Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Nigeria on Monday assumed the one-month rotational chairmanship of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC).
The Embassy of Nigeria and Permanent Mission to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja by the Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, said Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, took over the chairmanship from Ambassador Zackariaou Maiga, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Niger.
Maiga held the chairmanship of the AU-PSC for the month of March, 2018.
The AU-PSC is the standing decision-making organ of the African Union, which is patterned along the United Nations Security Council to enforce the Union’s decisions, particularly in matters relating to the maintenance of regional and continental peace and security.
“It is indeed 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 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.
“Crucial in Nigeria’s chairmanship of the African Union Peace and Security Council for the month of April will be focus on 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,” the statement read.
The Nigerian Mission in Addis Ababa further said the PSC will consider the nexus between corruption and 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 President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Furthermore, the PSC will explore strategies towards “Saving the Lake Chad” by Enhancing Environmental Sustainability and 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.
“Also to be considered by the Council during the period of Nigeria’s chairmanship are: 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.
“The council 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 Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and supported by the African Union and its partners.
“Overall, with the support of other members of the Council, Nigeria will use its month-long presidency to actively promote sub-regional and continental peace and security in line with the principles of the AU Constitutive Act, UN Charter and the mandate of the Council,” the Nigerian Mission further stated.