December 21, 2016 By Abdul Karim Koroma in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The 4th High Level Seminar on Peace, Security and Stability in Africa commenced on Saturday, 17th December, 2016 at the Meridien Hotel Conference Centre in Oran, Algeria.
The theme of the seminar was “Assisting Incoming Members on the UN Security Council in preparing to address Peace and Security Issues on the Continent.’’
Welcoming participants, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, His Excellency Ramtane Lamamra, expressed his government’s delight in hosting the seminar and thanked all participants for honouring the invitation.
Delivering his statement, Chairman of the African Union Peace and Security Council, who served as co-chair of the seminar, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara expressed profound, regret on behalf of Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, who was unavoidably absent due to another official engagement.
Ambassador Keh Kamara further thanked the Government of Algeria for hosting the seminar and the unique hospitality accorded him and his delegation since their arrival in the beautiful city of Oran. The Chair also extended his gratitude to the African Union Commission and UNITAR for co-organising the seminar.
He informed participants that the purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibility of enhancing the capacity of the African Union Peace and Security Council and incoming African Members on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He noted that that could only be achieved through effective articulation and coordination in defence of Africa’s common position on peace and security on the continent within the decision-making process of the UNSC, which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Concluding his remark, Ambassador Keh Kamara reiterated that only a strong PSC and A3 in the UNSC could ensure the ambitious agenda of silencing guns in Africa by the year 2020 and create the necessary conditions for the realisation of the AU Agenda 2063.
Taking the floor next was Ambassador Smail Chergui, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security. In his statement, he highlighted the points that were to be considered as best practices for the PSC, among which were: (i) Take stock of the high level seminar and to follow up on it conclusion (ii) Congratulate the outgoing member of the A3 and utilise their meaning experience (iii) Listen to briefs by the Special Representatives and take appropriate actions (iv) Pursue the goals of silencing the guns in Africa as one of the plausible ways of achieving agenda 2063.
Other speakers who took the floor at the opening ceremony were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration of Chad and Chairman of the African Union Executive Council, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, H.E George Chikoti, and the Director of UNITAR, H.E. Mr. Nikihil Seth. They all spoke on the relevance of the seminar.
The seminar was declared open by His Excellency Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
The seminar officially ended on Monday, 19th December, 2016.