The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) hosted an Expert Group Meeting on “The Role of Early Warning to Silence the Guns”, scheduled from 26th to 27th July at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Charles Nyuykonge, Senior Researcher: Knowledge Production Department, was invited to attend the meeting. Given ACCORD’s important role as a key stakeholder, Mr Nyuykonge’s effective participation contributed substantially towards the successful outcome of the meeting.
To achieve its aspirations for a peaceful continent, the African Union developed two roadmaps which give a detailed outline of its aspirations, goals and priorities for the promotion of peace, security and stability: The African Peace and Security Architecture Roadmap (2016-2020); and the Roadmap for Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020. Aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, both roadmaps underscore the importance of addressing the root and proximate causes of conflicts and a strengthened early warning system is highlighted as one of the key area in conflict prevention.
To facilitate the implementation of both the Agendas and the AU’s roadmaps, the United Nations Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission signed the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for Enhanced Partnership on Peace and Security. The Framework focuses on four essential themes for the partnership, one of which is preventing and mediating conflict and sustaining peace. Based on this premise, the objective of this meeting was to bring together multiple stakeholders in the early warning landscape in order to support the AU’s Continental Early Warning System and the supporting bodies within the Regional Economic Communities. The goal of the EGM was to identify areas for UN support beginning with a multistep, sequenced approach that first starts with detecting the missing links in the chain of gathering early warning information to informed action by decision makers.
The meeting convened experts from key African Union Organs, including the Peace and Security Council, the Continental Early Warning System, the AU Situation Room. Experts from the African Development Bank, the World Bank and Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms for early warning, experts from the United Nations system, and leading specialists, academics and civil society organisations working in the area of African peace and security, particularly on issues relating to conflict prevention and early warning systems, will also participate in the meeting.