Provisional Program of Work for the Month of July 2024

Date | July 2024

In July 2024, the Republic of Angola will take over the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) from the Republic of Uganda. The provisional program of work of the month envisages a total of five substantive agenda items. Additionally, the program of work also includes a field mission to Mozambique and an informal consultation between the PSC and the Commissioner of Political Affairs and Peace and Security (C-PAPS) on Early Warning. Of the five substantive agenda items, two will address country-specific situations while the remaining three will focus on thematic issues. One of the sessions is scheduled to take place at ministerial level. Apart from the activities of the PSC, the Military Staff Committee (MSC) and the Committee of Experts (CoE) will also be meeting during the month.

The first session of the month is scheduled for 5 July and as part of the commemoration of the PSC at 20 it will hold an open session to brainstorm on the ‘Summit of the Future’. On 21 September 2020, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the UN75 Declaration, tasking United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres with providing recommendations to enhance global governance amidst escalating threats and the lack of progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. In response to this mandate, Secretary-General Guterres released a report titled ‘Our Common Agenda’ on 5 August 2021, outlining his vision for the future of multilateralism and proposing the ‘Summit of the Future’. Scheduled for September 2024, the Summit of the Future aims to bring world leaders together to accelerate efforts toward fulfilling current global obligations and to take concrete actions addressing emerging challenges and opportunities. This summit is designed to revitalise the multilateral system and will culminate in the endorsement of a document named the ‘Pact for the Future,’ which is currently being negotiated through consensus-based intergovernmental negotiations. Therefore, this session is expected to take stock of the state of participation of African states in the negotiations and to contribute towards the articulation of shared perspectives on the proposals that African states could advance collectively regarding the various chapters of the Pact of the Future.

On 9 July, the PSC will convene an informal consultation with the C-PAPS on Early Warning. This consultation aligns with the 13th PSC retreat on its working methods within the context of AU institutional reforms, which agreed to a monthly informal consultation between PSC Ambassadors/Charge d’Affaires and the C-PAPS. As stated in the retreat’s conclusions, the meeting will serve as a platform for the Commission and Council to share particularly sensitive early warning information. Additionally, the discussions are expected to explore ways to enhance and fully operationalise the CEWS to improve anticipation, preparedness, and early response to conflicts across the continent. The meeting may also address institutional and technical challenges to CEWS and follow up on previous decisions, particularly those from the PSC’s 1208th session held on 14 April 2024.

On 11 July, the PSC will hold its second substantive session of the month for an update on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). The last time the PSC held a session on CAR was at its 1157th session, which was held before the local elections that were scheduled for July 2023. During the session, it emphasised the responsibilities of the government and all political and social stakeholders to ensure the elections occurred as scheduled. However, the local elections were postponed to prepare for a constitutional referendum that was held on 30 July 2023. In relation to the local elections, the PSC is expected to receive a briefing on the necessary arrangements for CAR’s rescheduled local and regional elections, now set for 13 October 2024, and 26 January 2025. Furthermore, the session is expected to review the implementation status of the peace agreement, including the integration of the African Union Observer Mission in the Central African Republic’s (MOUACA) mandate into the AU Mission in CAR and the mission’s capacity to follow up on these tasks. Additionally, considering the PSC’s previous requests for the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo against CAR, and with the CAR sanctions regime set to expire on 31 July 2024, as extended by UNSC Resolution 2693 adopted on 27 July 2023, the PSC is expected to discuss developments on this matter. Another issue that has particular resonance with the current continental policy discussion on unconstitutional changes of government and may receive attention is the July 2023 constitutional amendment that removed the two-term limit on the mandate of the President.

On 15 July, the PSC will consider the role of mediation and reconciliation in conflict resolution in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), focusing on the Luanda and Nairobi Processes. During its 1203rd session, the PSC highlighted the importance of the diplomatic efforts embodied in these processes. The Nairobi and Luanda processes are ongoing regional initiatives under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). The Nairobi Process aims to mediate a resolution between the Government of the DRC and various armed groups active in the eastern regions of the country. Concurrently, the Luanda Process seeks to address the inter-state dimension of the crises in the Eastern DRC through dialogue between the DRC and Rwanda. Considering the persistence of the fighting involving the M23 and the fact that both the Nairobi and Luanda processes are stalled, the PSC, apart from receiving updates on the state of the conflict and the peace efforts, faces the challenge of how to overcome the impediments to the two peace processes. The other issue that this session is expected to address concerns how the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Mission to DRC (SAMIDRC) can support and align with the Nairobi and Luanda processes.

On 24 July, the PSC scheduled a key thematic session to discuss the future of Peace Support Operations (PSOs), focusing on financing, new configurations, coordination, lessons learned, and best practices. This session follows the 14 June 2024 PSC session on UN Security Council Resolution 2719(2023), in which member states expressed differing viewpoints on the matter. It is therefore anticipated that PSC members will have further discussions on the modalities for the implementation of Resolution 2719.

On 25 July, the fifth and the last session of the month will convene to consider the Mid-Year Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on Elections in Africa, covering the period from January to June 2024. This report aims to provide an overview of the elections conducted during the first half of the year, January to June 2024. In addition to reviewing these past elections, the report will offer an outlook on upcoming elections scheduled for the second half of the year, from July to December 2024. It is expected to highlight the evolving situations in Rwanda, Algeria, Mauritius, Namibia, and Ghana as these countries prepare for elections. Special attention may be given to Mozambique due to the worsening security situation in the northern part of the country. Furthermore, considering the potential for elections in conflict-affected countries such as Libya and South Sudan, the report is expected to provide updates on recent developments regarding elections in these Countries. Besides, this session presents an opportunity for the PSC to explore ways to assist member states in preventing electoral violence, addressing potential risks in some countries that are prone to election-related violence. Moreover, the Chairperson’s report is anticipated to include recommendations for improving electoral processes and outcomes.

Aside from these substantive sessions, the program of work for July indicates in the footnote the convening of the 3rd Policy Session of the African Union Inter-Regional Knowledge Exchange (I-RECKE) on 20 July 2024 in Accra, Ghana with a theme, ‘Joint Resource Mobilisation for Regional and Continental Conflict Peace and Security Initiatives’ 20 July 2024, Accra, Ghana. The program also anticipates a meeting of the MSC on 8 July, scheduled for a discussion on the proliferation of mercenaries and its impact on peace and security in the continent. The CoE is also scheduled to meet on 12 July for the preparation of the 18th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting between the UNSC and AUPSC, in preparation for the induction of the newly elected members of the PSC.

The field mission to Mozambique is expected to be the last activity of the PSC for the month of July 2024. The field mission is scheduled to be held from 29 to 31 July. The mission is expected to enable the PSC to engage with the Government of Mozambique on developments related to the security situation in the country. Given the field mission is coming after the 15 July 2024 deadline for the withdrawal of SAMIM, during the field mission, the PSC will also assess the measures being put in place to avoid the emergence of a security vacuum post-SAMIM.