between the UN, the AU and ECO- tarity of roles, while maintaining the primacy of WAS. In a concluding section, the paper high- the UN in the maintenance of international lights key issues and restates the need for clearer peace and security. and closer working relationships among the Current debate is centred on how feasible ‘part- three bodies in the area of peace and security. nerships’ can be between the UN and regional organisations.1 The United Nations (UN) has pri- 2 A Historical Background mary responsibility to maintain international The regional-global security debate is about as peace and security. In his ^ÖÉåÇ~= Ñçê= mÉ~ÅÉ, old as the UN itself. The Dumbarton Oaks pro- then UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros- posals subordinating regional arrangements’ Ghali acknowledged that the capacities of re- peace and security efforts to the UN Security gional organisations in the key areas of preven- Council generated strong resistance from Latin tive diplomacy, peacekeeping, peacemaking, American and League of Arab states. An impor- and post conflict peacebuilding could not only tant modification was made at the San Francisco lighten the UN’s burden, but also help consoli- conference concerning the right to individual date ‘a deeper sense of participation, consensus and collective self defense: Article 51 of the UN and democratization in international affairs’. 2 Charter protected the ‘inherent right of individ- However, although regional organisations have a ual or collective self-defence if an armed attack clear ‘stake’ in resolving regional crises, the occurs against a Member of the United Na- complex dynamics of such crises can mitigate tions’.4 the impact of these organisations.3 When the UN came into being, there were only The relationship between the UN and African four African member states and they did not regional organisations has received significant have much say in the policies and actions of the attention due to the preponderance of conflicts world body. When the Congo crisis broke out in on the continent. The UN has collaborated with 1960, the UN, Belgium, and the Soviet Union in- the African Union (AU) and the Economic Com- tervened because there was no African regional munity of West African States (ECOWAS), pre- body to contend with the UN over the resolution dominantly in the area of peacekeeping, and of the dispute. continues to make efforts to improve its rela- tionships with them, notably in the area of 3 Conflict Management in Africa: peacebuilding. The latest initiative of the UN in The UN and the Organisation of this regard is the implementation of a ten-year African Unity/African Union capacity building plan for the AU and its sub re- gional organisations, discussed further in a later The Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Africa’s section of this paper. Considering that the UN, first effort at continental integration, was the AU, and ECOWAS each have peace and se- formed in 1963. It marked Africa’s first attempt curity mandates that concern Africa, there is to address its own security challenges. However, clearly much to be gained from ensuring coher- the OAU’s failure to resolve conflicts in Nigeria ence and coordination of the efforts of these or- (1967-1970), for example, exposed the organisa- ganisations in the maintenance of peace in Af- tion’s limitations and hampered the UN’s ability to respond. 1 See Tim Murithi, Between Paternalism and Hybrid Partnership: the Emerging UN and Africa Relation- ship in Peace Operations, FES Briefing Paper, May 2007. 2 4 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, ^å= ^ÖÉåÇ~= Ñçê= mÉ~ÅÉ, Interview with James Jonah, New York University Chapter VI, 1992. Graduate Centre, July 7, 2008, New York. For 3 Report of the Secretary-General on the relationship more detailed information, see James Jonah, qÜÉ= between the United Nations and regional organiza- råáíÉÇ=k~íáçåëI in Adekeye Adebajo & Ismail Rash- tions, in particular the African Union, in the main- id (Eds), ‘West Africa’s Security Challenges: Build- tenance of international peace and security, 24 ing Peace in a Troubled Region’, 2004, pp. 319- March 2008. 347. