I thank Ghana for raising the topic of strengthening regional arrangements- and all briefers for their insights.
Let me jump straight to the three questions that you have posed:
First: How can this Council cooperate more closely with regional organizations? During the debate on UN-AU cooperation last year, Norwegian Prime Minister Støre recommended that: The UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council should meet more regularly. That the Security Council should invite more briefers from the AU and Regional Economic Communities. And, that the two Councils should do more joint visits.
Your second key question, Chair, was on: how to address the issue of predictable, sustainable, and flexible funding, including for AU-led and regional missions?
Norway has backed the Secretary-General’s call for a UN support office for the G5 Sahel Joint Force - and we remain open to using assessed contributions to AU and regionally-led missions when conditions are right.
To move such debates forward, we should take into account that discussions on the use of assessed UN contributions are easier when compliance frameworks for IHL and human rights are convincingly in place.
This is not merely a political necessity- but will help achieve operational goals, through winning- and keeping- people’s trust, hearts, and minds.
We know that the AU and subregional organizations have long been doing good work in these areas -including in cooperation with OHCHR.
We encourage even more showcasing of this work.
Lastly, to your third question on: other ways which the UN system can support regional arrangements in a coherent manner, besides military options?
New security thinking must take a holistic approach, one that focuses on: prevention, inclusion, protection of civilians, and development.
This must be prioritised just as much as military action.
The UN, its country offices, the PBC, and a range of development actors stand ready to support.
Norway will support continued discussions on this- including through the Group of Friends of UN - AU Partnership.
We will also contribute to discussions emerging from the High-level Panel for Governance, Development and Security in the Sahel.