The United Nations and the African Union today launched a joint task force on peace and security as the two organizations continue to step up their cooperation in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding across the continent.
The Joint Task Force, launched at UN Headquarters in New York by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, will meet twice a year at the senior level to review immediate and long-term strategic issues.
Mr. Ban and Mr. Ping noted in a press release that they were determined to strengthen existing cooperation between the two organizations beyond the groundbreaking joint efforts in Sudan, Guinea and Somalia. "
A joint peacekeeping force has operated in Sudan`s Darfur region (known as UNAMID) since the start of 2008, while the UN provides support to the troops of the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
In Guinea, the two organizations work together with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to try to promote peace and democratization in the fragile West African nation.
Mr. Ban and Mr. Ping approved terms of reference for the new task force, which will conduct its first consultations on Tuesday in New York, coinciding with this year being declared by the AU as the Year of Peace and Security in Africa.
The task force`s programme of work will be mapped out in coordination with the newly established UN Office to the AU and the AU`s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN.