§ Mr. Mullin
The Government welcome the African Union's plans to set up an African Standby Force. As we have seen in the past year in Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia, African-led peace support missions have an important role to play in promoting peace and security in Africa. The African Standby Force, once established, will give the African Union and African sub-regional organisations the capacity to play this role more effectively. We will continue to actively encourage international partners, including those in the G8 and EU, to support the African Union's plans in this area.