ACCORD has contributed to the Inaugural Meeting of the Panel of the Wise (PW) by leading an interactive session on conflict trends in Africa. The Meeting, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 16-17 September, was organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and brought together the Incoming and Outgoing Members of the PW, representatives from the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) as well as peacemaking experts and scholars.
The PW is one of the pillars of the African Union Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). It is composed of five members serving a 3 years mandate. The role of the PW is to advise on all issues pertaining to the promotion, and maintenance of peace, security and stability in Africa. This event constituted the handover of the second Panel – becoming “Friends of the Panel” – to the Third Panel since the institutionalisation of this APSA pillar. The second panel was instrumental in creating the Pan African Network of the Wise (PanWise) with the aim of enabling the PW to cement their partnership with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in order to work on joint activities. It also engaged in horizon scanning and a number of preventative missions.
The new Panel is composed by: Dr Lakhdar Brahimi representing North Africa; Mr Edem Kodjo representing West Africa; Dr Albina Pereira Africano representing Central Africa, Dr Luísa Diogo representing Southern Africa, and Dr Specioza Kazibwe representing East Africa. Members of this new Panel appointed Dr. Luísa Diogo as their Chairperson, the first woman to Chair the Panel since its inception in 2007.
During the event, ACCORD provided the audience with an overview of the challenges that the PW is likely to grapple with in the foreseeable future against the backdrop of the ever-changing dynamics in the continent. Indeed, there is an increasing realisation among scholars and practitioners that for Africa to move beyond intractability, there is need to invest more in preventive mechanisms and forge strategic partnerships among entities that engage in the field of mediation and preventive diplomacy. It is against this background that the new members of the PW will not only continue to address key issues of concern but also expand and deepen their activities to prevent and manage future peace and security threats on the continent
ACCORD’s participation in the event remains a testament of the crucial support that the organisation continues to provide in the field of conflict management. In addition, these contributions have enabled ACCORD to be at the forefront of the development of policy frameworks for conflict management and implementation of peacemaking, peacekeeping as well as peacebuilding initiatives in the continent. ACCORD will continue to collaborate with the PW in order to contribute to the strengthening of mediation and preventive diplomacy in Africa.