The Peace and Security Council in 2023: The Year in Review

2023

Date | 16 February 2024

WHAT THIS REVIEW IS ABOUT AND WHY

How did the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC), Africa’s premier peace and security decision-making body, fare in delivering on its mandate in the face of the prevailing peace and security challenges on the continent during the just concluded year? What are the salient features of PSC’s role in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa in 2023? These and related questions are the focus of our annual review of the PSC which presents analysis on the work of the PSC in 2023. As in the previous years, this year’s review draws on the data and research work we carried out on the PSC in 2023.

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Monthly Digest on The African Union Peace And Security Council - December 2023

Monthly Digest on The African Union Peace And Security Council - December 2023

Date | December 2023

In December, under the chairship of the Gambia, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) had a scheduled program of work consisting of two sessions, the annual retreat with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the annual high-level seminar and an informal consultation. Additionally, the PSC held a consultation to discuss the draft UN Resolution on Financing of Peace Support Operations.

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Monthly Digest on The African Union Peace And Security Council - November 2023

Monthly Digest on The African Union Peace And Security Council - November 2023

Date | November 2023

In November, under the chairship of the Republic of Djibouti, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC), had a scheduled program of work consisting of seven sessions.

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THE ROLE AND PLACE OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL ON AU DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES

2023

31 December 2023

INTRODUCTION

Launched in July 2002, with the vision of ‘an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena’, the African Union (AU) aims to promote development, socio-economic advancement, peace and security, human rights and democracy, and regional integration. The AU is organized as an international organization that strives to execute and fulfil its mandate through policies and decisions that it adopts. In the landmark special research report on AU decision-making actors and processes, AU decisions and decision-making actors are classified into legislative, executive and judicial/quasi-judicial. One of the key policy and decision-making bodies of the AU is the Executive Council.

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THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS IN AFRICAN UNION'S DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES: AGENDA SETTERS, PARTICIPANTS, COLLABORATORS AND SHAPERS?

2023

30 December 2023

INTRODUCTION

The African Union (AU) recognizes at its founding the ‘need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society.’ Most significantly, one of the principles of the AU as enunciated in the Constitutive Act is ‘participation of African peoples in the activities of the Union.’ These provisions constitute the normative foundation for the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the decision-making processes of the AU. As noted in the Amani Africa, Mapping of AU Decision-Making Actors and Processes, Special Report of April 2023, decision-making “refers to the ‘how’ and ‘who’ of the adoption of policies, laws, resolutions, regulations, recommendations and guidelines.”

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SAFEGUARDING THE HUMANITARIAN SPACE IN AFRICA: ANALYSIS OF CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

SAFEGUARDING THE HUMANITARIAN SPACE IN AFRICA: ANALYSIS OF CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

Date | 23 December 2023

INTRODUCTION

The dire state of the humanitarian situation in Africa is currently shaped by three inter-related factors. The first dimension is the exponential increase of the humanitarian need on the continent. As further discussed below, this is attributable, among others, to the increase in the number, geographic spread and level of violence of conflicts and crisis on the continent in recent years. This situation is further compounded by other factors including climate change induced extreme weather conditions.

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A landmark UN resolution on the financing of AU-Led Peace Support Operations (PSOs) faces uncertain reception in Addis Ababa

A landmark UN resolution on the financing of AU-Led Peace Support Operations (PSOs) faces uncertain reception in Addis Ababa 

Date | 22 December 2023

Tsion Hagos
Senior Researcher, Amani Africa

Solomon Ayele Dersso, PhD
Founding Director, Amani Africa

On Thursday 21 December 2023, the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) adopted the landmark resolution 2719 (2023) on the financing of African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations (PSOs).

While understandably much of the attention in New York has been on the long dragged and protracted negotiation over the Gaza resolution, the adoption of resolution 2719(2023) constitutes a major milestone in AU-UN partnership on peace and security.

Indeed, the resolution has been hailed as a major breakthrough by many members of the UNSC, seizing the new momentum that arose in 2023. The AU Commission Chairperson, who supported the proposed amendment by the US, welcomed ‘the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2719(2023)’ calling it ‘a historic development’ in his X platform.

Yet, there may not be as much enthusiastic reception from AU’s standing decision-making body, the Peace and Security Council (PSC).

