A partial view of the opening ceremony of the tenth African Union Commission Summit (UN PHOTO)
Improving sustainable peace support capacity by improving peacekeepers’ knowledge, behaviour, conduct, discipline, planning and management skills.
The Commission of the African Union (AU) convened the 2nd Africa Forum on SSR from 22-24 October 2018 in Addis at the AU Commission. The aim of the forum was to take stock of SSR developments on the African continent and to map a way forward for the AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms (RMs), African Stakeholder and international partners.
To note during the deliberations was the fact that the African continent, in the second decade of the 21st Century has remained plagued by violent conflicts. Some of the conflicts are of a transnational nature giving cause to many forms of challenges that undermine peace and security and that inadvertently lead to significant destabilisation of security structures. The Forum identified the most common and prevalent challenges on the continent as outlined in the Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP) as being: intra-state conflict, international crimes, illicit weapons proliferation, unstable post-conflict situations, border conflicts, election-related violence, sexual and gender based violence, ethnic violence, human, body parts and drug trafficking, mercenarism, piracy, environmental degradation and natural disasters.
The Forum also acknowledged that SSR remained an important element of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and is recognised as an essential element of good governance, conflict prevention, post conflict reconstruction and peace building especially for those countries emerging from conflict. Further in this view, the Forum also noted the adoption of the AU Policy Framework on SSR by the 20th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held in January 2013. The Forum affirmed that SSR was also regarded as a critical part of the efforts required to create the peaceful and secure Africa envisioned in aspiration 4 of the AU’s Agenda 2063, and the AU Roadmap on Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by 2020. Both advocate for the adaptation of national security structures, democratic transformation and improving human security as prerequisites for sustainable peace.
Participation in activities that focus on peace and security, is in line with ACCORD’s Training for Peace (TfP) Programme’s strategic goal of supporting efforts at strengthening the AUC, RECs/RMs and member states capability to prevent conflict or plan, manage, implement and liquidate Peace Support Operations on the continent through the enhancement of operational capacities of the African Standby Force (ASF). This initiative also seeks to contribute to improved sustainable capacity for the conduct of peace operations on the continent through ensuring effective peacekeeper knowledge, behaviour, positive conduct and discipline, planning, management and execution of mission tasks that improve the overall operational capability and functioning of organisational systems in the UN/AU/RECs/RMs, member states and mission structures.
ACCORD/TfP provided funding support for the participation in this event of one ACCORD/TfP staff member. The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The workshop was attended by participants from the AU Peace Support Division, the RECs/RMs, AU Member States, Current AU Peace Support Operations (PSO), United Nations Missions and AU Ad Hoc Initiatives as well as AU funding and technical Partners. ACCORD/TfP was represented by James Machakaire, Coordinator Peacekeeping Unit.