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We, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), assembled at the 444th meeting, in an open session, held on 25 June 2014, (), on the margins of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to commemorate the establishment of the PSC and having critically reviewed the work undertaken by the Council during the past decade, since 2014, in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, have adopted the following Declaration:

RECALLING the relevant provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union which attach paramount importance to the necessity of peace, security and stability in Africa, as a necessary pre-condition for the acceleration of socio-economic development and integration of the continent;

RECALLING ALSO the Statement of Commitment to Peace and Security in Africa, adopted in Addis Ababa by the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, PSC/AHG/ST.(X), on 25 May 2004, during the launching of the PSC, we reaffirm our commitment to the promotion of a stable, secure, peaceful and developed Africa, as well as our commitment to realize the ideals enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the Union and the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the establishment of the PSC of the AU marked a historic commitment by Africa to resolve its conflicts and to promote peace, security and stability. Today, we are celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the launching of the PSC, with the participation of all AU Member States, AU Organs, Representatives of the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs), as well as African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), think tanks and academic institutions, bilateral and multilateral partners;

MINDFUL of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, conferring on the Security Council primary responsibility for maintenance on international peace and security, as well as the provisions of the Charter on the role of regional arrangements or agencies in the maintenance of international peace and security, and the need to forge closer cooperation and partnership between the United Nations, other international organizations and the African Union, in the promotion and maintenance of peace, security and stability in Africa;

STRESSING that this celebration provides an opportunity for the Council to take stock of its achievements and the challenges that it has encountered over the past decade in the promotion and maintenance of peace, security and stability in Africa, with a view to achieving the fundamental objective of creating a conflict-free Africa, in line with the letter and spirit of the Solemn Declaration adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government on 26 May 2013;

GUIDED BY the vision of our Union and affirming our determination to build a conflict-free Africa, WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT:

 

  1. Significant progress has been made in the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), which has contributed to the resolution of some of the conflicts in the continent.  In this regard, we call upon all AU Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and the RECs/RMs, as well as Civil Society Organizations to support the process towards the full operationalization of the APSA, particularly the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability. In the interim, we underline the need to expedite the operationalization of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), as a transitional measure, pending full operationalization of the ASF.

 

  1. Cooperation with other stakeholders in conflict prevention, management and resolution on the continent is of critical importance. In this regard, we call for greater coordination and consultation between Council and RECs/RMs on their interventions in conflict and crisis situations in Africa. We, furthermore, underscore the need for the PSC and RECs/RMs to maximize each other’s comparative advantages on the basis of the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity.

 

  1. Our partnership with the UN Security Council and other international organizations remain an essential pillar for promoting peace, security and stability in Africa. In this respect, while acknowledging the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, we call for more regular and robust interaction with the UN Security Council, drawing from its comparative strengths and advantages and those of our Council.  We request the UN Security Council to take due cognizance of Africa’s position on matters of peace and security expressed through the decisions of the Union, in particular the AU PSC. We also call upon the African members of the UN Security Council to assume a greater leadership role and coordination on issues of peace and security in Africa.

 

  1. During the past ten years, there has been little interaction between the PSC and CSOs as envisaged in Article 20 of the PSC Protocol. We further acknowledge the need for enhancing conditions, including a dynamic implementation of Article 20 of the PSC Protocol, to this effect. In this regard, we agree to promote more engagement between the PSC and African CSOs in pursuit of efforts towards conflict prevention, management and resolution and to organize annual consultative meetings of the PSC and CSOs with a view to building more synergy in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.

 

  1. Regular engagement between the PSC and other AU Organs, particularly with regard to conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction and development on our continent is of uttermost importance. We, therefore, underline the need to harness and coordinate the actions of all AU Organs and other stakeholders involved in these areas.

 

  1. Further improvements in the way and manner that the PSC responds to threats to peace and security on the continent should be effected and Council should make greater use of its mandate, as defined in its Protocol. In this regard, we stress the need to close the gap between the provision of early warning and the launching of early action.

 

NOTED WITH CONCERN:

 

  1. The continuing phenomenon of the majority of conflicts in Africa being waged on the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism based on ethnicity or religious divides and abated with gender chauvinism; and underscore the need to step up measures to address all manifestations of the root causes of conflicts in Africa.

 

  1. The growing threats of terrorism in Africa and call on the AU Commission and the Secretariats of the RECs/RMs to come up with a comprehensive AU Strategy for addressing the phenomenon of extremism, terrorism and other emerging threats to peace and security in Africa such as piracy, human trafficking, drug trafficking, religious tensions, the spread of small arms and light weapons. Furthermore, we call for the development of mechanisms within the APSA to deal with these emerging threats.

 

  1. The growing phenomenon of state fragility in light of the latest developments in the continent and underscore the need for AU Member States to strengthen governance institutions and accelerate socio-economic development programmes.

 

  1. The lack of sustainable and predictable funding and inadequate provision of logistical support to AU peace support operations, which has been seriously undermining AU’s efforts to timely and effectively respond to crises situations. In this regard, we agree on the need to take more initiative and greater ownership in providing financial and logistical support to AU peace support operations. We, therefore, underscore the need to expedite the process of finding additional sources of funding for peace and security matters.

 

  1. The challenges that the PSC faces in implementing its mandate due to gaps in the provisions in its Protocol and stress the urgency of aligning the PSC Protocol to the emerging circumstances and factors on Africa’s peace and security landscape.  

 

  1. We undertake to re-double efforts to defeat insecurity in Africa; and, among other things, call upon all AU Member States to banish the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism and gender chauvinism and to strengthen and professionalize their armies by embracing security sector reforms, as a first step, as well as to ensure national, regional and continental measures and programmes that guarantee the security of persons, their property, welfare and quest for prosperity.

 

  1. The weak or lack of implementation of some of its decisions and express its strong determination to address this phenomenon by taking specific measures. Furthermore, we call for greater political will and resources to be committed to the PSC and to all other aspects of the APSA in order to facilitate effective implementation of decisions on peace and security issues in Africa.

 

TO THIS END:

 

  1. We undertake to deploy more effort in identifying gaps in the PSC Protocol and making concrete proposals. In this context, we agree to organism a brainstorming session of the PSC. We also underscore the importance of relevant AU Organs making contributions to the process of providing additional enabling provisions in the PSC Protocol.

 

  1. We commit to elaborate, building from the existing AU instruments, an integrated framework on what constitutes unconstitutional change of government in Africa taking into account past and current experiences, as well as emerging circumstances, on our continent, specially for the Conflict Early Warning System to more effectively and efficiently provide actionable information for early action.

 

  1. We call for stronger and more sustained support to countries emerging from conflict with regard to reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction and development. We stress the importance of consolidating the peace and security gains on the continent in the post-conflict phase to prevent relapses into conflict. In this regard, we further stress the importance of the full operationalization and functioning of PSC subsidiary bodies.

 

  1. We also call on the Commission to regularly brief the Council on potential flashpoints on the continent with a view to facilitating and supporting timely preventive action by the Council. We emphasize the need for the allocation of more resources to support and strengthen the capacity of all components of the APSA.

 

  1. We appeal to all AU Member States, that have not done so, to sign and ratify all AU relevant instruments relating to peace and security, particularly the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

 

As Heads of State and Government, mindful of our responsibility and commitment towards the realization of a conflict-free Africa, we solemnly pledge to act together with our Peoples and the African Diaspora to realize this noble vision.

 

Adopted at the 444th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, at the level of the Heads of State and Government, on the margins of the 23rd Assembly of the African Union in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 25 June 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Lulit Kebede

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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