AU, UN need better cooperation, says Zuma
President Jacob Zuma has called on the African Union and United Nations to work together to secure peace on the continent. "The AU commission chairperson should assist us in promoting further cooperation with the United Nations so that the AU peace and security machinery can work closely with the UN Security Council machinery to bring about peace," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at a banquet in honour of AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Last month Dlamini-Zuma resigned from her position as minister of home affairs to take up her new post in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Zuma said there were a number of regions which would require Dlamini-Zuma'a attention, such as the Sahel region which was under pressure following the Arab Spring.
"The [AU] heads of state will have a chairperson who comes with the background and experience of peacemaking and conflict resolution, as she comes from a country that has been playing a positive role in peacemaking and peace keeping since 1994." Zuma said Dlamini-Zuma understood how the AU could promote Africa's political and socio-economic development. "The AU technical infrastructure at Addis requires a strategist, a politically astute individual, a team worker, a unifier and someone who can motivate commissioners and staff to do more to ensure success.
"Dr Dlamini-Zuma is such a person."
Zuma apparently responded to criticism by his predecessor Thabo Mbeki who had expressed doubt about the possibilities given to the AU Chair to change policies set by national African governments.
South Africa would support the AU to promote unity, peace, stability, prosperity and democracy in the continent.
Zuma thanked Dlamini-Zuma for "devout service" in her capacities as minister of health, foreign affairs and, most recently, home affairs. "We know that you will do exceptionally well in Addis ... You have all of us standing behind you, ready to support you in whatever way possible," he said.