AU PSC marks 20 years

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May, specifically the 25th, is auspicious for the African Union (AU) as it is marking the establishment 20 years ago of its Peace and Security Council (PSC).

PSC specific events are scheduled for the month to reflect on what a statement termed are the “significant strides” made by the PSC to promote peace, security and stability across Africa.

One of the “grand activities” scheduled for the month was an exhibition day on 13 May in the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Political Affairs, Peace, and Security Building at AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The exhibition showcased humanitarian actions and efforts across the length and breadth of the continent and apart from member states has contributions from regional economic communities (RECs), regional mechanisms (RMs) United Nations (UN) agencies and offices as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Two days later there was an open session to review implementation of the protocol establishing the PSC with a colloquium coming on 25 May to coincide with Africa Day. The colloquium theme is “20 years of the AU PSC as a standing decision-making peace and security organ – the next two decades”

Each week in the month will see a specific aspect relevant to PSC effectiveness over the past two decades. On the list are dialogue and mediation, humanitarian peace and security, women and youth, child protection and peace support operations.

In a statement announcing the commemorative month the AU PSC noted the continental body’s goal was “steadfast” to silence the guns, realise a conflict-free Africa, aligned with principles outlined in the Solemn Declaration adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government on 26 May 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).