The 15 Member States of the African Union Peace and Security Council and its counterpart from the United Nations Security Council held a Joint Annual Consultative Meeting from 7 to 8 September, 2017 at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Among the plethora of items discussed were: the Partnership between the African Union and the United Nations, Funding for Africa Union Peace and Security Activities and the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy/Peace-Building.
Both Councils were obliged to select representatives to make presentations on these items. Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara was nominated by the African Union Peace and Security Council to make a presentation on ‘The AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy/Peace-Building.
The nomination of Sierra Leone to sever as a lead presenter on the above topic cannot be unconnected to the fact that the country is a role model for post-conflict peace-building and socio-economic recovery.
One of the United Nations Security Council Representatives in his intervention commended the African Union Peace and Security Council for choosing Sierra Lone to speak on the theme bearing in mind that Sierra Leone is a success story by the UN and the global community in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development.
See below the presentation delivered by Ambassador Keh Kamara.
AU POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT/PEACEBUILDING
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to present on the African Union Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy and peacebuilding which has made significant progress since its adoption in 2006. Our PSC has remained seized with this matter and adopted various decisions to provide guidance and impetus to the implementation process of PCRD/Peacebuilding in Africa. On its part, the AU Commission as well as the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, have been proactive in the implementation process.
The African approach is based on the fact that PCRD/Peacebuilding is a cross cutting issue requiring comprehensive implementation approaches at continental, national and community levels. This approach contributes to creation of conducive environments for advancing sustainable peace, based on the principles and values of equality, human dignity, respect for fundamental human rights, and provision of basic physical, legal and economic security to affected populations.
Recently, in implementing the AU PCRD/Peacebuilding architecture, our Council approved the deployment of a technical needs assessment mission to The Gambia on 29 March 2017, to identify, together with the Gambian authorities, priority needs for post-crisis support. On 15 June 2017, the PSC considered the report of the assessment mission and in its 494th Communique, recommended a range of actions, including the establishment of a Ministerial Committee on PCRD on The Gambia, and the deployment of technical experts to support the Government. This initiative sets a model that can be emulated in other post-crisis/post-conflict situations in the continent.
I would like to highlight another important initiative pursued by the AU Commission through implementation of quick impact/peace strengthening projects. On the ground, this is effected through the AU Liaison Offices, providing support to the post-conflict activities in the Central African Republic, Madagascar and Guinea Bissau in 2016. In the same vein, the AU flagship mission namely the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has made significant achievements in channeling support to quick impact projects in the liberated and recovered areas of Somalia. These projects include strengthening health systems, provisions of clean water, support for human rights, rule of law and education. In this context, it is worthwhile to call upon the UN, particularly through its Peacebuilding Commission to enhance support to these efforts.
Furthermore, as the AU continues to reflects on PCRD and peacebuilding efforts, looking back the experience of the last ten years, the need is felt to shift from the current top-down, approach to a more people-centred paradigm with a specific focus on peace dividends, even delivering them within the reduced conflict environment, especially in support of women and youth.
I would like to seize opportunity of our meeting to highlight the fact that there has been limited interaction between the PSC and UNSC on the issue of peacebuilding. Hence, this is one of the issues that our two Councils can take forward. Allow me also to highlight the fact that the AU Liaison Offices and UN field offices are often not well coordinated on matters of PCRD and peacebuilding. One can only emphasize the need for our two Organizations to work in a well-coordinated manner to achieve the expected results.
Managing the multiple actors in post-conflict settings remains a major challenge that often increases the transaction cost on host governments as they are compelled to engage several actors often with limited human resources and not necessarily working in synergy. The interface between national, regional and international actors remains a challenge. Within the framework of implementing the PCRD Policy, there is a need to anchor all activities in the national vision as defined by the concerned post-conflict country.
Indeed, limited financial and human resources continue to confront the implementation of the AU PCRD and peacebuilding activities. While the Liaison Offices have been instrumental in the implementation of quick impact projects and peace strengthening projects, they are largely constrained by inadequate of financial resources and limited technical expertise. It is for this reason that in 2013 the AU launched the African Solidarity Initiative based on the notion of Africa-Helping-Africa, with a view to enhancing efforts to mobilize resources from within the continent.
Within the framework of collaboration between the Commission and the UN Peacebuilding Commission, there should be a process of joint PCRD and peacebuilding programming, including formulation of common objectives among the stakeholders, namely AU, RECs/RMs, UN, International Financial institutions (IFIs), bilateral partners, among others.
Although the International Support Group concept exists, consultative processes on PCRD and peacebuilding on the continent are ad hoc with no general mechanism or partnership forum on these activities. We need to address this challenge.
To conclude, I would like to emphasize that knowledge and coordinated planning and implementation of PCRD and peacebuilding activities must be part of our guidelines. Let me also say that effective implementation of PCRD and peacebuilding is one of the sure ways of preventing relapse and sustaining peace and development.
I thank you for your kind attention.