Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African UnionParfait Onanga-Anyanga, the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, and the Managing Director of Amani  Africa Solomon Ayele Dersso, for their presentations.

Regional organizations in collaboration with regional economic communities play a crucial role in peace and security. Strategic partnership, close cooperation and regular exchange between the UN and the AU are essential for efficient and effective multilateralism. This Council's trip to Addis Ababa showed that collective action in conflict prevention, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding is vital.

I would like to highlight three points:

Firstly, a common understanding of conflicts, their prevention and early identification are essential. We are very encouraged by the increasingly joint approaches that the UN and the AU are bringing to conflict analysis and prevention in Africa. There have never been so many assessments, working groups and exchanges to understand the current dynamics of conflict on the continent. Scientific knowledge is very important in this context. The New Agenda for Peace emphasizes global and regional prevention efforts, the strengthening of preventive diplomacy, trust and support for regional peace operations. With this in mind, Switzerland supports the UN-AU Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. This mobilizes collaboration at the earliest signs of potential conflict.

Secondly, we welcome the fact that last week, for the first time, the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council held a debate on the role of young people in promoting peace and security. We are pleased to note that young people around the world are demanding a more open political space, and a greater say in the peace and security issues that concern them. The two Councils must therefore continue to facilitate the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. Switzerland  had a few exchanges in Addis with two young Ethiopian activists, Bemnet Negussie and Melaku Hailu, who are organizing model conferences to bring the AU closer to young people. Their energy and willingness to get involved made us realize that Africa's youth are the real driving force behind the continent's development. We must all make their voices heard and enable them to play their part to the full.

Thirdly, in a changing world, the tasks of peacekeeping operations are also evolving, but they remain an essential instrument of this Council for peace and security. To fulfill their mandates, peace missions must be able to rely on predictable, sustainable and flexible funding. This also applies to regional missions authorized by this Council. The AU's role in managing the continent's current and emerging security challenges is essential. Switzerland has always supported the AU in this role. In 2018, for example, it co-sponsored the draft resolution proposed by the A3. We recognize the progress made by the AU on the normative framework for peace support operations, the Peace Fund and logistical support for missions. We stress the importance of the United Nations' due diligence requirements with regard to human rights and international humanitarian law. Today, we welcome the A3 initiative in favor of a Security Council decision to finance African-led peace operations. Switzerland is ready to make a constructive contribution. This would be a decisive step at a time when we are called upon to rethink the future of peace operations.

Mr. President,

Switzerland will continue its long-standing support for the African Peace and Security Architecture. We look forward to hosting the Peace and Security Council in New York in October 2024 under the Swiss presidency, and to continuing to deepen our exchanges.

Thank you very much.