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Banjul, 10 September 2012: In the framework of the Year of Shared Values, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the AU Commission, held a consultation on ensuring greater synergy between the African Governance Architecture (AGA) and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) of the AU, in Banjul, The Gambia, from 8 to 10 September 2012. The Consultations were organized with the support of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR). The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Momodou Tangara, delivered the opening speech of the Consultations.

Other organs of the Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), in addition to Member States of the PSC, took part in the Banjul Consultations. The following organs of the Union and RECs attended the meeting: The Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Panel of the Wise, the Consultative Board on Corruption, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Southern African Development Community, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Community of Sahel?Saharian States. Representatives of several other departments of the AU Commission, specialized agencies of the United Nations, as well as civil society organizations took part in the Consultations.

 

The Consultations provided an opportunity for the PSC to exchange views with the Department of Political Affairs and other stakeholders on issues relating to governance and human rights, which form the basis of the AU work in the area of conflict prevention and peace building in Africa, in accordance with the provisions of Article 7(m) of the Protocol Establishing the Peace and Security Council (PSC Protocol).

 

Within the framework of its conflict prevention activities, this provision requires the PSC to follow up on the gains made in the promotion of democracy, good governance, rule of law and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

The Consultations also underscored the need for systematic, structured and close collaboration between the relevant departments of the Commission, the PSC and other AU organs and institutions mandated to work on issues of governance, as provided for under Articles 16, 18 and 19 of the PSC Protocol.

 

The Consultations also enabled the members of the PSC to discuss in depth nature of the support expected and consider policy actions aimed at ensuring greater synergy between the AGA and APSA, in particular through a coordinated implementation of the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as well as other mechanisms under the African Union Shared Values.

At the end of the Consultations, the PSC agreed to convene a formal meeting to consider and adopt, on the basis of the Report to be submitted by the Department of Political Affairs, the Conclusions of the Banjul Consultations, in particular, the practical modalities for periodical review of governance, human rights and humanitarian issues in the continent.

 

In the margins of the Consultations, Members of the PSC paid a courtesy call on the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Aja Isatou N’jie?Saidy.

Posted by Lulit Kebede

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