AU Panel of Wise discuss peace and security issues
The 18th Statutory Meeting of the African Union Panel of the Wise (AU PoW) was officially launched this week at the Windhoek Country Club.
The Panel was specifically established to assist to address all issues pertaining to peace, security and good governance in Africa.
H.E Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President and Chairperson of AU PoW called upon the Panel to work hard as a team in order to meet their goals and to be mindful that they can only succeed if member States continue to cooperate fully with the Panel.
“We need to continue as the 4th Panel of the Wise to strengthen African Peace and Security Architecture through preventive diplomacy and mediation activities,” he added.
He emphaised that this is a crucial time when most of African countries are faced with manifold challenges as a result of conflict and insecurity. “In almost all African countries, the rapid growth of youth populations, combined with the shrinking economies have resulted in high levels of unemployment and rapid and uncontrolled urbanization, are seen by many observers to be correlated with violence,” he said.
He explained that their plan of action will include among others building bridges between election observation, preventing and resolving electoral disputes in Africa, migration and human security as well as Africa peace and security landscape in 2018 “We must strive to make as much difference as we can, big or small, thus we must aim at full implementation of our work plan,” he urged.
While Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner Peach and Security of the AU Commission said he has no doubt that in reflecting and preparing its work programme and calendar of activities for the year the Panel Members will carefully consider may of the dimensions which include PoW preventive diplomacy and mediation deployments, including updating the 2007 PoW Modalities of Operation in light of lessons learned and best practices, PoW pre-elections missions and PoW horizon scanning and thematic research. “This is an ambitious programme, to which I want to welcome our speakers, presenters and participants and thank them for accepting our invitation,” he emphasised.
H.E Nangolo Mbumba, Vice President emphasied that as both former and current African leaders they should not give up on African people who have fallen on hard times until they are fully restored. “I which Your Excellencies, fruitful deliberations over the next two days,” he concluded.
Since its inception in 2007, the Panel has produced some constructive views on issues relevant to peace and security such as no impunity, protection of women and children in armed conflicts and electoral disputes.