UNITAR Participates in the Second High Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa

second high level seminar on peace and security in Africa

9 - 11 December 2014, Oran, Algeria – the Government of Algeria, in collaboration with the Commission of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), convened the Second High Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa: Assisting Incoming African Members on the UN Security Council in Preparing to Address Peace and Security Issues on the Continent. The Second High-Level Seminar was held in continuation of the inaugural High-Level Seminar held from 8 to 10 December2013 in Algiers, Algeria, within the implementation process of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). 

The High-Level Seminar brought together Chad and Nigeria as the sitting African Members in the UN Security Council (UNSC), Rwanda, outgoing Member and Angola as an incoming African Member in the UNSC, as well as Gambia in its capacity as Chair of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union for the month of  December 2014, and Algeria as the host country and Initiator of the Seminar. The Seminar was chaired by H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria.

The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, accompanied by officers of the AU Commission, including AU Special Envoys and Representatives, AU Experts, as well as high level officials from the UN accompanied by officials from UNITAR and other UN experts also participated in the High-Level Seminar.

The objective of the High-Level Seminar was to further strengthen the foundation laid by the inaugural Seminar of December 2013, for an effective articulation, coordination, promotion and defense of Africa’s common positions on peace and security on the continent within the decision-making process of the UNSC, which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The High-Level Seminar also provided an opportunity for participants to receive briefing from AU Special Envoys and Representatives on the current peace and security situations on the continent, as well as a brief overview on challenges facing the AUPSC with respect to the implementation and further development of its working methods and the A3 with regard to coordination between the AUPSC and itself. The High-Level Seminar further provided an opportunity for review of the implementation of the recommendations of the December 2013 High-Level Seminar. The views of the A3 members on effective coordination with the AUPSC and the AU Permanent Observer Mission in New York were also heard.

The Participants of the High-Level Seminar, after extensive deliberations on peace and security issues in Africa and mindful of the challenges identified within the context of enhancing the continent’s effectiveness in contributing to the UNSC decision-making on African peace and security issues, agreed on the following:

  1. Need for the PSC to institutionalize the High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security as an annual event at which participate the A3, incoming African members of the UNSC, PSC Chairperson, Algeria, in its capacity as the Initiator of the Seminar, RECs/RMs, AU Commission, and partner-stakeholders.
  2. Establishment of a rotating coordination system following the English alphabetical order, every four months, to allow all A3 members to serve in the year at hand. As Angola is newly incoming into the UNSC, Chad could start in January to April 2015, to be followed by Nigeria from May to August 2015 and Angola from September to December 2015;
  3. Information sharing between member states represented in the AUPSC on one hand and, on the other, between the AUPSC and the Africa Group in New York as a whole;
  4. Coordinator of A3, with the support of the AUPSC and Africa Group, to engage in more dialogue with the Permanent Members of the UNSC to ensure that the A3 are given the status of co-penholders on African issues on the UNSC agenda, and in this context, timely request within the UNSC should be made to this effect;

Furthermore, an African country that has completed its term of office at the UNSC, should make effort to organize a seminar for experience, lessons learned and information sharing.

Capacity building/training, before they take their seats, of UNSC Teams of elected African members of the UNSC in New York on peace and security issues on the continent, AUPSC working methods, drafting, negotiation and lobbying, including organizing an annual training workshop in New York;

Capacity building/training for focal points dealing with peace and security issues in the Embassies of the PSC Member States in Addis Ababa on conflict analysis and drafting.

The participants, mindful of the fact that the AUPSC is the pillar of the APSA, were unanimous that the PSC is the natural locomotive engine for an effective promotion and defense of common African positions on peace and security issues in Africa in the UNSC decision making process. In this context, they appreciated the ongoing efforts of the AUPSC to further enhance its effectiveness with regard to the implementation of its mandate as provided in its Protocol, the strengthening of its working methods, and enhancing its coordination with the A3 in New York, RECs/RMs, the President of the UNSC and other relevant stakeholders.

Noting the challenges that the PSC is currently facing regarding the implementation and further enhancement of its working methods, participants called for the convening of a PSC retreat at ministerial level on the implementation of its working methods and peace and security challenges on the continent.

Photo of the panel members (from left to right): H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat,Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad, H.E.  Georges Rebelo Chicoti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, H.E Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, H.E Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security