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 3 In a period of waning UN interest in Africa5, the nomic Community of West African States OAU deployed its first military mission, an inter- (ECOWAS) in 1975. ECOWAS was formed with African force, in Tchad in 1981.6 The OAU mis- a primary mandate to= improve regional eco- sion was unable to resolve the Tchad conflict nomic integration in West Africa. However, the due to a lack of adequate financial and logistical onset of civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone un- resources among other factors. In 1993, the derscored the indispensability of peace and po- OAU facilitated peace talks and deployed a Neu- litical stability to successful economic integration, tral Military Observer Group to Rwanda that was forcing a shift from economic to political priori- eventually taken over by the UN. Subsequent ties. ECOWAS deployed its Ceasefire Monitoring peace interventions in Ethiopia/Eritrea (2000), Group (ECOMOG) in Liberia (1990-1998, 2003- Burundi (2003-2004)7, and Somalia (2007-date), 2006), Sierra Leone (1997-2000), Guinea Bissau among others, have served as precursory efforts (1999), and Côte d’Ivoire (2003). to UN missions. The UN’s interventions in Soma- The ECOMOG missions in Liberia and Sierra lia and Rwanda accentuated its disinterest in Af- Leone occurred without prior UN authorisation rica and emphasized the need for stronger Afri- due to internal divisions within ECOWAS and the can responses to African conflicts. UN. The UN Security Council held several infor- Although the UN has co-deployed in the past mal consultations, some in response to ECO- with the AU and ECOWAS in several African WAS’ requests for assistance, but took no im- countries, the joint AU-UN hybrid mission in Dar- mediate action. After difficult negotiations, the fur (UNAMID) marks an attempt to depart from UN sent military observer missions to Liberia in the previous form of cooperation between the 1993 (UNOMIL) and Sierra Leone in 1998 (UN- UN and African regional organisations whereby OMSIL) to help ECOMOG implement its man- the AU and ECOWAS would deploy first and the dates under the respective peace agreements. UN would eventually take over full responsibility While the UN retained UNOMIL, resource con- for the mission. Since its deployment, UNAMID straints forced the partial withdrawal of ECO- has encountered serious problems including in- MOG troops from Sierra Leone in 2000. The UN adequate logistics and personnel. 8 Again, poor responded by transforming UNOMSIL into a capacity on the part of some AU staff raises peacekeeping mission, UNAMSIL. questions about how equitable a partnership the Difficulties that confronted the UN-ECOWAS co- operation is.9 The indictment by the International operation in Liberia and Sierra Leone included Criminal Court (ICC) of Sudanese President lack of clear mandates, disparities in logistics and Omar Bashir and the AU’s condemnation thereof remuneration, and divergent approaches to is- suggest that there is insufficient consultation sues such as sanctions, and elections. As such, and consensus between the UN and the AU on even though there were some useful consulta- Africa’s security concerns. These issues need to tions between the UN Security Council and be addressed if the mission is to succeed in ful- ECOWAS, the above factors created a discon- filling its mandate as well as serving as a worka- nect between the political decisions that were ble model for future cooperation between the made and their implementation in the field. UN and African regional organisations. ECOWAS withdrew its troops from Guinea- 4 Conflict Management in West Africa: Bissau after a few months due to a lack of finan- The UN and ECOWAS cial and logistical support from the UN and the international community. After questionable Other efforts at regional integration followed in elections in 1999, the UN established a Peace- Africa’s various sub regions, notably the Eco- building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UN- 5 OGBIS). Jonah, qÜÉ=råáíÉÇ=k~íáçåë, page 320. 6 Cedric de Coning , The Role of the OAU in Conflict Management in Africa, Monograph No. 10, Con- 5 The UN-AU Capacity-Building flict Management, Peacekeeping and Peacebuild- Framework: the Story so Far ing, April 1997 7 Throughout their existence, the OAU (now AU) Festus Aboagye, qÜÉ=^ÑêáÅ~å=råáçå=áå=_ìêìåÇáW=iÉëJ ëçåë= Ñêçã= íÜÉ= cáêëí= ^ÑêáÅ~å= råáçå= mÉ~ÅÉâÉÉéáåÖ= and ECOWAS’ conflict management capacities léÉê~íáçå, 2004. have been constantly tested by a succession of 8 Report of the Secretary-General on the deployment conflict scenarios. The same conflicts have con- of the African-United Nations Hybrid Operation in tinually tested the provisions of the UN Charter Darfur, 7 July 2008. concerning regional solutions to instability and 9 Interview with General Henry Anyidoho. New York, the UN’s evolving disposition towards engage- June 24, 2008.