Provisional Program of Work for the Month of March 2020

Date | March 2020

Equatorial Guinea assumes the role of the monthly chairpersonship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of March. The provisional program of work, involves some six substantive sessions. These include an open session and a ministerial level meeting.
The first meeting of the month scheduled for 3 March is a briefing on the situation in Darfur and the UNAMID transition. It is to be recalled that the PSC, at its 856th session, has renewed the mandate of the mission until June 2020, which is also the planned exit period of UNAMID from Darfur.
On 5 March the PSC will receive a briefing by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on the report of peer reviewed member states. This is the second time that the APRM addresses the PSC. It is a session that could serve as avenue for following up some of the early warning issues identified in the report of peer reviewed member states. On the same day, the Council will also have a preparatory session on the ministerial meeting planned at the end of the month in Malabo.
The schedule on the program of work for 10 March the PSC provides for two items. The first is consideration and adoption the provisional program of work for the month of April. The Council with continue its preparatory session for the ministerial meeting.
On 12 March, the PSC is expected to hold the only open session of the month. The session is expected to focus on the implementation of the Safe School Declaration in the promotion of education for children affected by armed conflicts in Africa, within the AU theme of the year silencing the guns.
On 17 March the PSC will receive a briefing on elections in Africa. The PSC may receive updates on upcoming and recently conducted elections. In 2020 close to 20 countries are preparing to hold elections including Somalia, Ethiopia, Cote D’Ivoire, Burundi and Guinea. On the same day the PSC will also undertake preparation for the PSC induction program of its new members.
The induction of the new members is scheduled to take place on 20 and 21 March. The program will include sessions on working methods and on activities of the PSC in implementing the AU theme of the year “ Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”. The newly elected members will start participating as observers in the various sessions of the PSC starting from the third week of March. They take up their seat as full members of the PSC on 1 April.
On 24 March the Council will consider three agenda items. The first is the situation in Guinea Bissau. The PSC may be briefed on the developments following the recently concluded presidential election and its outcome. The second agenda item is the preparation for the ministerial meeting. And lastly, the PSC will prepare for its activities with the EU Political and Security Committee (EUPSC) including the AUPSC/EUPSC joint field mission (whose dates and location are yet to be confirmed), the 12th annual joint meeting and the 5th joint retreat.

The PSC will conclude the month with the ministerial meeting on “The role of Youth and Women in Silencing the Guns in Africa” in Malabo on 31 March. A technical level meeting will precede the ministerial meeting on 30 March. The meeting is also in line with the standing annual PSC thematic on women, peace and security which usually takes place in March.
In addition to these agenda items, the provisional program of work indicates in footnotes possible meetings of the Military Staff Committee and Committee of Experts for which the dates are yet to be set.