“There is now the possibility of a shared role for maintaining international peace and security,” Mr. Ban writes in his report to the Security Council on the relationship between the world body and regional organizations.
“There is recognition of the need for greater involvement by regional organizations with the United Nations in conflict prevention, management and resolution in all regions,” he adds, noting that bodies such as the African Union (AU) and its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), have for years been engaged in preventing and resolving conflicts on the continent.
Stressing the need to support the endeavours of regional bodies, Mr. Ban states that “the real challenge is to find ways to replace the improvised, at times selective, resource-skewed approach with more planned, consistent and reliable arrangements.”
Such support should go beyond the immediate funding for starting up a regional mission and include ways to ensure “sustainable, flexible and predictable” funding for any peacekeeping operation undertaken by a regional organization and authorized by the Security Council.
Among his recommendations, Mr. Ban proposes setting up within the next three months an AU-UN panel to consider how to support peacekeeping operations undertaken by regional organizations, especially with regard to start-up funding, equipment and logistics.
In addition, he recommends that the Council define the role regional organizations play in the maintenance of peace and security, particularly in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts.
The UN should also improve and better coordinate the various African peacekeeping training initiatives, including through the development of regional centres for military and civilian aspects of conflict prevention and peace support.
Also, in line with his recent proposals, the Secretary-General recommends strengthening the capacity of the Department of Political Affairs, both at Headquarters and in the field, including the establishment of regional offices to work closely with regional organizations.