Nigeria, Sunday, assumed the one month rotational Chairmanship of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC). The Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, takes over from Ambassador Zackariaou Maiga, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Niger, who held the Chairmanship for the month of March, 2018.
Crucial in Nigeria’s Chairmanship of the African Union Peace and Security Council for the month of April will be focus on the addressing the threats posed by Nuclear Weapons and the imperative of preventing terrorists from accessing these weapons of mass destruction, and their control regimes, including the urgent need for the promotion of peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy. Importantly, the PSC will consider the nexus between Corruption & Conflict Resolution and the Imperative of promoting good economic policies in the context of Nigeria’s Championing of the 2018 AU annual theme on anti-corruption under the leadership of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari. A statement from Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.
Under the Nigerian chairmanship, PSC will explore strategies towards “Saving the Lake Chad” by Enhancing Environmental Sustainability & Human Security in West & Central Africa and undertake a prospective analysis of Africa’s peace and security landscape by 2023 (End of First Ten Year Plan of AU Agenda 2063). Similarly, it will engage on fashioning a comprehensive approach towards the prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes on the continent.
The statement further said, the Council will will consider the following: the need for Effective take-off of the AU Humanitarian Agency (AUHA), and ameliorating the Impact of Terrorism and Armed Conflict on Africa’s Social Fabric; Essentially, Nigeria as chairperson of the Council will prioritize the operationalization of the African Standby Force, which is a key element of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the Sustainable Financing of the African Union Peace Support Operations with particular emphasis on the African Peace Fund.
It will also embark on a Field Mission in solidarity to the good people of South Sudan and to ascertain the level of progress of the peace process in that country being led by the IGAD and supported by the African Union and its partners.
The Peace and Security Council is the standing decision-making organ of the African Union, which is patterned along the United Nations Security Council to enforce Union Decisions, particularly in matters relating to the maintenance of regional and continental peace and security.
It is a key element of the African Union Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Members of the Council are elected by the Assembly of the African Union, so as to reflect regional balance within Africa, as well as a variety of other criteria, including capacity to contribute militarily and financially to the Union.
The Council is composed of fifteen (15) countries, of which five are elected to three-year terms, and ten to two-year terms. In view of Nigeria’s contributions to peace and security at the sub-regional and continental levels, the country has sustained its membership of this most vital mechanism since inception in 2004. The current members of the PSC are: Angola, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Liberia, Morocco, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Zambia, and Republic of Congo.