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 4 ment with such initiatives. Despite extensive me- same goal, the DPKO has held a number of diation activities by the AU and ECOWAS, previ- training programmes targeted at senior AU offi- ous cooperation between these organisations cials (civilian, military and police). The DPKO has and the UN has focused mainly on peacekeeping. also provided some support towards the realisa- Since 1995, the UN has made several efforts to tion of the African Standby Force (ASF) although broaden the scope of these relationships and this support has been criticised as being insuffi- clarify the roles of each party. While underlining cient.14 the UN’s control over the maintenance of inter- national peace and security, several high level 6 Opportunities for Collaboration and thematic meetings with regional organisa- Previous cooperation among the UN, the AU and tions, Security Council debates, and key docu- ECOWAS has consisted mainly of peacekeeping. ments/reports and resolutions have affirmed the Thus, lessons learned from joint peacekeeping important role of regional organisations in peace operations must first be consolidated in order to and security and made recommendations aimed improve future collaborations, before other op- at ensuring more effective cooperation between portunities for collaboration may be considered. them and the UN.10 In 2005, the UN Security Council issued Resolu- Lessons learned from Joint Peacekeeping tion 1631 which identified priority areas for col- In joint peacekeeping operations, cooperation laboration between the UN and regional organi- must occur at all levels (i.e. political, military, and sations. Further to the recommendations of the economic) and must be based as far as is practi- Secretary-General’s report on implementing cally possible on the comparative advantages of Resolution 163111, the UN Security Council and all organisations involved. Africa has experienced the AU Peace and Security Council elaborated a soldiers but is currently not in a position to make ten-year Capacity Building Programme to en- significant financial contributions to joint peace- hance the ability of the AU and its sub regional keeping missions. As such, the UN and Africa’s organisations to ‘address the challenges to hu- bi- and multilateral partners must commit to man security in Africa’.12 The focal areas identi- provide the required funding and logistics for fied by the Framework include conflict preven- joint peacekeeping operations. African countries tion and peacebuilding. In April 2008, the UN must be consistent in their demand for this. Security Council issued Resolution 1809 high- lighting progress made so far and identifying ar- Mandates must be clear, coherent, and com- eas that require further attention. plementary in order to ensure mission success.15 In Sierra Leone, erroneous assumptions by UN- Implementation of the Capacity Building Pro- OMIL about the deployment locations of ECO- gramme has so far focused mainly on the activi- MOG led to serious casualties for the UN.16 ties of the “African Union Peacekeeping Support Team” within the UN Department of Peacekeep- Care must be taken to distinguish between ca- ing Operations. This team has deployed staff at pacity-building and capacity substitution. It is the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa with the useful for the UN and bilateral and multilateral aim of providing the necessary expertise and development partners to loan technical capaci- transfer of technical knowledge to enhance the ties to organisations like the AU. However, care AU’s capacity for planning and managing Peace must be taken to ensure that the intended Support Operations. 13 In furtherance of this knowledge is genuinely transferred. This form of assistance does not eclipse the need to develop 10 For more detailed information, see ^= oÉÖáçå~äJ the capacity of the beneficiary organisation in däçÄ~ä=pÉÅìêáíó=m~êíåÉêëÜáéW=`Ü~ääÉåÖÉë=~åÇ=lééçêJ the face of pressure to meet deadlines and íìåáíáÉë’ (2006), and Security Council Report Up- achieve set targets. date No. 3, September 2006. 