African Workshop on UN, Peace & Security
04 March 2016
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Following the successful conclusion of the Arab consultations on the future of UN peace and security architecture, CCCPA partnered with the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the Norwegian Institute for International Studies (NUPI) to organize a similar workshop in Addis Ababa (on 4 March 2016), but this time with the aim of highlighting African perspectives on the topic. As part of the preparation for the UN General Assembly High-Level Thematic Debate on UN, Peace and Security, scheduled to take place on 10-11 May 2016 in New York, the African workshop brought together officials from the African Union, the diplomatic community in Addis Ababa, as well as leading scholars and representatives of African think tanks, to discuss the challenges facing the African peace and security architecture.
Addressing participants at the opening ceremony, H.E. Morgens Lykettoft, the 70th President of the UN General Assembly invited African experts attending the workshop to provide concrete recommendations to address the “glaring weaknesses” of the UN peace and security architecture. Meanwhile, Aisha Abdullahi, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, stressed the importance of enhancing the strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations in the face of “ever more complex and asymmetrical threats”.
Director of CCCPA, Counselor Ashraf Swelam, chaired the first session of the workshop on “Evolving Peace and Security Trends in Africa”, which featured lead discussants Ambassador Fred Ngoga, Head of Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division at the African Union Commission and Irene Limo, Senior Program Officer at ACCORD. They highlighted the multilayered and structural nature of threats facing the region that will require the African Union to enhance its “structural conflict prevention”; and emphasized the need to develop strategies that protect women and vulnerable groups during conflicts.
The second session on “Strengthening Conflict Prevention, Peace Operations and Peacebuiliding as the Core Focus Areas of UN Peace and Security,” was chaired by Michelle Ntac, Director of the Africa Peace and Security Programme at the Institute of Peace and Security Studies. A lively discussion ensued on re-focusing UN efforts to prioritize political solutions, advancing a people-centered approach, as well as breaking down the silos of the UN bureaucracy by integrating the work of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
The third and final session on “Partnerships with Regional Organizations”, was chaired by Pierre-Christophe Chatzisavas, Senior Advisor of the President of the General Assembly on Peace and Security. This session provided an opportunity for panelists to discuss concrete steps that would help strengthen partnerships between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in the maintenance of security.
Dr. Tedros Adenhom, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, joined the President of the General Assembly in giving the closing remarks; he commended the most recent reviews on peace and security, and also called for and prompted UN and Member States to ensure that the recommendations of these reviews be translated into concrete reforms.
The following key recommendations emerged from the African Consultations and will be presented at the high-level debate in May:
1. The UN and its Member states should shift their focus from militarized and securitized, reactive responses to develop a more proactive, holistic, integrated and gender-sensitive approaches to preventing and resolving conflicts.
2. The strategic relationship between the UN, AU and RECS needs to be institutionalised.
3. The UN, EU and partners should support the AU in its efforts to secure predictable and sustainable sources of funding for the peace operations the AU and RECs undertake in the service of maintaining international peace and security.
4. The UN peace and security architecture should be reformed to improve effectiveness, coherence and efficiency.
Refer to the attached report for full details of the African Regional Consultations and the recommendations.
For further information please contact Karim Hafez at CCCPA on +20 27928950 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1994 by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution & Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA) is an independent, non-partisan center of excellence in training, education and capacity building in the fields of conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.