Security Council members review work on African issues

United Nations Security Council members, winding up the month’s work with a discussion on Africa, said the continent is still the focus of Council efforts to maintain international peace and security and that both the UN and Africa itself have learned valuable lessons from past developments in peacekeeping.During the month of March alone, the Council adopted five resolutions on African issues, discussed more than 10 reports and held over 20 formal and informal meetings on situations in different African countries, while Africa is hosting more than half of the UN’s peacekeeping forces, according to Brazil, which held the 15-member body’s rotating presidency for March.With representatives from all Council members taking the floor, they said that without security, African countries could not advance in the area of socioeconomic development, human rights, democracy and the rule of law.To that end, an internal Security Council tool with great potential to consolidate the Council’s tackling of the continent’s problems was the recently formed Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, which could be a liaison with the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council.They commended the AU for its contribution to stabilizing the situation in Darfur in western Sudan, and some members recommended fostering the AU’s role in conflict management, conflict settlement and peacebuilding, as well as institutionalizing UN-AU cooperation.Meanwhile, most needed was an integrated vision of the root causes of African conflicts, they said. read more