11 Op. cit. 12 Declaration Enhancing UN-AU Cooperation: Framework for the Ten-Year Capacity-Building ship between the United Nations and regional or- Programme for the African Union. The Framework ganizations, in particular the African Union, in the had previously been proposed by the tçêäÇ= pìãJ maintenance of international peace and security’, ãáí=lìíÅçãÉ=açÅìãÉåí (October 24 2005). 24 March 2008. 13 14 For example, a technical team is currently at the Cilliers, J., 2008, ‘The African Standby Force – An AU headquarters in Addis Ababa assisting with ad- update on progress’, ISS Paper 160, Institute for vice and assistance to UNAMID; I.nterview with Ni- Security Studies, Pretoria, South Africa. 15 cholas Seymour, July 8, 2008, UN, New York. See S/RES/1809 (April 16, 2008) 16 ‘Report of the Secretary-General on the relation- Jonah, the UN, page 328.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 5 Conflict prevention and Peacebuilding Leone was allocated $35 million, 19 million of which remains unspent.20 The UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) is a new creation and expression of the UN’s recog- An important observation of the Sierra Leone nition of the need for a holistic approach to con- CSC visit to Freetown is the centrality of eco- flict management. The PBC, established in 2006, nomic development to peace and stability. How- aims to consolidate the benefits of international ever, recent debates in the PBC on the relevance efforts to end war in countries emerging from of energy reform to the Strategic Peacebuilding conflict. Its specific mandate is to: Framework for Sierra Leone raised questions about what constitutes peacebuilding and what • Bring together all relevant actors to marshal issues belong on the PBC agenda. In order to be resources and advise on and propose in- effective, the PBC’s interventions must be as tegrated strategies for post-conflict peace- comprehensive as possible bearing in mind that building and recovery; peace, security, and development are inextrica- • Focus attention on the reconstruction and bly intertwined21. institution-building efforts necessary for re- The founding resolutions of the PBC provide for covery from conflict and to support the de- the participation of ‘relevant regional and sub velopment of integrated strategies in order regional organizations’ in CSCs at the invitation to lay the foundation for sustainable deve- of the PBC Organisational Committee. 22 While lopment, the AU Permanent Observer Mission in New • Provide recommendations and information York has attended most of these meetings, to improve the coordination of all relevant ECOWAS has not always been represented at actors within and outside the United nations, the CSCs for Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau.23 to develop best practices, to help to ensure Like the UN, the AU and ECOWAS recently de- predictable financing for early recovery acti- veloped conflict management frameworks to vities and to extend the period of attention coordinate previously ad hoc peacebuilding in- given by the international community to terventions. The AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction post-conflict recovery.17 and Development Framework (PCRD) and the Post-conflict reconstruction is an expensive long- ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) term process. There is a need for better coher- both aim to coordinate more holistic approaches ence and coordination of bilateral efforts to by each organisation towards the management avoid duplication and ensure that host countries’ of conflict in Africa. The AU and ECOWAS need needs are met. There may also be a need to re- to be more directly involved in the PBC’s work, a view the PBC’s mandate or strengthen its rela- role that should be clearly articulated in any tionship with the relevant UN organs. agreements between the UN and these organi- sations.24 The PBC’s work in West Africa has so far fo- cused on two countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, and to a lesser extent, Liberia.18 Consulta- 20 tions between each country’s government and The UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) claims the country-specific configurations (CSCs) of the that this is due to delays by the government of Si- erra Leone in submitting project documents. Re- PBC led to the formulation of Strategic Peace- presentatives of the Sierra Leone government ho- building Frameworks for each country. 