Third meeting of AU and RECs on Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (Rms)

AU On the occasion of the third Meeting of the chief executives of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/ Regional Mechanisms For Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs) the following declaration was issued:

“1.    The Third Meeting of Chief Executives of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs) took place in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania on 8 November 2010 within the framework of the implementation of Article 16 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) and the relevant provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the area of Peace and Security, signed in January 2008. The meeting was hosted by the East African Community (EAC).

2.    In addition to the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Jean Ping, and the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Amb. Juma Volter Mwapachu, who co-chaired the meeting, the following were in attendance: the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security; the Deputy Secretaries General/Executive Secretaries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD); the Director of the Coordinating Mechanism of the Regional Standby Force of Eastern Africa (EASBRICOM); and representatives of the Secretaries-General/Executive Secretaries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the North Africa Regional Capability (NARC) as well as the Executive Secretary of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Assistant Secretary-General/Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU).

3.    The meeting welcomed the Conclusions of the meeting of Senior Officials of the AU, the RECs/RMs and the EU and took note of the Report of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Assessment Study that was undertaken from July to October 2010, as agreed upon during the Akosombo meeting of 10 to 11 December 2009. The meeting also exchanged views on the state of peace and security in Africa.

I.    On the Report of the APSA Assessment Study:

4.    The meeting took note of the findings of the APSA Assessment study and noted that its outcome would guide the development of an Indicative Roadmap for the full operationalization of APSA.

5.    The meeting commended the progress made by the AU and RECs/RMs in developing APSA structures and policies at the continental and regional levels.

6.    The meeting called for similar assessments to be undertaken at least every three years, to enable the AU and the RECs/RMs to take stock of progress made and further identify priority areas.

II.    On the peace and security situation on the Continent:

7.    The meeting noted within satisfaction that significant progress has been made in the resolution of conflicts and the deepening of democracy in Africa, but at the same time recognized that the Continent continues to face challenges in the area of peace and security which negatively impact on the humanitarian and socio-economic situation of its people.

8.    The meeting called for the enhancement of cooperation between the AU and RECs/RMs in conflict prevention, management and resolution within the framework of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, the MoU signed between the AU and the RECs/RMs, and join efforts in the implementation of decisions, declarations and other relevant instruments.

III.    On the status of the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture

9.    The meeting welcomed the progress made in the operationalization of APSA in its various components. Regarding the African Standby Force (ASF), the meeting commended the African Union for the successful conduct of Exercise AMANI Africa that was held from 13 to 29 October 2010 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is expected that the lessons learnt from this exercise will inform the next training cycle of the ASF.

10. The meeting welcomed the progress made in the implementation of programmes under the Africa Peace Facility (APF) that has led to increased cooperation between the AU and RECs/RMs in the operationalization of APSA.

11.    The meeting endorsed the Conclusions of the consultative meeting between the Senior Officials of the AU, RECs/RMs and the EU including the Indicative Roadmap that is expected to give strategic guidance to the operationalization of APSA and to serve as a reference document outlining further priorities and capacity needs for future support to APSA by the EU and other partners. The meeting recommended that the Indicative Roadmap be submitted to the third Africa-EU Summit in Tripoli for endorsement. In this regard, the meeting requested the Commission to elaborate and finalize the APSA Roadmap for submission to the AU policy organs.

12.    The meeting reiterated that the full operationalization of APSA, including the strengthening of the involvement of RECs/RMs in the process, constitutes a crucial part of the Africa-EU Partnership on Peace and Security, as stated in its second Action Plan.

IV.    On the Year of Peace and Security in Africa:

13.    The meeting commended the successful conduct of activities marking the Year of Peace and Security in Africa by the AU and RECs/RMs, particularly on Peace Day which was observed on 21 September 2010.

14.    Having recalled the Tripoli Declaration and Plan of Action, the meeting underscored the need for these initiatives to continue beyond 2010 to add momentum to peace efforts on the continent, while spreading a culture of peace and supporting initiatives geared at finding African solutions to African problems.

V.    Appreciation

15.    The meeting expressed its profound gratitude to the East African Community for hosting the meeting. The meeting also expressed appreciation to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for its hospitality and the excellent facilities provided.

VI.    Next Meeting of the AU, RECs/RMs Chief Executives

16.    The meeting welcomed the offer by the AU Commission to host the next meeting of Chief Executives of the AU and RECs/RMs on cooperation in the area of peace and security in Addis Ababa, on a date to be agreed upon in consultation with the RECs/RMs Chief Executives.”

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