1. This report is submitted in response to paragraph 31 of decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 338 (XVI) on the Report of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa, adopted by the 16 th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Addis Ababa, from 30 to 31 January 2011. In the decision, the Assembly “encouraged the Chairperson of the Commission to prepare and submit to the Peace and Security Council a report on the African Union’s (AU) strategic vision of the cooperation between the AU and the United Nations (UN) on peace and security matters, as a contribution to the consideration by the Security Council of the next report of the UN Secretary‐General on this issue, bearing in mind relevant AU decisions and the need for flexible and creative interpretation of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter”.
2. This request is within the context of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/21 of 22 October 2010 in which the UN Security Council (UNSC) noted the Secretary‐General’s intention to submit a report which will define the United Nations’ Secretariat’s strategic vision for UN‐AU cooperation in peace and security. At their 5 th consultative meeting held in Addis Ababa on 21 May 2011, the PSC and the UNSC affirmed that they were looking forward to the reports that the UN Secretary‐General and I intended to submit on our respective strategic visions of the cooperation between the AU and the UN.
3. It is against this backdrop that I outline the Commission’s vision on the strategic partnership between the AU and the UN system in the area of peace and security. The report is aimed at refocusing attention on the partnership beyond the support and assistance currently provided by the UN to broader issues of mutual strategic‐political interest. To do this, I present the overall context in which the partnership between the AU and the UN is evolving, including the changing nature of the peace and security challenges confronting the continent, as well as the normative and institutional changes that have taken place in the last two decades. More crucially, I reflect on the spirit and intent of Chapter VIII in the context of collective security, especially in an era where regional organizations have become indispensable pillars of multilateralism. Consistent with the UN Charter and the AU Constitutive Act, I outline key principles that should underpin the partnership, and provide practical recommendations on ways of consolidating the relationship at the strategic and operational levels, and other relevant cross‐cutting issues.