The draft that was put in blue for voting by the UNSC was drafted by the African three elected members of the UNSC (A3), under the coordination of Ghana. However, the final version of the resolution adopted on Thursday included an amendment that was introduced by the US on burden sharing. While the A3 abstained from the proposed amendment by the US, the amendment capping access to UN assessed contribution to 75% garnered the number of positive votes required for its inclusion in the final draft. It was thus interesting that the final amended resolution received unanimous support, including from the A3 who initially did not vote affirmatively for the amendment.

As reported ahead of the adoption of the resolution, the negotiations leading up to 21 December were ‘long and apparently contentious.’ It was in November that the A3 shared the initial draft with other members of the UNSC. Following input from members of the UNSC, the A3 made significant changes to the initial draft.

The negotiation on the resolution started after the decision of PSC authorizing the A3 to restart the negotiation on the resolution in a 12 May 2023 communique. Not surprisingly, there was expectation that the A3 would keep the PSC in the loop during the course of the negotiation.

After the A3 initiated the draft and started engaging the other members of the UNSC, members of the PSC had the first opportunity to engage in the process only in early December. When the draft was shared and discussed on 7 December, members of the PSC indicated that they were not clear on how far they could go in commenting on and proposing amendments to the draft given that the document was circulated to other members of the UNSC for their input before the PSC engaged in the document.

The next time members of the PSC were engaged was during the Oran process of the high-level ministerial seminar on peace and security in Africa on 18 December 2023. A major aspect of the engagement was on the issue of burden sharing and the US proposal capping access to UN assessed contributions to 75% with the remaining balance to be mobilized from various sources in addition to the AU. PSC members were told that the Chairperson of the Commission supports the proposed amendment.

Considering the misgiving of many members of the PSC about the process and their concern about the various policy and practical implications of specifying the percentage of access to UN assessed contributions, it came as no surprise for some keen observers that the majority of members of the PSC did not support the proposed amendment during the Oran meeting. Instead, they decided to refer the matter to the AU Assembly scheduled to be held in February 2024.

Despite this position by the PSC, the plan for considering the resolution for adoption remained unchanged. It was reported that the AU Commission Chairperson made last minute attempt to secure support from the PSC by trying to convene a summit level PSC meeting, although he failed to secure the convening of the meeting.

On the day the draft resolution was scheduled to be considered for a vote by the UNSC, the PSC was not brought on board. The resolution was adopted, supported by the A3, with the amendment by the US.

The sense of lack of adequate engagement of the PSC during the negotiation on the draft and most importantly how the process unfolded at the end in the face of a clear PSC position, is certain to sour relations between the PSC and the A3, and even between the PSC and the AU Commission. One can foresee that this would also affect the PSC’s consideration of the manual on coordination between the AU PSC and the A3 endorsed with amendments during the Oran meeting for adoption by the PSC. Apart from its possible emergence as a major issue during the next Oran meeting in December 2024, how this would affect other engagements will be seen in the coming months and during 2024.

Despite the unfortunate and possibly avoidable procedural glitches that damped the mood and the reception of the adoption of the resolution, there is little doubt that the significance of this resolution remains profound.

Certainly, what this resolution means in practical terms would become clear in the months to come. Yet, no doubt that it stands to transform the nature of the AU-UN partnership on peace and security in substantial ways.

First, it is anticipated that access to UN assessed contributions would no longer be as ad hoc as it used to be. While access to UN-assessed contributions would be decided on a case-by-case basis, once the UNSC authorises the deployment of an AU mission under Chapter 7, that mission would benefit for the duration of the mandate set by the UNSC from UN-assessed contribution.

Second and perhaps beyond the financial dimension of the issue, this resolution stands to change the way the AU and the UN interact prior to, during and after a decision on deployment of UNSC authorized AU-led PSO is adopted. This would necessitate enhancement of the institutional arrangements and the level, frequency and nature of interactions between the AU and the UN.

Strategically speaking, this resolution would also transform the nature of the UN’s engagement on the continent including in terms of the use of peacekeeping. In expanding the tools at the disposal of the UN, it avails an opportunity for navigating the current challenging geopolitical environment both globally and in Africa. However, it is doubtful that this would mark the end of UN peacekeeping in Africa as some fear considering that the current circumstances unfavourable to UN peacekeeping could change in the future.

The content of this article does not represent the views of Amani Africa and reflect only the personal views of the authors who contribute to ‘Ideas Indaba’


How Africa is using the A3 as a de facto permanent power block in global peace and security decision-making

How Africa is using the A3 as a de facto permanent power block in global peace and security decision-making

Date | 21 December 2023

Solomon Ayele Dersso, PhD
Founding Director, Amani Africa

On 17-18 December, the African Union (AU) held the 10th high-level seminar on peace and security in Africa, also known as the Oran Process. As someone who participates in a variety of high-level policy meetings, a question that focused my mind when I travelled to Oran, Algeria was whether and how this seminar matters.

