AU Peace Fund will promote the cause of peace, stability in Africa

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A newly established African Union Peace fund will provide a more effective instrument to promote the cause of peace and stability in Africa and the world.

The message was delivered to the UN Security Council by the AU’s High Representative for Financing of the Union and Peace Fund, Dr Donald Kaberuka, who is charged with leading the establishment of the fund that will be responsible for 25% of AU peace operations and support costs by 2020.

Predictable financing for peace efforts on the continent has long been a bone of contention in the region.

The AU peace fund was first endorsed by the Heads of State Summit of the organisation in Kigali last year – a decision taken to endow the fund with $400 million dollars by 2020.

In New York, a progress report on the operationalization of the Fund by AU High Representative for Financing Dr Donald Kaberuka.

“The adoption of the Peace Fund instrument and the governance structures referred to will be in place before the end of this year. With these new governance arrangements, the AU Peace Fund will provide a more effective instrument, via which the AU and her partners in the international community can work together to promote the cause of peace and stability in Africa and the world.”

The fund is expected to get $65 million annually from each of the continent’s five sub-regions, a provision that will increase to $80 million per region by 2020.

The main focal points of the funding would be for mediation and preventative diplomacy, institutional capacity, and peace support operations.

As the AU seeks to emphasize financial burden sharing for African peace operations.

“The current international peace and security architecture is under significant pressure given the complexity of the challenges that the world faces today. Forging an effective partnership between the UN and the African Union is therefore of the greatest strategic importance to our collective security. In this respect, the AU-UN financing partnership is critical in that it offers a pathway to predicable financing of AU peace support operations.”

The AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui addressed the Council via video link from Addis Ababa.

“The most central issue confronting the African Union at this stage is the need to mobilize resources from African member states into the peace fund. At this stage I’m happy to report that almost 30% of AU member states have made contributions into the fund. The AU remains confident that this discussion on the Peace Fund and the possibility of predictable and sustainable funding including through the UN assessed contribution is consolidating the strategic partnership that has emerged between both the AU and the UN.”

A crucial development as the AU seeks to silence the guns by 2020.

– By Sherwin Bryce-Pease