19 Sierra wever attribute it to delays in the disbursement of funds by the relevant UN office in Sierra Leone. 21 Kofi Annan, In Larger Freedom, United Nations, 2005. 17 22 Paragraph 2, UN Security Council Resolution 1645 See Article 7 (b), S/RES/1645 (December 20, 2005), (2005). and Article 7 (b), A/RES/60/180 (December 30, 18 The Government of Liberia received $10 million 2005). 23 from the Peacebuilding Fund for promoting ECOWAS did not participate in the CSC visit to Si- awareness of ongoing political processes as part of erra Leone and it is not known whether the find- its post-conflict reconstruction programme. ings of the visit were communicated to ECOWAS. 19 Country specific configurations are sub-committees Interview with H. E. Mr. Nathaniel Milton Barnes, of the PBC specifically convened to deliberate on Permanent Representative of Liberia to the UN. the peacebuilding needs of countries under the New York, July 10, 2008. 24 consideration of the PBC. Strategic Peacebuilding Resolution 1631 (October 17, 2005) proposed that Frameworks are essentially roadmaps for address- the UN consider forming cooperation agreements ing the priority areas of intervention identified by with regional organisations to serve as frameworks countries on the PBC’s agenda. for joint peacekeeping operations.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 6 Conflict Mediation sations to ensure that all the parties fulfil their responsibilities. Concrete action should be taken The UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) was es- to hold consultations on and finalise partnership tablished in Dakar in 2001. Though its mandate agreements between the UN and regional or- is to coordinate UN activities in West Africa, the ganisations. For this relationship to be meaning- location of the office in Dakar is hindering its ful, it must be clear who will do what, when and work as ECOWAS’ headquarters is located in how. For example, will UN approval of AU- or Abuja, Nigeria. 25 The AU and the UN Depart- ECOWAS-led missions be given pre- or post- de- ment for Political Affairs (DPA) are engaged in a ployment? What effect will this have on the le- number of initiatives including developing an gitimacy of these missions? operational plan for the Panel of the Wise, de- veloping an AU toolbox of mediation experience, The principle of the sovereignty and territorial in- and providing various forms of mediation train- tegrity of member states is central to the UN; ing for AU personnel.26 how will it be reconciled with the exigencies of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) 7 Challenges to Greater Cooperation as enshrined in the ECOWAS and AU conflict management frameworks? As Jackie Cilliers Lack of established framework rightly observes, the differences in approach by these organisations to the principle of R2P raise As stated earlier, fierce debates preceded the issues regarding the handover by ECOWAS and/ deployment of UN missions in Liberia and Sierra or the AU to the UN in situations where this is Leone, reflecting the UN’s ambiguity towards co- deemed necessary due to logistical and resource deploying with a regional organisation (in Af- constraints. The UN and the AU both respect the rica).27 In order to forestall future misconceptions sovereignty of member states. However, the or willful manipulations of the provisions of Constitutive Act of the AU, in stark contrast to Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, the UN must its predecessor states that it has the “right … to confirm its commitment to work more closely intervene in a Member State pursuant to a deci- with regional organisations by creating through sion of the Assembly in respect of grave circum- a collaborative process a framework that defines stances, namely war crimes, genocide and the responsibilities of the UN and relevant re- crimes against humanity”. This raises issues of gional organisations in a given conflict situation, how mandates will be determined and the dif- while maintaining flexibility with regard to the ferent criteria for intervention for both organisa- rate of response and other peculiarities of varied tions fulfilled in order to ensure a smooth transi- conflict situations. For instance, it is a major tion from one mission to another. principle of the UN to not intervene in a conflict without a peace agreement whereas ECOWAS is The UN and bi- and multilateral development