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USUN Press Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, DC
August 28, 2007


Statement by Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff, Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative, at the Open Debate on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, to the Security Council

The United States would like to thank the Republic of Congo for raising this important issue. We agree with the Secretary-General and with you, Mr. President, that the UN, and more particularly this Council, can and must enhance its capacity to prevent conflict, particularly in Africa.

For the UN to be more effective in preventing conflict in Africa, the Security Council must work more cooperatively and more efficiently with regional and subregional organizations. In this regard, the U.S. joins other members of this Council in welcoming the provisions of the UN Security Council-African Union Peace and Security Council joint communique of June 2007 that calls for a stronger relationship between the two bodies.

Mr. President, according to the World Bank 16 of the world’s 20 poorest countries have suffered a major war in the past 15 years. On average, countries coming out of war face a 44% chance of relapsing in the first five years of peace.

The United States supports conflict prevention and conflict resolution in Africa through a variety of bilateral and multilateral programs:

  • Announced at the G-8 meeting in 2004, the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) was created to address the disparity between the persistent demand for trained peacekeeping forces and their inadequate availability, especially for missions in Africa. In FY 05 GPOI trained and equipped 27,025 military personnel from 37 countries to participate in UN peacekeeping operations. That number is expected to increase to 75,000 by the end of the year. The United States is supporting four of the eleven GPOI Peace Operations Training Centers in Africa -- in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and Nigeria.
  • The Transportation and Logistics Support Arrangement (TLSA) of GPOI contributed $11.5 million in FY05, $5 million of which went to construct portions of 34 base camps in Darfur. In 2007, the United States has obligated $32 million to TLSA to support initiatives including : $12 million in equipment to ECOWAS, $6.8 million for the training and equipping of Ugandan troops supporting AMISOM, and $6 million to support Nigerian deployment to AMIS.
  • GPOI’s predecessor, the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program provided training and non-lethal equipment to over 52,000 peacekeeping operations from African partner militaries through July 2007. These partners are now contributing, or have contributed, to AMIS, UNMIS, UNAMSIL, MONUC, MINURCA, UNMEE, UNOCI, UNMIL, and AMISOM .
  • Understanding that economic development is a crucial component of conflict prevention and conflict resolution, the U.S. Congress passed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on May 18, 2000. The Act offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets. Thirty-eight of the 48 sub-Saharan nations are now eligible for AGOA. As a result, two-way trade between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries increased by 17 percent in 2006, reaching almost $71.3 billion, with both U.S. exports to and U.S. imports from the region growing.
  • In 2004 President Bush created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (CRS) to harness the full breadth of U.S. skills and resources to transform conflict. CRS was tasked with integrating all relevant U.S. resources and assets in conducting reconstruction and stabilization operations.

So we have important programs in place. What we need now is more effective coordination between our efforts, Security Council efforts, and the efforts of African Union and other regional and subregional organizations. With such enhanced coordination, we would all I think be better positioned to help prevent conflict before it starts and to assist nations emerging from conflicts so the violence of the past is not repeated.


Released on October 29, 2007

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