PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL 807TH MEETING

Peace and Security

Date | 18 November, 2018

COMMUNIQUE

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) dedicated its 807th meeting held on 8 November 2018, to an open session on the theme: “Youth, Peace and Security” in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day, and adopted the following decision:

Council,

1. Takes note of the opening remarks made by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Ambassador Mohammed Idriss Farah, in his capacity as the PSC Chairperson for the month of November 2018, as well as the statement of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, read on his behalf by the Director for Peace and Security, Dr. Admore Kambudzi. Council also takes note of the presentations made by Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, the Director for Human Resource, Science and Technology and by Mr. Achaleke Christian Leke, on behalf of youth organizations working on peace and security in the African continent. Council further takes note of the statements made by AU Member States, representatives of Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs), AU partners and international organizations;

2. Recalls the African Youth Charter adopted by the 7th Ordinary Session of the Assembly held in Banjul, The Gambia on 2 July 2006, particularly Article 17, which recognizes the important role of youth in promoting peace and security in Africa. Council also recalls the AU Constitutive Act, and Article 20 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the AU, as well as aspirations 4 and 6 of Agenda 2063, that is, a peaceful and secure Africa and an Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth and caring for children. Council further recalls Decision, (Assembly/AU/Dec.591 (XXVI), adopted by the 26th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30 to 31 January 2016, in which the Assembly adopted the theme of the year 2017 as “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth,” which laid the foundation for the mainstreaming of youth in the programmes of the AU Commission;

3. Also recalls Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCLXV)] adopted at its 665th meeting held on 13 March 2017, in which Council encouraged the involvement of youth in mediation and conflict prevention efforts. Council also further recalls United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 2250 (2015), UNSCR 2419 and UN Youth 2030 Strategy;

4. Welcomes the steps taken by the Youth for Peace Africa Programme, which was launched in Lagos, Nigeria, in September 2018, with the mandate of implementing all relevant AU, regional and international instruments, relating to the role of the youth in the promotion of peace and security in Africa;

5. Commends the youth for their contributions towards promoting peace, security and stability in Africa. In this regard Council underscores the importance of inclusion of youth at all levels and of ensuring effective youth participation in all efforts aimed at promoting peace and security in line with the provisions of Article 17 of the AU Youth Charter, 665th PSC communiqué, UNSCR 2250, UNSCR 2419 and 5th Priority of UN Youth 2030 Strategy;

6. Welcomes the appointment of an AU Special Envoy for the Youth, Ms. Aya Chabbi and assures her of the Council’s unwavering support in discharging her mandate;

7. Commends Egypt for hosting the second edition of World Youth Forum that was held from 2 to 6 November 2018, in Sharm El Sheikh, and calls upon the youth throughout the African continent to embrace and participate in the upcoming editions of the Forum;

8. Notes the challenges confronting youth including re-integration of those youths who would have been disengaged from extremist or armed groups, lack of funding, mistrust and suspicion, as well as misrepresentation and stereotyping of the youth by always associating them with violence. Council also notes the imperative to protect the youth in armed conflict situations against all form of exploitation, in line with the International Legal framework. In this respect, Council underscores the need for appropriate political, legal and psycho-social frameworks for facilitating and sustainably supporting the re-integration of youths disengaged from armed or extremist groups. In this respect, Council stresses the need to put in place adequate framework to promote culture of peace and tolerance;

9. Also notes the limited documentation of the contributions of African youth to peace and security. In this context, Council requests the Commission to undertake a study on the role of the youth in promoting peace and security in Africa and to submit the findings of the study to Council for consideration and action as may be appropriate;

10. Calls on all Member States to urgently implement UNSCR 2250, remove all structural barriers to effective youth participation, mobilize the necessary resources and develop long-term national action plans for the involvement and effective participation of the youth in the promotion of peace and security, as well as national development processes. In this respect, Council calls on Member States to foster the potential of the youth by ensuring youth access to education, particularly focusing on vocational training and employment creation, with a view to reducing youth unemployment and their attendant vulnerabilities to exploitation, manipulation, radicalization and recruitment by extremist, criminal and armed groups;

11. Reiterates the terms of the communiqué of the 771st PSC meeting held on 11 May 2018, as well as the para 23 of the Assembly Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.695(XXXI) adopted by the 31st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government relating to the establishment of the African Observatory for Migration, with a view to create conditions conducive to orderly, sure and volunteer migration for the African youth;

12. Commends the Commission for the steps being taken to implement the AU Youth Charter and to ensure effective mainstreaming of the participation and contribution of the African youth in all efforts aimed at promoting peace, security and development of Africa, in line with the relevant AU Assembly decisions. Council also commends the Commission for developing the AU Youth Volunteers Programme which among others, provides opportunities to the youth from across the African Continent to serve and gain crucial professional experience, soft skills, social competence, international exposure and leadership skills. In this context, Council calls on all AU Member States to provide technical and financial support for the sustenance of the AU Youth Volunteer Corps Programme, and requests the Commission to expedite the finalization of a Framework on Youth Peace and Security for consideration by the relevant AU policy Organs as early as possible. Council further requests the Commission to take the necessary steps towards enabling the youth to contribute to the efforts aimed at preventing, managing and resolving conflicts in Africa ;

13. Commend AU partners and members of the international community for their continued support to the effective implementation of the AU Youth Charter, as well as UNSC Resolutions 2250 and 2419, among others, through capacity building support.

