Communiqué of the 1161 Peace and Security Meeting… – ReliefWeb

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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at the 2nd Annual Consultative Meeting between the Peace and Security Council and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) and Representatives of Civil Society Organizations (OSC).

The Peace and Security Council,

noticing the opening remarks by Ambassador Mohamed Lamine Thiaw, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Senegal to the AU and Chairman of the PSC for the month of July 2023; and the statement of the representative of ECOSOCC, Mr. Osei Kyeretwie, Head of Programs of ECOSOCC;

also noticing statements by CSO representatives from the four African regions, namely the Southern African Conflict Prevention Associations [SAPPC (Southern Africa Region)]the Cameroonian Youth and Student Forum for Peace [CAMYOSFOP (Central Africa Region)]the Institute for Security Studies [ISS (Eastern Africa Region)]; and the West African Democracy Solidarity Network [WADEMOS (Western Africa Region)]; as well as the statement of the representative of the Coordinators of the Pan African Network of Civil Society Organizations on Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PANPAPS);

remembering its previous decisions and pronouncements on the engagement between the PSC and the ECOSOCC and CSOs, in particular Communiqué [PSC/PR/Comm(CLXI)] of the 161st meeting, held on December 16, 2008, which adopted the Conclusions of the PSC Retreat, held in Livingstone, Zambia, on December 4-5, 2008 (the Livingstone Formula); as well as the Communiqué [INAUGURAL MEETING/PSC-CSOs.1 (2022)] the Inaugural Consultative Meeting between the PSC and CSOs held on September 14, 2022;

reaffirming the unwavering commitment to the implementation of the Assembly Decision [Ext/Assembly/AU/Decl.(XVI)]adopted during the 16th Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, which took place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in May 2022; Declaration of the Reflection Forum on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa (Accra Declaration) held in March 2022, in Accra, Ghana and adopted by the PSC at its 1077th meetingheld on 14 April 2022, as well as the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030;

Engaged to the provisions of the Protocol Relative to the Establishment of the PSC of the AU, in particular article 20 on the call for the active participation of CSOs in the promotion of peace, security, stability and development in Africa; and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Congratulations the work carried out by ECOSOCC in the coordination and mobilization of CSOs to support the work of the PSC in promoting the implementation of the peace and security agenda in the continent; and also praises the dedicated efforts of CSOs to enhance cooperation and collaboration with the PSC in promoting peace, peace, security and stability in Africa, including the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of practical steps to silencing weapons in Africa by 2030, as well as their role in promoting democratic governance and spearheading positive transformation, fostering inclusive development and empowering the voices of African citizens, with the meaningful participation of youth and women;

2. Welcome the progress made by ECOSOCC in establishing the CSO database, which is expected to have a profound impact on enhancing the active participation of CSOs in supporting PSC activities and serve as a vital tool for mobilize CSOs towards the effective implementation of AU instruments and frameworks focused on the promotion of democracy and good governance and conflict prevention; in this regard calls on ECOSOCC to expedite the completion of the database and ensure the inclusion and identification of the issue-based CSO classification to better assist the work of the PSC and other AU bodies;

3. It also welcomes the support provided by partners, in particular the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to ECOSOCC and CSOs in the implementation of the Declaration of the Reflection Forum on Unconstitutional Changes of Governments held in Accra, Ghana, to through its Silence the Guns program through the Cross-Border Corporation for Peace and Sustainable Development;

4. More welcome ECOSOCC’s two flagship citizen engagement initiatives, namely the Citizens’ Forum and the Popular Assemblies as mechanisms to provide African citizens with institutional platforms to provide civil society perspectives and feedback on the Union’s work, including the PSC ;

5. Take note the establishment of a coalition of CSOs, the Pan African Civil Society Network on Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PANPAPS), which can provide strong support to prevent, resolve and address conflicts, as well as enhance synergy between CSOs and their commitment to the PSC; and ILook forward to their collective and coordinated contribution to promoting peace, security, stability and development in Africa;

6. Tensionsthe continuing role of CSOs as key actors in supporting governments to address the systemic peace and security challenges facing nations, as well as their critical role in delivering essential services to communities in need, empowering people to through capacity building initiatives, making valuable contributions to peacebuilding and conflict resolution efforts and the preservation of Africa’s diverse cultural heritage;

7. Calls to CSOs to improve coordination and cooperation through the PSC and ECOSOCC Mechanisms to effectively contribute in a cohesive manner to the work of the AU Bodies and Union programs; in this regard, reflexes the need to enhance and capitalize on the engagement between the PSC and CSOs on the African continent as outlined in the AU Constitutive Act, the PSC Protocol and the Livingstone Formula, as well as other relevant AU instruments; and also stands out the need for the implementation of the Livingstone formula and the conclusions of Maseru, requests the AU Commission in coordination with ECOSOCC to provide the status of implementation, challenges and recommendations on the way forward;

8. Underscores the role of CSOs in various thematic areas, such as control of the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons and in the implementation of the AU Assembly Decision on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa; and requests CSOs continue to champion the work of the PSC, including through the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap to Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030 and regularly engage the PSC in their activities;

9. Stand out the need for the inclusion of CSOs in the activities of the Interregional Knowledge Sharing Platform (I-RECKE) and the African Inclusive Transitions Support Fund (AFSIT) to ensure that the voices of civilians are included in the AU peace and security activities;

10. Encourage CSOs to strengthen their role in promoting the culture of peace, through the education of African citizens in the culture of peace, peacebuilding and intercommunal dialogue in the fight against hateful ideologies, including hate speech of hate; and emphasizes the imperative to cultivate additional opportunities for engagement between CSOs and PSCs in key domains, including providing support to mediation and peacemaking efforts and expert contribution to early warning and advice on support operations to peace;

11. It also encourages CSOs to enhance their efforts to respond to increasingly complex and challenging threats to peace and security on the continent as the interface between policymakers and grassroots stakeholders; and encourages even more use social media to prevent conflict and/or disseminate reliable and credible information, and alert society and decision-makers to dangerous situations, as well as respond to misinformation, disinformation, and incitement to hatred and violence;

12. Tensionsthe fundamental role that civil society organizations and African expert groups can play in contributing significantly to the strengthening of institutional and political instruments for conflict prevention and resolution on the continent; in this vein, underlines the importance of the launch of the Network of Think Tanks, Research Centers and the report on the mapping exercise of CSOs that work on issues of governance, peace and security, by the AU Commission;

13. Calls to for regular engagements between CSOs and the AU and Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms (RMs) on advancing democratic governance, peace, security, and stability on the Continent;

14. Look ahead to the implementation of viable strategies on how the PSC can best engage African CSOs to present a common plan to support the work of the PSC and the implementation of article 20 of the PSC Protocol, the Livingstone formula, the conclusions of the Maseru withdrawal, the decision on terrorism and unconstitutional changes of government in Africa, as well as the main AU roadmap of practical steps to silence the guns in Africa by 2030;

15. Decide continue to actively pursue the matter.

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Ellis Wilder

Hey there! My name is Ellis Wilder, and I'm a student at the University of Calgary. When I'm not hitting the books, you can usually find me writing articles for sports and travel blogs. I've always had a passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures, so I love sharing my travel stories with others. Whether I'm hiking in the Rocky Mountains or exploring a new city, I always try to capture the essence of the places I visit in my writing. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them!

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