It was in 2013 that the high-level seminar was inaugurated. Since then, it became a statutory meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) convened at the level of ministers. From all other similar policy meetings of the AU, this is unique and special in the strategic importance of its core focus – the role of the African three members of the UN Security Council (A3) as a mechanism for projecting Africa’s influence in UNSC decision-making.

Foreign Minister of Algeria during the opening session of the Oran Ministerial Meeting

It was during the signature segment of this year’s seminar that it became evident to me why and how this seminar matters. The making of the African three members of the UNSC into the collective A3 and its transformation over the years into a power block in the UNSC are closely linked to this seminar.

Angola’s Foreign Minister, Tete Antonio, who was the Permanent Representative of the AU to the UN in 2013, told attendees that the trigger for the Seminar and the making of the A3 into such power block was the opposing policy position advanced by the PSC and the African 3 members of the UNSC on the situation on Libya in 2011. While the PSC in a session of 10 March 2011 adopted a roadmap for the resolution of the crisis in Libya which rejected the use of force, the African members of the UNSC at the time voted in favour of Resolution 1973 that authorized the enforcement of a no-fly zone on Libya.

As the mandate of civilian protection under Resolution 1973 quickly turned into a campaign for regime change, the overthrow of Ghaddafi facilitated by NATO air campaign pushed Libya into chaos, unleashing dire consequences for the Sahel and beyond which continues to reverberate to this day. Former US President Barack Obama admitted the Libya debacle as the worst mistake of his tenure.

AU officials at the time came to recognize this experience as emblematic of the peril that divergent policy positions by the PSC and the African three members of the UNSC entails. A decision was taken for avoiding a repeat of it. The PSC, meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government, at its 397th meeting, called for ‘greater consultations between the PSC and the African members of the UN Security Council, to ensure that decisions adopted by the Council are effectively promoted and defended in the UN Security Council’.

Subsequently, the AU Assembly in Decision Assembly/ AU/Dec.598 (XXVI) adopted in January 2016 explicitly inscribed the A3’s ‘special responsibility to ensure that the decisions of the PSC are well reflected in the decision-making process of the UNSC on peace and security issues of concern to Africa.’ Observing the significance of this, Ahmed Attaf, Algeria’s Foreign Minister, said it is quite an achievement that we are the only region that can instruct and require its members in the UN Security Council to work as collective representing Africa and on behalf of the collective interest of Africa.

I learned from exchanges with officials present during the inaugural seminar how the A3 was coined to operate as a collective mirroring the major blocks in the UNSC such as the P5 and the P3. However, it was in the subsequent years that the A3 evolved into a power block with influence in UNSC decision-making.

Indeed, over the years the operation of the A3 as a collective body substantially enhanced. As Nabil Ammari, Tunisia’s Foreign Minister who shared Tunisia’s experience as a member of the A3 pointed out, the A3 speak with one voice in the UNSC by delivering a joint statement. For example, in 2022, the A3 (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya) delivered joint statements ‘at 63 formal meetings, primarily on country-specific agenda items focusing on the African region.’ This is a marked increase from the 35 joint statements they delivered in 2020 as highlighted in our research report. The A3 also negotiate as a block on the various outcome documents or products of the UNSC.

From the presentation by Fatima Kyari Mohamed, AU Permanent Representative to the UN, it is also clear that increasingly expanding systems and processes are instituted for enhancing A3 common position and the leverage of the block in the UNSC. These include the institutionalization of the quarterly rotating coordinator of the A3 from members of the group, the convening of a retreat of the A3 by the Permanent Mission of the AU to the UN and quarterly reporting to and exchange with the Africa Group.

The operation of the A3 as a unified body representing the collective voice of Africa as expressed through the PSC has far exceeded the initial motivation of avoiding the pursuit of divergent positions by the PSC and the A3. It has since transformed in to an instrument for negotiating power and projecting influence in UNSC decision-making.

As the current coordinator of the A3, Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Harold Agyeman, gave the example of how the A3 by ‘the persuasive power of our common action and the sheer force of our common determination’ secured the easing or removal of sanctions imposed on the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

As the representative of Namibia in his intervention during the signature segment of the seminar pointed out, echoing a framing first used in Amani Africa’s work, the influence of the collective action of the A3 can go as far as operating as a de facto veto power. Indeed, with the institutionalization of the A3 as a collective body backed up by robust institutional memory and support by the AU mission and enhanced and systematic coordination between the A3 and the PSC, the A3’s potential to operate as a de facto veto power and permanently representing Africa’s collective interest is as yet to be fully tapped.