14. Underscores the need to appoint five African Youth Peace Ambassadors from each of the five regions who will work with the AU Youth Envoy in the promotion of peace and security on the continent;

15. Decides to institutionalize and regularize an annual open session dedicated to the theme of “Youth, Peace and Security in Africa”.

16. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL 476th MEETING

Peace and Security

Date | 16 December, 2014

PRESS STATEMENT

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 476th meeting held on 16 December 2014, devoted an Open Session to the theme: “Sources of Instability in Africa: Root Causes and Responses: Focusing on the issue of Women, Peace and Security’’. Statements were made during the session by AU Member States, bilateral and multilateral partners and international organizations/institutions, as well as by civil society organisations (CSOs) and women’s organizations.

Council took note of the presentations made by Ms. Bineta Diop, the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the Commission on Women, Peace and Security, the AU Department of Political Affairs and statements made by AU Member States, bilateral and multilateral partners and international organization/institutions, as well as by CSOs and women’s organizations.

Council recalled its earlier communiqués and press statements relating to the issue of women and children in conflict situations and the UN Security Council resolution 1325.
Council and Participants welcomed the presentations made by the representatives of the CSOs and women’s organizations and emphasized the important role these organizations and other non-state actors play in advancing the agenda on women, peace and security in Africa.

Council and Participants reiterated the fact that a focus on women in peace and security processes brings into sharp focus the wider human security dimensions of the AU Peace and Security Agenda, as articulated in the Solemn Declaration on a Common African Defense and Security Policy (CADSP), adopted by the 2nd Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held on 28 February 2004, to the extent that conflict in Africa cannot be delinked from the challenges of reducing poverty and promoting health, development and education, especially as the AU celebrated, in May 2013, its OAU/AU 50th Anniversary of tackling these very challenges.

Council and Participants recognized the growing evidence that increasing the participation of women in peace processes and other critical sectors greatly enhance conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict rehabilitation processes and responses to the needs of women and the population at large. In this regard, Council and Participants stressed the need to seize every opportunity to mainstream gender into the African peace and security agenda, increase the representation of women in decision-making processes and promote women’s empowerment in the economic sector.

Council and Participants took note of the ongoing efforts of the Commission and the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the Commission on Women, Peace and Security, in bringing the issue of women and children at the center of its work with a view to developing strategies at the continental, regional and national levels, to facilitate monitoring of the situation of women and children in conflict situations. Council further commended the Special Envoy of the Chairperson on Women, Peace and Security for the efforts she is deploying, including her recent visits to the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan, with a view to improving the participation of women in mediation and promotion of peace, political processes, conflict prevention and encouraged her to regularly brief Council on her activities, including through open sessions.
Council and Participants acknowledged the resilience and the leadership of women in the Saharawi Arab Republic in the context of the Saharawi people’s struggle for self- determination.

Council urged the AU Commission, through the coordination of the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security to formulate a Continental Results Framework to monitor the implementation by AU Member States and other relevant stakeholders of the various instruments and other commitments on women, peace and security in Africa.

Council and Participants recalled paragraph 17 of Assembly Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.501 (XXII), which declared 2014-2024 as the Madiba Nelson Mandela Decade of Reconciliation in Africa and, in this regard, stressed the importance of bringing and engaging women in the national reconciliation process in nation-building, conflict resolution, as well as the promotion of national healing and justice as a pre-requisites for realising a Conflict-Free Africa by the Year 2020.

Council and Participants recognized the responsibility of AU Member States for ensuring the protection of women and children in situations where they are threatened or affected by violence, in line with relevant AU and international instruments. Council and Participants further recognized the fact that, whilst the necessary instruments for the protection of women and children in armed conflict and for the promotion of their rights exist, the pace of their implementation is deplorably slow. Council accordingly, called all stakeholders concerned to fully implement them in the promotion of the rights of women and children in conflict situations.

Council and Participants strongly condemned the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and emphasized the need to fight impunity in cases of sexual violence, rape, abduction, forced marriages and other forms of gender-based violence in situations of conflict and stressed the need to hold perpetrators of these acts accountable. Council further urged all stakeholders to provide necessary assistance and support to all victims of these violations across Africa.

Council noted the progress made by the AU Member States on the ratification and implementation of the AU instruments related to the protection of the rights of women and children in conflict situations and urged all AU Member States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify, without any further delay, the relevant AU instruments, notably the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999) and the Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (2009), as well as other relevant international instruments.