The UN and Regional Organisations: Finding a Balance Between the UN and the African Union in Dealing with Peace and Security in Africa
The world has come a long way since the adoption of the UN Charter and the initial debate in the early 1940s on the place of regionalism in dealing with international peace and security. The wording of Chapter VIII resulted over time in various interpretations of the nature of the relationship between the UN and regional organisations involved in regional conflicts. These ambiguities are based on references to ‘recognising and/or authorising’ actions of regional organisations in maintaining or restoring peace and security. Since the end of the Cold War, though, and the rise of ideas regarding the global governance of peace and security, increasing attention has been paid to this relationship and ways in which to improve, encourage and develop more effective joint strategies for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building. In this regard, the African continent, as a region experiencing what at times seem to be endemic insecurity, incidences of state failure, human suffering and armed conflict, has become a particular focus of attempts at strengthening UN-regional relations. In March 2007, South Africa took the initiative, as Security Council president at the time, to hold an open debate on the UN’s relationship with regional organisations and in particular the African Union in the maintenance of peace and security and prevention of armed conflict.
KeywordsInternational Community Security Council Regional Organisation Armed Conflict African Continent
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