Pending the reform of the UNSC, the A3 is the instrument on which African countries need to invest in for consolidating Africa’s agency in peace and security decision-making in the UN system. Apart from historical affinity, it is the leverage that the operation of the A3 as a collective that attracts elected members of the UNSC from the Caribbean to join the A3 in the A3+1 group. Guyana, which participated in the seminar in Oran, is the second country to be part of the A3+1 since the constitution of this enlarged body when Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a member of the UNSC.

Permanent Representative of Guyana to the UN, addressing the Oran Ministerial Meeting

While acknowledging the significance of the transformation of the A3 into such a power collective entity in the UNSC, participants of the seminar displayed their awareness that consolidating the A3 and exercising their influence as a collective would not be easy, particularly in the current global geopolitical environment. More importantly, the influence of the A3 needs to be exercised for securing the human security needs of the peoples of the continent rather than being used to shield authorities engaged in mass atrocities from international scrutiny. In this regard, the test of the role of the A3 today is whether they exercise their collective voice for mobilizing effective action in the UNSC for saving Sudanese from mass atrocities, displacement and starvation and the Sudanese state from the imminent threat of collapse.

The content of this article does not represent the views of Amani Africa and reflect only the personal views of the authors who contribute to ‘Ideas Indaba’


Informal consultation on countries in political transition

Informal consultation on countries in political transition

Date | 20 December 2023

Tomorrow (21 December), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) will hold an informal consultation with the representatives of Member States currently undergoing political transitions, namely Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso.

This marks the second instance of the PSC deploying the format of informal consultation pursuant to article 8(11) of the PSC Protocol, Rule 16 of its Rules of Procedure, and article 25(3) of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG). The informal consultation affords the PSC the opportunity for direct engagement with Member States suspended from AU activities due to unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) for discussing the transition and the process towards restoration of constitutional order and civilian rule. The first such consultation was held on 26 April of this year, during which the PSC interacted with representatives of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Sudan. It is noteworthy that this consultation did not result in a formal outcome document. Tomorrow’s informal engagement is expected to take stock of the progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of key transition activities in the three countries, and exchange on how to enhance the progress in the transitional process.

On Guinea

PSC’s last engagement on Guinea was during the informal consultation in April. Subsequently, PSC had planned to undertake a field mission to Guinea in August and receive an updated briefing on the political transitions in Guinea and Mali in September, as outlined in its program of work. However, neither the field mission nor the updated briefing session occurred as originally planned.

In October 2022, ECOWAS and Guinea’s transition authorities agreed on a two-year transition period after intense negotiations, with the election expected to take place at the end of next year. PSC, at its 1116th session, welcomed the agreement reached on the timeline, urging all stakeholders for its adoption and support to ensure a sustained and comprehensive return to constitutional order. The transition timeline covers ten priority areas, including the development of a new constitution, a referendum on the new constitution, establishment of an election management body, and organization of local, legislative, and presidential elections. In late April, the transition authorities appealed to the international community for assistance in mobilizing some 6 trillion Guinean francs ($600 million) for the implementation of the transition plan.

One of the issues likely to receive attention during the consultation is progress towards the drafting of the constitution. The National Transitional Council initiated a series of constitutional consultations, inviting key stakeholders to engage in discussions on the guiding principles of the constitution and offer recommendations. Despite the participation of certain stakeholders who provided their inputs, the large opposition and civil society coalition known as Forces Vives de Guinée (FVG) boycotted the initiative. Sources indicate that the transitional legislature was expected to consider and adopt the draft constitution in June, with a subsequent referendum on the draft constitution scheduled for this December. The June deadline has already been missed, and it is also unlikely that the referendum will take place according to the original plan.

Guinea’s transitional authorities are currently experiencing strained relations both internally with opposition parties and externally with the regional bloc ECOWAS, posing a significant challenge to the transition process. The fluid security situation also remains a cause for concern as the prison break staged in early November in the capital Conakry demonstrates. Top ex-military officials, who have been on trial for the 2009 massacre of civilians, were reportedly freed by armed men from a central prison in the capital. Three of them, including the former military leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, were recaptured, while former minister of Presidential Security Colonel Claude Pivi remains fugitive. The incident reportedly witnessed a fighting between Special Forces, formerly led by interim President Col. Mamady Doumbouya, and Autonomous Battalion of Airborne Troops, of which Colonel Pivi was once a member. This coupled with preceding events in April and May, during which Col. Doumbouya dismissed key figures, including the armed forces chief of staff and the head of military intelligence, signals internal discord within the transition authorities.

