Explanation of Vote At the General Assembly Session on the Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts in Africa

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs 
New York, NY
April 26, 2013




AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, we welcome the adoption of a political declaration commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Organization of African Unity and commending African Union and international efforts to peacefully resolve African conflicts. We further welcome the positive contributions of the AU and sub-regional organizations to the peaceful settlement of disputes in Africa and the continued cooperation and mutual support between the United Nations and the African Union. We strongly agree with the language celebrating Africa’s economic growth throughout the global economic crisis, reaffirming the international community’s support for the consolidation of democracy and good governance in Africa, and recognizing that implementing peacebuilding and state building goals will contribute to durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.

We nonetheless have concerns about the process under which the declaration was negotiated and about the language of the declaration in a few areas. We would have welcomed further consultations on the text, beyond the one session, as there remained substantive differences on it. Specifically, the declaration lacks robust provisions on the role of accountability in preventing and deterring conflicts and providing justice for victims. As we have consistently noted, the rule of law and transitional justice are critical in preventing conflict and atrocities and rebuilding societies torn apart by systemic violence. Accountability for the worst atrocities has been and remains an important priority for the United States, and is a crucial ingredient to peacefully resolving conflicts in Africa and elsewhere. Additionally, the United States believes that pronouncements on Security Council reform are best left to the IGN: the Inter-Governmental Negotiations, which is working to forge a consensus among members.

Mr. President, we are glad to join the nations assembled here in supporting the ongoing initiatives at the UN and AU to address the peace and security challenges facing the African continent.

I thank you.

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PRN: 2013/062