I speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
Let me start by emphasising the importance the EU and its Member States attach to marking the fifty year anniversary of the establishment of the OAU. We should indeed pay tribute to the founders of the African Union and mark the key role of the AU and subregional organisations in settling disputes and conflicts peacefully. We also welcome, Mr President, your initiative to organize a debate on the matter.
The resolve of Africa to take responsibility for its own peace and security has been strongly supported by the EU and its Member States from the outset. We have provided consistent and substantial political backing and predictable funding to African peace support operations and relevant capacity building activities.
The declaration adopted today contains many important elements which we warmly embrace in view of this strong Africa-EU partnership. We are convinced we would have been able to give our unqualified support for this text if we had been given an opportunity and sufficient time to engage on its content. The lack of time and consultations does not do justice to the importance of its subject matter, nor does it reflect normal General Assembly working practice. As it stands, the Political Declaration does not include agreed language on several important issues we submitted comments on, such as the role of women in conflict resolution, development, human rights, Responsibility to Protect, the fight against impunity, the role of the ICC, and fails to acknowledge that the Security Council has primary responsibility for international peace and security. Their absence from this Political Declaration cannot be used as precedents for future consideration of the same topics.
Regarding the paragraph on Security Council reform, the Member States of the European Union wholeheartedly support increased representation for African states within a reformed Security Council. However, we wish to underline that the framework of intergovernmental negotiations was established by the General Assembly as the forum to ensure this issue is given the full and considered attention it deserves.
The Member States of the European Union acknowledge that this declaration represents the views of the members of the African Group on this issue. The positions of EU Member States on Security Council Reform are unchanged and remain as articulated in the framework of the intergovernmental negotiations.
We will continue to stay actively engaged in debates on Africa and with Africa, and further develop our vibrant Africa-EU partnership on the many issues the General Assembly covers. In this regard, we would like to use the opportunity to appeal to the flexibility of the African Group to allow for a broad NGO participation in the context of other upcoming high-level meetings, including the one on human trafficking.
To conclude, the EU and its Member States remain strong supporters of the positive contribution of the AU and its subregional organisations to peace on the African continent. We will continue to strengthen the global partnership in support of Africa’s own efforts and leadership to resolve conflicts and promote durable peace and sustainable development.