3 November 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - UNDP and UNITAR co-organized the High-Level Seminar on Preventive Approaches in the African Peace and Security Architecture held on 3 November 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. APSA, expecting its tenth anniversary in 2012, incorporates the latest principles of international peace and security. It provides an important framework for action for various actors striving for and contributing to sustainable peace on the African continent.

Dr. Mary Chinery-Hesse, AU Panel of the Wise Member; H.E. Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, AU Peace and Security Commissioner; Professor Hizkias Assefa, Moderator; and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa H.E. Mr. Said Djinnit

A distinguished panel addressed the gathering. The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Mr. Lamtane Ramamra conducted an overview on the implementation of APSA. Dr. Mary Chinery-Hesse, Member of the African Union Panel of the Wise, articulated potentialities of the conflict prevention role the Panel of the Wise can play. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, H.E. Mr. Said Djinnit reflected on the cooperation and partnership between different stakeholders supporting APSA – including the United Nations, regional economic communities (RECs) and member states.

participants in the workshopParticipants included staff and liaison officers of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and UN peace missions, representatives of the African Union Peace and Security Council member states, as well as staff from ministries of foreign affairs and offices of Heads of States in Africa. Aiming at an informal exchange, participants in the seminar reflected upon the question posed by Professor Hizkias Assefa, moderator of the gathering: What can we, as member states, officials, scholars, activists and individual Africans, do to help APSA become more effective in fulfilling the preventive aspects of its peace and security mandate?

Some concrete examples formulated by participants of the seminar of action that could be taken to support APSA included among others:

  • Systematic documentation of APSA principles, lessons learned and good practice;
  • Implementation and enhancement of already established mechanisms at every level (member states, RECs and partners);
  • Review and wider dissemination of the founding documents of APSA;
  • Enhanced collaboration between all the mechanisms of APSA;
  • Cultivation of a culture of peace and dialogue beginning with our own interactions; and
  • Conduct of youth education on APSA and preventive approaches throughout the continent.

Photo 1: from left to right: Dr. Mary Chinery-Hesse, AU Panel of the Wise Member;
H.E. Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, AU Peace and Security Commissioner; Professor Hizkias Assefa, Moderator; and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa H.E. Mr. Said Djinnit

Photo 2: participants in the seminar