Provisional Program of Work for the Month of June 2022

Provisional Program of Work for the Month of June 2022

Date | June 2022

During June, the Republic of Congo will be chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). According to Council’s provisional programme of work for the month, seven substantive sessions are planned to take place. These include two sessions dedicated to country/region specific situations, four sessions on thematic agenda items and the Joint Retreat and Annual Joint Consultative meeting of the PSC and the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee (EUPSC).

The first session of the month will be a briefing on the situation in the Sahel region, scheduled to take place on 01 June. Apart from sessions on specific countries of the region – mainly the political transitions in Mali and Burkina Faso – the last time the Council convened a dedicated session on the security situation in the Sahel region was in 2020, at its 939th meeting. Since then, the security situation in the region has continued to deteriorate with major surge in the number and intensity of terrorist attacks. In addition to receiving updates on the security trends in the region and the humanitarian toll of terrorist attacks, an issue which may take centre stage at the upcoming session is the decision of Malian transition authorities to withdraw from the G5 Sahel and its Joint Force and its consequent impact on regional security. Council may also use the session to discuss ways forward in the deployment of the 3000 troops to Sahel, which remains pending since the 2020 decision of the AU Assembly to deploy 3000 troops to the region (Assembly/AU/Dec.792(XXXIII)) and PSC’s endorsement of the “Revised Strategic Concept Note on Planning Guidance for the Deployment of 3000 Troops to the Sahel” at its 950th session.

On 6 June, the PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will meet to prepare for the PSC field mission to the Great Lakes Region (GLR) planned to take place within the month. It is expected to finalize the details on the field mission including the destinations for the visit.

The second session scheduled for 07 June will be Council’s annual deliberation on the prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes in Africa. This theme became part of PSC’s annual agenda item following the Council’s 678th session which decided to dedicate annually, an open session to the prevention of hate crimes and genocide. The session is convened in collaboration with the Embassy of Rwanda.

On 9 and 10 June respectively, the PSC will have its 5th annual joint retreat and 13th annual joint consultative meeting with the EUPSC. The AUPSC and EUPSC have held Annual joint consultative meetings in the context of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, since their inaugural meeting in 2008, although no such meeting was held in 2021. Starting from 2015, the joint consultative meetings are preceded by joint informal retreats aimed at creating the opportunity for an informal engagement to facilitate more constructive dialogue and convergence of approaches. While the agenda is still being consolidated, the proposed topic for the joint retreat taking place on 9 June includes enhancing AU-EU cooperation in multilateral fora: ensuring sustainability of AU peace support operations (PSOs) while the agenda for the annual consultative meeting scheduled for 10 June includes situations in the GLR, Lake Chad Basin (LCB), Libya, Sahel Region and Somalia/AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

On 13 June, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of July 2022, through email exchanges.

From 14 to 17 June, Council will conduct a field mission to the GLR. This is a follow up to the decision of its 1078th session to ‘undertake a field mission to the eastern part of the DRC and the Great Lakes Region as a whole, as soon as possible.’ The PSC is expected to visit countries including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo, with the possibility of visit to an additional county. This field mission comes at a critical time for the GLR as tensions in the region are raising with the attacks from the militant Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) wreaking havoc in Eastern DRC and the resumption of fighting between the M23 rebel group and the DRC army fuelling regional tension.

On 20 June, the PSC CoE will convene to conduct a review of implementation of PSC decisions. This is a key exercise for improving the decision-making of the PSC and its effectiveness.

A briefing on the situation in Libya is the next item on Council’s agenda for the month, planned to be held on 21 June. This session is expected to be a physical meeting, with the attendance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Congo as a guest participant. It is expected that the session will discuss the state of the transition in Libya and follow up on various previous decisions on enhancing AU’s role in supporting the transitional process. The last time Council convened a session to address the situation in Libya was in May 2021, at its 997th ministerial level meeting.

On 23 June, the PSC is scheduled to have a briefing by the Panel of the Wise on its activities in Africa.  The last time Council received a briefing on the activities of the Panel of the Wise was in March 2017, at its 665th session. At the upcoming session, Council may welcome the new members of the fifth Panel of the Wise appointed for a three-year term by the AU Assembly at its 35th Ordinary Session (Assembly/AU/Dec. 815(XXXV)). In addition to receiving updates on the engagements of the Panel in the areas of conflict prevention, mediation, reconciliation and dialogue since its previous briefing, Council may also hear about the key outcomes of the inaugural meeting of the fifth Panel of the Wise convened from 28 to 29 March 2022.

Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is the focus of the next session of the PSC scheduled for 28 June. At its 1012th session where Council last discussed maritime security in Africa, the growing insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea was one of the issues which took centre stage. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a serious security concern. Council may reflect on the current state of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea since its last meeting, follow up on earlier decisions on the subject and on enhancing the role that the AU and the concerned Regional Economic Communities (RECs), namely Economic Community of Central African States (ECAS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The last substantive session of the month is expected to take place on 30 June and will be committed to the consideration of the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on elections in Africa. Following the previous report of the AU Commission Chairperson on elections in Africa conducted in the period from July to December 2021 – considered at Council’s 1062nd session – the coming report is expected to provide details of elections conducted during the first half of 2022 (January to June 2022).

On 30 June, The Chairperson of the Council is scheduled to brief the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on its activities conducted during the month.

Council’s provisional programme of work for the month also envisages in footnote, consultations between the PSC Chair and the President of the UN Security Council for the month, on a date to be determined.