prepared to do so. However, in certain situations, partners of ECOWAS will have to bear the bur- it is not possible to negotiate peace agreements den of financing joint UN-ECOWAS operations without first establishing some measure of sta- for the foreseeable future. Most ECOWAS bility. ECOWAS deployed in Sierra Leone and Li- member states will not be in a position to con- beria without peace agreements and subse- tribute financially to peace missions while they quently created the conditions for negotiations continue to stagger under the weight of un- that led to the respective peace agreements.28 wieldy debt burdens. Funding has long been a major issue for the AU, the ECOWAS, and other A mechanism for monitoring and periodic evalu- African sub regional organisations. It is incon- ation should accompany the framework for co- ceivable that African countries continue to ser- operation between the UN and regional organi- vice unrealistic debt burdens with money that could be put to better use in critical areas of 25 Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, qÜÉ=bãÉêÖJ need. áåÖ= oçäÉ= çÑ= íÜÉ= ^r= ~åÇ= b`lt^p= áå= `çåÑäáÅí= mêÉJ îÉåíáçå=~åÇ=mÉ~ÅÉÄìáäÇáåÖ. Page 37. Capacity-Building: Too Many ‘Cooks’… 26 See ‘Report of the Secretary-General on the rela- tionship between the United Nations and regional Beside the UN, there is presently a multiplicity of organizations’.. development partners - organisations and states 27 James Jonah, ‘The United Nations’, in tÉëí=^ÑêáÅ~Ûë= - seeking to work with the AU and ECOWAS in pÉÅìêáíó= `Ü~ääÉåÖÉëW= _ìáäÇáåÖ= mÉ~ÅÉ= áå= ~= qêçìÄäÉÇ= oÉÖáçå, Adekeye Adebajo (and Ismail Rashid (Eds), Lynne Rienner, 2004, Colorado: USA, page 327. 28 Interview with General Henry Anyidoho, New York, June 24, 2008.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 7 different areas. 29 It is not clear whether either rightful place as the primary initiator and imple- organisation has identified priority areas for sup- menter of security policy in Africa. port or is coordinating its work with partner or- The AU is the only African inter-governmental ganisations and countries within the framework organisation with permanent representation at of its stated needs. Further research is needed to the UN because it is considered as the umbrella address this important question. body for all African sub regional organisations. One actor whose role urgently needs to be Ideally, this means that the AU should be in a strengthened is civil society, in particular the position to represent equitably the security and West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF). Ef- other concerns of each of its sub regions. This is forts are ongoing to revive WACSOF which was not the case for several reasons. First, there cur- paralysed for a while by internal divisions among rently exists a multiplicity of sub regional organi- its members. ECOWAS should work with inde- sations in Africa.31 The AU is attempting to ra- pendent civil society actors and WACSOF to tionalise these groupings by formally recognising support WACSOF to fulfil its function as a forum eight. 32 This project faces a number of chal- for civil society engagement with ECOWAS. lenges. For one thing, Africa’s intra regional boundaries are not rational and some countries Civil society has an important role to play in fall within the geographic scope of several re- conducting research, providing expertise to the gional economic communities (RECs). Second, AU and ECOWAS, and assisting in the imple- although the AU has elaborate peace and secu- mentation of stated goals in diverse areas of rity mechanisms and policies, it lacks the needed peace and security. The AU and ECOWAS should cohesion and resources to utilise them effectively. partner with universities and other educational Although the AU and ECOWAS both have active and training institutions to establish training working relationships with the UN, there does programmes specifically targeted at developing, not seem to be coordinated interaction between especially among young Africans, the knowledge both organisations’ interactions with the UN. and skills needed to enhance Africa’s capacity The AU may thus not be in a position to appre- for conflict management. Other courses could ciate fully or articulate eloquently the major con- be organised in collaboration with networks of cerns of the West African sub region. This experts such as the African Security