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PRESS STATEMENT

            The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), held its 893rd meeting on 11 November 2019, which was dedicated to the annual interaction with the UN Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC).

         After the opening statements made by the Permanent Representative of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, H.E  Rachid Benlounes, Chairperson of the PSC for the month of November 2019, the Council was briefed by the Chairperson of the UNPBC, H.E. Ambassador Guillermo Fernandez de Soto, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations (UN). Council also received briefings from H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, Vice-Chair of the UNPBC, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN and H.E. Ambassador Omar Hilale, Chair of the UNPBC-Central African Republic Configuration and Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN. Council received as well presentations on peace building activities of the AU and the UN in Africa from the Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, and Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peace Building Support.

            Council recalled the previous communiques and press statements on peace building activities in Africa, in particular its Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCXXXIII)] adopted at its 633rd meeting held on 18 October 2016 in which the PSC and the UNPBC exchanged views on enhancing its partnership, including in the area of conflict prevention and sustaining  peace on the Continent, and decided to conduct interactive dialogue on an annual basis. Council also recalled resolutions A/RES/70262 and S/RES/2282(2016) which stresses the importance of partnership and cooperation between the UN and the AU in peacebuilding activities and calls the Peacebuilding Commission to hold regular exchanges of views with the AU and coordinate joint initiatives, and information sharing between the Peacebuilding Support Office and the African Union Commission.

         Council and members of the UNPBC exchanged views on ways and means to enhance cooperation and collaboration in support of peacebuilding efforts in countries on the UNPBC agenda and other African countries emerging from conflict.

         Council commended the activities of the UNPBC in Africa, especially its continues efforts to enhance its support of sustaining peace, particularly on cross-border peacebuilding challenges in Africa such as the Mano River Union, the Great Lakes, the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel. Furthermore, Council commended the UNPBC for its visit to the Mano River Union, included Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire. Council emphasized the need for collaboration and cooperation between the AU and the UN in providing support to countries concerned with a view to enhance synergy and partnership, as well as ensuring coherence and complementarity of such efforts, in line with the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security signed in April 2017.

         Council welcomed the efforts of the AU Commission to ensure women’s full participation in peace building activities in the Continent. Council further welcomed the Commission’s Gender, Peace and Security Programme which aims at developing and implementing effective strategies and mechanisms for women’s increased participation in peace and security and enhancing protection in conflict and post-conflict situations in Africa.

           Council recalled the Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.1(DCCCLXXXIII)] adopted at its 833rd meeting held on 27 September 2019 at Ministerial level, in New York on the independence between peace, security and development and stressed the need for operational and multidimensional approaches, adapted to each of the conflict situations on the agenda of the UNPBC and to the different geographical areas and thematic issues under consideration by the Commission.

           Council noted with appreciation the progress made in the operationalization of the African Union Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Cairo, Egypt and requested the Commission to expedite the finalization of the pending issues. Council underlined that the AU Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) provide a solid framework for cooperation and collaboration in support for peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Africa in line with AU Agenda 2063, particularly its flagship project ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by the year 2020’.

           Council insisted on enhancing national ownership of post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding processes while also supporting Member States’ efforts to improve accountability, inclusivity, sustainability and to increase the meaningful participation of women and youth in post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. In this regard, Council underscored the importance for the AU Commission and the UNPBC to work in close cooperation with the countries concerned, promoting national priorities with a view to enhance national ownership, leadership and full participation in the peacebuilding activities and development projects, as well as conflict prevention and addressing root causes of conflicts.

            Council requested the AU Commission to work in close cooperation with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in providing peacebuilding support to cross-border and transhumance projects which include conflict prevention in some parts in Africa.

           Council welcomed the commendable efforts made by Egypt, in its capacity as Vice-Chairman of the UNPBC and by the Kingdom of Morocco, in its capacity as Chairman of the Central African Republic Configuration within the UNPBC, in defending the interests of African countries on the UNPBC agenda, including through the African Group in New York.

           Council encouraged the AU and UN, at operational level, to undertake regular consultations and exchange visits to strengthen collaboration and synergy of their activities, and to regularly brief Council on their joint activities.

           Council called for collective responsibility to prioritize goals set out in action plans as the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 and encouraged for continued efforts towards promoting and sustaining a robust culture of peace and tolerance aimed at preventing crises and relapses.

           Council appealed to AU Member States to redouble their efforts in supporting those African countries emerging from conflict and facilitate the work of the UNPBC to this effect. Council emphasized, in this regard, the importance to launch people centred’ development projects to ensure the reintegration of populations of countries emerging from conflicts, especially those concerned by the demobilization operations. Council further called upon the international community to provide the necessary support to post-conflict countries in Africa in a collaborative and synergy manner.  

            Council agreed to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by SitroomCom

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