The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is built around structures, objectives, principles and values, as well as decision-making processes relating to the prevention, management and resolution of crises and conflicts, post-conflict reconstruction and development in the continent. The Peace and Security Council (PSC) Protocol, which was adopted in July 2002, in Durban, and entered into force in December 2003, outlines the various components of the APSA and their respective responsibilities. Other documents were subsequently adopted to facilitate and expedite the operationalization of the APSA.

The main pillar of the APSA is the PSC, which is supported, in the discharge of its mandate, by various structures, namely: the Commission, the Panel of the Wise, the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), the African Standby Force (ASF) and the Peace Fund. The relationship between the African Union (AU), which has the primary responsibility for promoting peace, security and stability in Africa, and the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs) is a key APSA component. Interaction between the PSC and other AU organs, such as the Pan-African Parliament and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as with civil society organizations, is equally vital for the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.  Furthermore, the PSC Protocol provides for partnerships between the AU, on the one hand, the United Nations (UN) and other relevant international stakeholders, on the other hand.

The APSA embraces a comprehensive agenda for peace and security in Africa that includes:

  • - Early warning and conflict prevention;
  • - Peace-making, peace support operations, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction and development;
  • - Promotion of democratic practices, good governance and respect for human rights; and
  • - Humanitarian action and disaster management.

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