At the High Level Seminar on Peace, Security and Stability in Africa…
Ambassador Keh Kamara prevails on African Members in the United Nations Security Council to promote African Union Assembly and PSC Decisions
The 4th High Level Seminar on Peace, Security and Stability in Africa commenced on Saturday 17th December, 2016 at the Meridien Hotel Conference Centre in Oran, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
The theme of the seminar: “Assisting Incoming Members on the UN Security Council in preparing to address Peace and Security Issues on the Continent.’’
Delivering his statement, the Chairman of the African Union Peace and Security Council who served as co-chair of the seminar, the Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the African Union, Mr. Osman Keh Kamara expressed profound regret on behalf of Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone who was unavoidably absent due to prior official engagements.
Ambassador Keh Kamara further thanked the Government of Algeria for hosting the seminar and the unique hospitality accorded him and his delegation since their arrival in the beautiful city of Oran. The Chair also extended his gratitude to the African Union Commission and UNITAR for co-organizing the seminar.
Continuing with his address, Ambassador Keh Kamara informed the participants that the purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibility of enhancing the capacity of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the incoming African Members on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). He said this can only be achieved through effective articulation and coordination in defence of Africa’s common position 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.
Concluding his remark, Ambassador Keh Kamara reiterated that it is only with a strong PSC and A3 in the UNSC can the ambitious agenda of silencing the guns in Africa by the year 2020 should create the necessary conditions for the realization of the AU Agenda 2063.
Taking the floor next was Ambassador Smail Chergui, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security. In his statement, he highlighted the points that were to be considered as best practices for the PSC, among which were: (i) Take stock of the high level seminar and to follow up on it conclusion (ii) Congratulate the outgoing member of the A3 and utilize their meaning experience (iii) Listen to briefs to briefs by the Special Representatives and take appropriate actions (iv) Pursue the goals of silencing the guns in Africa as one of the as one of the plausible ways of achieving agenda 2063.
Other speakers who took the floor at the opening ceremony were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration of Chad and Chairman of the African Union Executive Council, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, H.E George Chikoti and the Director of UNITAR, H.E. Mr. Nikihil Seth. They all spoke on the relevance of the seminar.
The seminar was declared open by His Excellency Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
The seminar officially ended on Monday, 19th December, 2016.
See below the statement delivered by Ambassador Keh Kamara.
STATEMENT DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR OSMAN KEH KAMARA, OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRPERSON OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE AFRICAN UNION FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2016, DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF THE HIGH LEVEL SEMINAR ON PEACE, SECURITY AND STABILITY IN AFRICA, ORAN, ALGERIA, 17-19 DECEMBER 2016
UN Assistant Secretary-Generals
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. On behalf of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, and on my own personal behalf, I wish to first of all thank His Excellence, Minister Ramtane Lamamra for giving me the floor and to convey profound regret from H. E. Dr. Samura M. W. Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, who is unavoidably absent due to prior official engagements that requires his presence. Secondly, I would like to H.E. Mr. Lamamra in also welcoming you all to this very important 4th High Level Seminar on Peace, Security and Stability in Africa. It is my hope that you all travelled well from your various points of departure and that you also managed to have time to rest. Your participation in this Seminar is ample testimony of your commitment to contribute to solutions to the peace and security challenges facing our continent.
2. Let me also, on behalf of the Members of the PSC delegation and, indeed, the entire PSC, express sincere gratitude to the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, not only for, once again, hosting this Seminar, having also hosted the three previous ones, but also for the unique hospitality we have been afforded, since our arrival. I also thank Algeria for everything that has been put in place in order to ensure that this Seminar successfully achieves its intended objectives. Last but not least, I also wish to thank the AU Commission and UNITAR for co-organizing this Seminar.
3. We are holding this High Level Seminar at no better time than now because the multiple threats to peace, security and stability facing our continent should not be left to go unchallenged. They range from old and resurgent to new and unprecedented threats, including non-military ones. They include, intra-state wars, terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism, election-related conflicts, proliferation of armed groups and weapons, banditry, human and drug trafficking, illegal migration, illegal exploitation of natural resources, illegal fishing, dumping of toxic waste, just to mention a few. All of these peace and security threats compel us not only to review and re-double our efforts but also to re-sharpen our swords and, where necessary, to re-strategize and squarely adapt to the level and intensity of these threats. This is the only way to effectively eliminate them and make Africa a better place.
