Members of the committee of experts from African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) are meeting in Musanze District to discuss peace and security in Africa.
The retreat has brought together 17 diplomats from 13 African countries drawing attention on how best to accomplish work assigned to the Peace and Security Council to achieve the objectives of Africa’s agenda 2063 of a prosperous and peaceful Africa.
Speaking at the opening yesterday, Phillip Karenzi, the First Counselor at Rwanda’s embassy in Ethiopia, said the experts’ efforts, through the retreat, will be vital in ensuring peace and security on the African continent.
He said, “Dedicated to the reflection on the opportunities to be defined for the consolidation of the work of the Council, the retreat is, in many respects, for the experts themselves, an opportunity to seize, through the relevance of the analyses and the accuracy of the proposals, to justify the merits of the trust placed in them.”
The retreat follows a previous one held in 2016 in New York, with the aim to incorporate the revitalisation of the functioning of the subsidiary structures of the Peace and Security Council with a view to enhancing its effectiveness.
“The task before us as the committee of experts of the AU Peace and Security Council, is ensuring that we are more efficient in executing the council’s mandate. A lot more, however, needs to be done to improve the working methods of the Council and the experts will continue to play a central role in this,” said Karenzi.
Blaise Edouard Gouende, the Chairperson of the Committee, said the retreat’s resolutions will contribute to the implementation of the tasks assigned to AU Reform Committee, which President Paul Kagame chairs.
“This retreat will be key to deliberate usefully and to live up to the expectations of the Council of which we have been mandated, focusing on relevance to passion and at the same time putting priority on Africa, so often is the recurring temptation to feed our proposals with a devious intention to privilege the views of our states,” noted Gouende.
During the Council’s past 10th retreat, held in Kigali in May, the committee was tasked, most importantly, to develop an implementation matrix to facilitate the Peace and Security Council in assessing the implementation of decisions taken by the council every six months to effectively manage and even prevent conflicts in Africa.
The retreat will revise the progress of the implementation of tasks assigned to the committee of experts of PSC.
Some of the important tasks include the development of an implementation matrix, which will facilitate the PSC to assess implementation of decisions taken by the council every six months, to effectively manage and even prevent conflicts in Africa.
Another important task was about setting criteria for membership to the PSC, including commitment to uphold the principles of the African Union, contribution to the promotion of and maintenance of peace and security in Africa, with respect to experience in peace support operations as well as the capacity to shoulder the responsibilities entailed in the membership, among many other tasks.
Thirteen countries are taking part in the retreat, namely Botswana, Burundi, Chad, DR Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and hosts Rwanda.
The conclusions of the retreat, condensed into the implementation matrix, will provide the framework for the committees’ reflection. The retreat will end on December 15.