Sector Net- should not preclude the AU from participating in work (ASSN) and the West African Network for UN-ECOWAS meetings. Infact; it would provide Security and Democratic Governance an excellent opportunity for the AU to learn (WANSED).30 from two organisations with considerable ex- perience of peace management in Africa. It 8 The Relationship between the AU would also help clarify areas of collaboration and ECOWAS among all three organisations. Thirdly and relat- In principle, a relationship of subsidiarity exists edly, the AU is in a state of flux at the moment. between the African Union (AU) and African A recently completed audit of the AU concluded RECs. In reality, the nature of this relationship is that the continental body is not functioning at unclear. It would seem that the AU has had full efficiency because several key commitments more influence over the activities of RECs that have not been met. 33 As the AU attempts to have relatively lesser experience of conflict man- streamline its organs, structures and operations, agement – notably in Eastern and Southern Af- the Peace and Security Council (PSC) has a role rica. Is there a case, then, for eliminating the role to play in coordinating experience-sharing and of the AU as ‘middle man’ between the UN and staff exchanges among the various recognised African RECs? Perhaps. But there is a stronger African RECs. need for coherence of policy and approach of African countries towards international security 31 West Africa: ECOWAS, UEMOA; East Africa: CO- cooperation. In the author’s view, there is less to MESA, ; Central Africa: ECCAS, ; North Africa/Horn be gained from sidelining the AU than there is of Africa: AMU, IGAD; Southern Africa: SADC, from assisting the continental body to take its 32 Interview with Mashood Issaka. 33 The audit, commissioned by the AU in Accra in July 2007, reviewed the structures, processes and op- erations of the AU with a view to promoting effi- 29 Interview with Mashood Issaka, Senior Program Of- ciency and coherence. The audit contains roughly ficer, International Peace Institute, New York. June 170 comprehensive recommendations, see Audit 24, 2008. of the African Union, December 18, 2007, p. 16. 30 See www.africansecuritynetwork.org and Available online at www.pambazuka.org. See also www.wansed.info. Accra Declaration of July 2007.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 8 Before it can occupy its rightful position as the and Benin, among others) calls into question the supervening body for African issues, the AU will legitimacy of some African leaders and their abil- have to earn legitimacy before its RECs by build- ity to defend accurately their countries’ needs. It ing its own capacity to represent their interests may also have a bearing on the ability of these while helping to enhance their various capacities governments to appoint experienced and capa- to fulfil their respective mandates. Efforts to im- ble representatives to their permanent missions plement the ten-year capacity-building frame- to the UN. work have hitherto centred on building the Afri- The ECOWAS must intensify its efforts through can Standby Force, finalising the Early Warning the Authority of Heads of States and Govern- Systems of the AU and ECOWAS and enhancing ments and its Council of Elders to implement ful- the peacekeeping capacities of both organisa- ly the provisions in the Supplementary Protocol tions. on Democracy and Good Governance (2001) Each of the eight RECs recognised by the AU concerning the mismanagement of elections and should consider establishing liaison offices at the unconstitutional accessions to power. UN. This will help conserve the time and costs of regular travel to New York for relevant meetings, 10 Conclusion and facilitate RECs’ inputs to UN activities, espe- The rationales for engagement on peace and se- cially the country-specific meetings of the PBC curity between the UN and regional organisa- that take place frequently and often at short no- tions are numerous. RECs are closer to regional tice. conflicts. They understand the dynamics of such conflicts, appreciate the specific needs for inter- 9 UN Security Council Reform vention, and know how it can be organised and Africa’s capacity or lack thereof to represent its implemented as quickly and efficiently as possi- security interests at the UN may be attributed ble. Again, the fluidity of conflict imposes a