Allow me to begin by thanking Ms DiCarlo, Mr Bankole and Ms Tadesse for their presentations.
This day is important in two respects: we are not only commemorating 75 years of UN peacekeeping, but we are also celebrating Africa Day. Warm congratulations. Our debate on future peacekeeping models and their financing is therefore timely.
Peacekeeping missions are an essential instrument of the Security Council for peace and security in the world. They are particularly important in Africa, where many of these missions are deployed, but even more significantly, 13 of the top 20 nations that contribute troops are African.
Africa is clearly fulfilling its responsibility for 'African-led solutions to African challenges', and Switzerland welcomes this important contribution. We look forward to using our term on the Security Council to work even more closely with Africa and to continue our long-standing support for the peace and security architecture on that continent.
In order to fulfil their mandates, peace missions rely on predictable, sustainable and flexible funding. This also applies to the regional missions authorised by the Security Council. It is crucial for the credibility of the UN system and as such we welcome the proposal to use assessed contributions for this purpose.
The debate on the financing of African Union-led peace support operations is not new. The African Union is well placed to play an active role in addressing current and emerging security challenges on the continent. Switzerland has always been committed to this. For example, in 2018, when the Security Council was considering this issue, Switzerland was co-sponsor of the draft resolution proposed by the A3.
Today, we take note of the secretary-general's report and its conclusions, which allow us to focus our attention on the following three key elements:
First, all security forces must respect the UN Charter, international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law. This must be a precondition for the UN to provide funding. This is a UN human rights due diligence requirement.
Switzerland recognises and welcomes the progress made by the African Union since 2018 on the normative framework for peace support operations. It now needs to be implemented through a robust structure to prevent violations, enforce compliance with applicable standards, allow for independent investigations and, where appropriate, sanction violations.
Second, we must make it our goal to promote and facilitate sustainable solutions. In this regard, regional ownership of peace operations is crucial: regional organisations must be able to plan, deploy, manage, support and finance their operations autonomously. With that in mind, we are encouraged by the African Union Consensus Paper adopted this year. Going forward, it will be important to find an ambitious yet realistic form of burden-sharing for peace support operations.
Lastly, we need to promote efficiency, leadership and an effective division of labour in cooperation between the UN and the African Union. To do this, we need to learn from the past and clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of each organisation.
Established budgetary processes, including oversight mechanisms, must apply without exception to all UN funding.
In conclusion, Switzerland welcomes the A3 initiative for a new Security Council decision on predictable, sustainable and flexible funding for African Union-led peace support operations. It would represent a decisive step for the future of peace operations, to which Switzerland intends to make a constructive contribution.