Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 28 November 2017 –  Advancing Peace, Security and Stability for sustainable growth and development” is the theme of the high level panel discussions held on 28 November 2017,  in the margins of the 5th African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) Summit in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The objective of the panel discussion was to exchange views on a coherent and cooperative approach to crisis prevention and stabilization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Leading questions included: What needs to be done to prevent crisis, to contribute to political settlements, and enable reconciliation and sustainable peace?  How to align prevention policies as a shared task and responsibility involving all stakeholders, including the AU, EU, Member States, and the UN? How can the young people be involved in these processes?

Jointly organised by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Department of Peace and Security of the African Union Commission (AUC), the panel discussion was moderated by Hon. Mrs Hanna Tetteh, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana. The Panelists consisted of the following personalities:  H.E. Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany; H.E Mr. Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union; and H.E. Mrs. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission. The event, which took place at the Goethe Institute, was attended by youth from both continents and other dignitaries.

Taking the floor, German Federal Foreign Minister Mr Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the panelists and highlighted the four pillars of AU-Germany Cooperation as follows:

  1. Regional cooperation;
  2. Police capacity building;
  3. Border demarcation; and
  4. Humanitarian aid. 

Minister Sigmar further pointed out that Germany has helped demarcate borders in more than 20 countries and has allocated Euros 370 million for humanitarian assistance in Africa. He added that Germany has worked with the AU to build APSA. He emphasized the need for the proposed MOU on cooperation in the area of Peace and Security to be signed between the AU and EU to enhance cooperation. 

The Commissioner for Pease and Security of the AU Commission, H.E Mr. Smail Chergui, expressed appreciation for the support from Germany, expounded on silencing the guns priority for Africa, role AUBP, and the need to link early warning to early response. He briefed on the youth volunteer program at the AUC, the FEMWISE initiative and emphasized the need for more involvement of youth and women. They challenged the youth to come up with ideas that can be implemented. The German minister emphasized that Germany is ready to invest in training and skills development for African youth.

Ms Federica Mogherini emphasized that focus should now shift to sustainable security, greater role for women and youth and radicalization. She noted that due to lack of defined role for youth, the tendency was for them to join radical groups, hence the need to redefine a role for our youth and women and give them space to build the society and focus on “Sustainable Security.” She also underlined the need to strengthen the AU-EU security cooperation. Ms. Mogherini highlighted operations such as the Naval operation ATALANTA and Operation SOPHIA in the Mediterranean, as well EU support to G5 Sahel. She further emphasized need for the AU and the EU to sign the MOU aimed at enhancing cooperation in the area of Peace and Security as well as the tri-lateral cooperation (AU-EU-UN). 

The three speakers emphasized the need for increased role for the youth in conflict prevention, management and resolution. The issue of return and reintegration of migrants from Africa was also discussed. The Commissioner called for speedy resolution of the crisis in Libya to stem the human trafficking trade taking place through Libya and into Europe through the Mediterranean. 



Posted by Abraham Belayneh
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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