partly to the lack of permanent African represen- greater burden on RECs to act quickly to prevent tation on the UN Security Council – an issue that conflict in one country spreading to contiguous is still the subject of considerable debate. Africa states. There are myriad other reasons why the has two rotating seats of two years each in the involvement of RECs in regional peace is indis- present composition of the Council. Recent at- pensable and the UN has long recognised this. tempts to expand the membership of the Secu- Notwithstanding, regional organisations do not rity Council and obtain an additional two per- always have the necessary resources to enable manent seats and at least one additional rotat- them respond appropriately to conflicts. The UN, ing seat for Africa, failed. Adekeye Adebajo at- on the other hand, may lack the required exper- tributes this to the ‘deep divisions’ that emerged tise or understanding of regional conflict dynam- among African countries on the issues of which ics to intervene alone; hence the need for part- countries should occupy the permanent seats nership. Over the years, the UN has restated its and whether or not they should have the power desire to work more closely with RECs and at- of veto. 34 African leaders need to look beyond tempted to create an acceptable framework. If their differences at the prospective gains for the this latest attempt is to succeed, two main issues entire continent of having permanent represen- must be addressed: the clarity of roles, the ca- tation on the UN Security Council. The process pacity of the AU and ECOWAS to engage with of achieving consensus on this matter and iden- the UN, and the capacity of the UN to absorb tifying potential drivers should be initiated and the capacities of these organisations and other discussed in Africa’s principal sub regions before African RECs in its responses to security situa- being discussed at the continental level. tions in Africa. Until the next opportunity avails itself for the The principle of reciprocity must inform all future much-needed reform of the Security Council, Af- UN-AU and UN-ECOWAS collaborations. African rica will have to rely on its political leaders to troops and civilian personnel have been and con- represent its interests at the UN. Unfortunately, tinue to be active in UN-led peace missions recent election-related crises in some African throughout the world. Even if other UN-member countries (e.g. Guinea, Senegal, Cape Verde, states cannot provide the human resources needed for peace missions in Africa, they should 34 ‘Chronicle of a death foretold’, in ^= aá~äçÖìÉ= çÑ= not withhold financial and material support to íÜÉ=aÉ~Ñ, Essays on Africa and the United Nations, African-led or joint peace missions. The account- Adekeye Adebajo and Helen Scanlon (Eds), Jacana ability that the UN expects from regional bodies Media, South Africa, 2006, page 26.
The UN, the AU and ECOWAS FES Briefing Paper 11 | November 2008 Page 9 with a mandate for regional security comes at ^Äçìí=íÜÉ=~ìíÜçê= the cost of a stronger and sustained commit- qáíáäçéÉ=^à~óá=áë=~=êÉëÉ~êÅÜÉê=~åÇ=oÉÖáçå~ä=mêçàÉÅí= ment to such organisations. lÑÑáÅÉê= ~í= íÜÉ= cêáÉÇêáÅÜJbÄÉêíJpíáÑíìåÖI= káÖÉêá~= All options must be explored for closer collabo- lÑÑáÅÉI= ^Äìà~K= eÉê= êÉëÉ~êÅÜ= áåíÉêÉëíë= áåÅäìÇÉ= ration between the AU and ECOWAS. The AU is `çåÑäáÅíI= dÉåÇÉêI= ~åÇ= pÉÅìêáíó= pÉÅíçê= oÉÑçêãK= only as strong and effective as the sum of its qÜáë= ÄêáÉÑáåÖ= é~éÉê= áë= íÜÉ= çìíÅçãÉ= çÑ= ~= çåÉJ parts. ãçåíÜ= cÉääçïëÜáé= áå= kÉï= vçêâ= ïÜÉêÉ= ëÜÉ= ÅçåJ ÇìÅíÉÇ= êÉëÉ~êÅÜ= çå= íÜÉ= ìåÑçäÇáåÖ= êÉä~íáçåëÜáé= = ÄÉíïÉÉå= íÜÉ= råáíÉÇ= k~íáçåë= ErkF= ~åÇ= êÉÖáçå~ä= çêÖ~åáë~íáçåë= Ó= åçí~Ääó= íÜÉ= ^ÑêáÅ~å= råáçå= E^rF= ~åÇ= íÜÉ= bÅçåçãáÅ= `çããìåáíó= çÑ= tÉëí= ^ÑêáÅ~å= pí~íÉë=Eb`lt^pF=J=áå=íÜÉ=~êÉ~=çÑ=éÉ~ÅÉ=~åÇ=ëÉJ ÅìêáíóK= = == More information is available on: www.fes-globalization.org The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily the ones of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung or of the organization for which the author works. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Department for Development Policy - Dialogue on Globalization – Hiroshimastrasse 17 10785 Berlin Germany Tel.: ++49 (0)30 26935-7404 Fax: ++49 (0)30 26935-9246 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.fes-globalization.org
Pages you may also like
You can also read
Next part ... Cancel