The challenges of an engagement between the African Union and the UN Security Council
Da Silva, Marina Magalhães Barreto Leite
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Since the 1960s and during the initial decades of the United Nations (UN) Africa has always had great representation inside the General Assembly. Besides the numerical advantage of Africa, the ties between the continent and the UN grew to be very specific and assumed multidimensional aspects due to the various issues related to the constant conflicts and social crises inside African territories. However, this engagement presents several complex aspects, including international, regional, and local issues. The engagement of Africa with the UN Security Council is based on two main pillars: conflict resolution and the claim of representation in a reformed Council. The problems related to these pillars are summarized in three broad categories considered problematic for this interaction: capacity, regional integration, and the political relation between the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council. The colonial background of the African continent left deep scars for its countries. Currently, Africa is the continent with the second biggest economic inequality in the world, besides the fact that its countries are hardly able to mobilize their forces to control domestic issues. Therefore, the capacity for collaboration and cooperation with UN forces is much reduced. At the same time, the continent was never united completely under a consensus and real integration, despite the existence of the AU – the former Organization of African Unity (OAU). African countries have been divided between two opposites: the need for integration and the defence of sovereignty. This division harmed even the African claims for fair representation inside the UNSC. This work intends to develop a discussion on how these problems must be overcome for successful engagement between the African continent and the UN Security Council.