4. I would like to further recall that in the Solemn Declaration that was adopted by the AU Assembly during the OAU/AU 50th Anniversary, on 25 May 2013, our African Heads of State and Government pledged not to bequeath the burden of wars to the next generation of Africans and to silence all the guns by the year 2020 (also known as Agenda 2020). I am happy to inform you that, pursuant to this Solemn Declaration and building on the outcomes of previous meetings and retreats, recently, our PSC convened a very unique retreat to develop practical steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the year 2020, from 7 to 9 November 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia. At the end of that Retreat, the PSC adopted a Draft Master Roadmap of practical, implementable, realistic and time-bound steps to make Africa, a conflict-free continent. I am sure, during the course of this Seminar, you shall receive a comprehensive briefing on the outcomes of that important Retreat.
5. This Seminar seeks to forge best means and ways of further strengthening and enhancing the capacity of the PSC in the promotion of peace, security and stability in the continent. In large measure, this can be achieved through effective articulation, coordination, promotion and defense of Africa’s common positions on peace and security concerning the continent within the decision-making process of the UNSC, which, as we all know, has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
6. Therefore, among our top priorities, which I am sure is one of the key foci of this Seminar, is to devise best means and ways of ensuring that our African common positions on matters relating to peace, security and stability of our continent are always effectively promoted and defended in the United Nations Security Council decision making processes. This calls for the A3 Members to remain solidly united and to speak with one common African voice. It also requires effective coordination and coherence of efforts between the A3 and our PSC, as well as between the PSC and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs). Once this is achieved, the only remaining aspect would then be to ensure effective cooperation and complementarity of efforts between the PSC and the UN Security Council based on the respective comparative advantages of each entity.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
7. As you may all be aware, the previous three High-Level seminars have produced very important conclusions. If implemented in their letter and spirit, these conclusions, including those from this round of the Seminar, should go a long way in further enhancing the capacity of the PSC to more effectively discharge its mandate of promoting peace, security and stability in Africa. I am sure that we all have legitimate expectations to receive some progress reports on the status of implementation of the conclusions of the preceding Seminar, and any challenges that may have been encountered so that, together, we can try and find best means and ways of addressing them.
8. As usual, we expect to listen to the views of the outgoing A3 member/s regarding their experiences, lessons learnt and best practices, which will by and large contribute towards preparing our incoming A3 Member, (Ethiopia) to more effectively represent Africa in the UNSC and to more effectively ensure coordination with the AUPSC and the respective concerned capitals, as well as with the AU Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York.
9. At this juncture, I would like to commend the Arab Republic of Egypt for the regular briefings to the PSC on the activities of the A3 during the period of its coordination of the A3. I also would like to encourage the incoming A3 Member, Ethiopia, to emulate the practice established by Egypt and to equally keep the PSC well and timeously informed about the activities of the A3 in the UN Security Council. In the same context, I call on the PSC to ensure that it timeously communicates its decisions on matters on the agenda of the UN Security Council ahead of time, in order to properly guide the A3, before the Security Council decides on matters of interest to Africa.
10. It is also my hope and indeed the hope of the PSC Members here present, that this Seminar will provide us the opportunity to receive updates from AU Special Envoys and Representatives on the current peace and security situations on the continent, for the benefit of the incoming A3 and also all of us.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
11. With all the excellent facilities put in place here, we can only rest assured that this Seminar will be a big success. Therefore, it would be remiss of me if I conclude without, once again, commending and reiterating the gratitude of the PSC to the Government of Algeria hosting this very important Seminar, which in and for itself, amply demonstrates Algeria’s unwavering commitment not only to Pan-Africanism, but also to ensuring that Africa is a peaceful, stable , prosperous and fully integrated continent.
12. It would also be remiss of me if I were to conclude my remarks without acknowledging the very active role that our Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaiil Chergui, is playing in support of our PSC.
13. Only with a strong PSC, whose positions are effectively articulated and defended in the UN Security Council, can we achieve our ambitious agenda of silencing the guns by 2020, which should create the necessary conducive conditions for the realization of Agenda 2063.
With these few remarks, I wish you all a very fruitful 4th High-Level Seminar
Long live Algeria!
Long live Africa!
I thank you for your kind attention