On Burkina Faso

The last time PSC discussed the situation in Burkina Faso was at its 1166th session on 3 August, while considering the report of the field mission to the country conducted from 22 to 27 July 2023. In the communiqué adopted during that session, PSC urged the’ transitional authority to practically demonstrate its commitment and ensure that elections are successfully organized within the stipulated timelines.’ The interim President, Captain Ibrahim Traore, who assumed power following the military coup on September 30, 2022, agreed to adhere to the initially agreed-upon transition timeline of 24 months, with the election expected to take place in July 2024. While there have been encouraging developments—including the establishment of a Transition Roadmap, an electoral calendar, and the Independent National Electoral Commission—convening the elections on the scheduled timeline of 24 July 2024 remains doubtful, mainly due to the prevailing security challenges. The PSC, during its recent field mission, observed that several stakeholders in Burkina Faso expressed uncertainties regarding the likelihood of the election taking place in July. Meanwhile, in September, interim President Traore explicitly stated on state TV that elections are ‘not priority’ compared to security. He went on to say that ‘there won’t be an election that is only concentrated in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso and other nearby towns’, alluding to cities less impacted by terrorist attacks.

Indeed, the worsening security situation in Burkina Faso will remain a significant challenge to the organization of elections. Despite government claims of significant security gains, with purported control over 65% to 70% of the territory, Burkina Faso has witnessed a concerning surge in terrorist attacks throughout the period from January to September 2023, according to the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on counter-terrorism and related issues. Currently, Burkina Faso ranks second only to Afghanistan in bearing the brunt of terrorism globally, making the country ‘the epicenter of terrorism and violent extremism’ in the continent. On the other hand, the ban on the public demonstrations and political activities, which has been in place since the issuance of communiqué No. 3 of 30 September 2022, remains intact. Political parties are voicing their concerns over the ongoing restriction and limited space for their participation in the management of the transition process. Against this backdrop, PSC’s 1166th session urged Burkinabé transitional authorities to lift such ban, an important request worth following-up in tomorrow’s consultation.

The other key issue likely to receive attention in tomorrow’s consultation is the operationalization of the monitoring mechanism of the transition, which remains an important aspect of accompanying the transitional process. A year ago, ECOWAS and Burkina Faso signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism for the 24 months transition—a development welcomed during the 62nd Ordinary Session of ECOWAS on 04 December 2022. Nevertheless, PSC’s field mission report highlights the challenges to operationalize the mechanism, including difficulties faced by the ECOWAS Mediator in conducting visits to the country. The announcement of the formation of a regional alliance between Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali is not received favorably in the region. In the communiqué adopted during its latest summit on 10 December, ECOWAS expressed its rejection of ‘all forms of alliances that seek to divide the region and promote foreign interest in the region.’ It is also recalled that the PSC, at its 1076th session, decided to establish a Transition Support Group in Burkina Faso (TSG-BF), in collaboration with ECOWAS and the UN, with the aim to mobilize the necessary resources to address security, development and human challenges.

On Mali

Mali was last discussed by the PSC during the first informal consultation it held with countries undergoing political transition in April this year. One key development since this informal consultation has been the successful conduct of Mali’s national referendum in June which approved amendment of the constitution with, according to the national electoral authority, 97% votes in favor. While the referendum in itself has by and large been regarded as a test to the transition authorities’ commitment to a democratic process, it has not been free of contentions. Although proponents of the newly amended constitution are hopeful it would strengthen fragile political institutions, opponents criticize the document for bestowing excessive power to the president.

While welcoming the conduct of the referendum and commending the transition authorities for deploying the necessary efforts towards its successful completion, ECOWAS, at its 64th Ordinary Session held on 10 December, expressed concern over the reluctance of Malian transition authorities to cooperate with ECOWAS.

In late September, Mali’s transition authorities announced that the presidential elections that were set to take place in February 2024 will be slightly delayed due to technical reason including the pending review of electoral lists. Further to the absence of any indication of a projected date for the postponed presidential elections to be conducted, the authorities have also decided not to hold legislative elections which were scheduled for end of 2023, opting instead to exclusively have presidential elections. This partial implementation of the transitional processes may not be without consequences for full return to constitutional and civilian rule.

On the security track, Mali continues to confront intense insurgencies with increasing tensions having been noted in the northern region over the past few months. Reports have indicated that in recent months, Al Qaeda’s Sahelian affiliate has increased its attacks in northern Mali, to exploit the security vacuum already being created due to the ongoing withdrawal of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). As a result of such insecurity, humanitarian access to several parts of Mali’s northern region is now limited, frustrating the already dire humanitarian situation. The heightened tensions and armed presence in the region is also impeding the timely and orderly departure of withdrawing MINUSMA troops and personnel. While reaffirming its plans to stick to the deadline of 31 December 2023 to complete withdrawal of MINUSMA as per Mali’s request, the UN has expressed concern in mid-October, over the challenges being faced in the movement of logistics convoys.

No formal outcome document is expected from tomorrow’s consultation. The consultation may highlight the importance of institutionalizing the practice of informal consultation with countries undergoing political transitions, aiming to expedite their return to constitutional order. In addition to the informal consultation, it may also emphasize the need to operationalize monitoring and evaluation mechanism to effectively track the implementation of transition plans in countries under political transition. In this context, PSC may follow-up on its previous decisions, including the decision to establish a Monitoring Mechanism on Transition in Guinea (MMTG) during its 1064th session. While recognizing the complex and multi-dimensional challenges facing these countries, the consultation may emphasize the significance of adhering to the agreed transition timelines and fostering close collaboration for the effective implementation of key transition activities. Also of significance in respect to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is how to support their efforts in the fight against terrorism and consolidating security in these countries. It may also welcome the recent decision of ECOWAS, during its 64th ordinary session held on 10 December 2023, which directed its Member States to ‘exempt the Transition Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of the Member States in Transition from the travel ban and other targeted individual sanctions imposed on the three Member States’ as important step for mending very strained relations with these countries.


Press Release: Amani Africa and Namibia convene a meeting of the High-level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System

Press Release: Amani Africa and Namibia convene a meeting of the High-level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System

14 and 15 December, 2023

Nairobi, Kenya: Amani Africa convenes the joint Namibia-Amani Africa High-Level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System in Nairobi, Kenya on 14-15 December. This Panel, following the launch of the joint initiative in February 2023 on the side-lines of the 36th AU Summit, held its inaugural meeting in July 2023. It serves as a platform to harness the rich expertise and insights of seasoned diplomats, scholars and policy makers for facilitating and informing the engagement of African states in the various policy discussions and negotiations for making the multilateral system fit for purposes.

Amid the dynamic shifts in global power structures, intensifying geopolitical tensions and a marked rise in impunity, there is growing need and urgency for reforming the structure and operation of the current multilateral system. For Africa and others that have no seat in some of the key multilateral decision-making forums, this would entail, among others, representation and effective participation in decisions that profoundly affecting them.

The joint High-level Panel of Experts brings together experts from different fields to examine the challenges facing multilateralism and to articulate proposals for reforming the system reflecting Africa’s position for a more representative and fairer multilateral system. This is cognizant of the rising profile of Africa and the African Union (AU) in global affairs and how AU’s role vis-a-vis the United Nation (UN) can serve as a locus for reform of the multilateral system.

The Nairobi meeting, opened with Keynote address of Dr Korir A. Sing’Oei, Principal Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, discussed the current state of the policy processes on the reform of multilateralism. It also thoroughly examined the draft text prepared to serves as the base of the final report of the Panel.

The Nairobi meeting built on and took forward the views canvassed during the inaugural meeting of the Panel and the consultative meeting the Panel held with the Africa Group in New York under the leadership of H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia.

The convening of the High-Level Panel jointly by Namibia, as member state of the AU and the UN, Amani Africa, as a think tank, and is lauded as ground breaking initiative that is the first of its kind both in its approach and relevance for enabling Africa, through the AU and the Africa Group, to play its expanding role effectively and meaningfully in the global arena.

The work of the panel is designed to serve as useful input for Africa’s engagement in the various reform processes including those leading to the Summit of the Future in September 2024. Apart from feeding the analysis from the work of the Panel to various policy negotiations at the level of the AU and global multilateral forums such as the UN and the G20, the High-level Panel of Experts is expected to finalize and launch its report in early 2024.

Amani Africa acknowledges with appreciation the generous support of Open Society Foundations towards this convening. We also thank Switzerland, Ireland, and Norway for their support for our other works.