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AFRICAN UNION LOOKING TOWARDS A TRIUMPHANT PEACE DAY


Alwihda Info | Par Alwihda Info - 30 Août 2010 modifié le 30 Août 2010 - 15:47

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Retreat, Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Minister of Foreign
Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt commended the initiative which shows that Africa is moving
from theory to practicality.


AFRICAN UNION UNION AFRICAINE UNIÃO AFRICANA Addis Ababa, Ethiopia P. O. Box 3243 Tel; 5517 700 Fax: 5511299 Website: www. africa-union.org DIVISION OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION PRESS RELEASE Cairo, 27 August 2010 – The African Union (AU) High‐Level Retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa kicked off on Thursday 26 August 2010 in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt. Holding under the theme “Making peace happen in Africa in 2010 and beyond: Developing common strategies and enhancing coordination”, the Retreat is expected to explore ways and means to make 21 September, the International Peace Day, a resounding success. Taking place within the framework of the Year of Peace and Security in Africa (YoPS), the Retreat, which is a gathering of Senior Officials and Special Envoys/Representatives of the AU, YoPS Advisory Council and AU Peace Ambassadors, amongst other high level participants, is also to seek a way to maintain sustainable exchange of views and information between actors involved in peacekeeping in Africa. It is envisaged that the Retreat will be institutionalized. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Retreat, Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt commended the initiative which shows that Africa is moving from theory to practicality. He called the participants to seize the opportunity of every forum to push high Africa’s peace, security and stability agenda. Mr. Aboul Gheit also called for the strengthening of peacekeeping operations and mandate of the Special Envoys, in addition to existing efforts to promote peace and the culture of peace. It is worth recalling that Egypt is the 5th biggest contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping missions and hosts the Northern Brigade of the African Standby Force (ASF). In the same vein, Ambassador Mbuya Isaac G. Munlo, Permanent Representative of Malawi to the AU, stated that Africa has realized and decided that with peace, all aspirations and development targets will be achieved. Moving closer towards the end of the YoPS, the assets should be consolidated. The Retreat is an opportunity to acquire a better knowledge of challenges in order to better address them. In this regard, the Retreat should be institutionalized. Also addressing the opening ceremony of the Retreat, Mr. Atul Khare, UN Assistant Secretary‐General for Peacekeeping Operations, emphasized the institutionalization of the Retreat. Today, Africa has fewer conflicts than twenty years ago, but has to face less conventional challenges which are a threat to peace, security and stability on the continent. In his remarks, Mr. Amr Moussa, Secretary‐General of the League of Arab States, called for the institutionalization of the Retreat in order to strengthen the dialogue and multilateral cooperation on peace in Africa. In his address to the ceremony, Dr Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, expressed appreciation for the positive trend in peace and security in Africa, since the inception of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU. He nevertheless noted that the process remains fragile and needs extreme attention and better consolidation. Hence, it is important to pay more attention to election‐related violence, trans‐border disputes and conflicts which might arise from Division of Communication and Information. African Union Commission E mail: dinfo@africa-union.org Fax 251 11 5511299 effects of climate change. Against this background, the YoPS represents an unprecedented and unique occasion to give renewed impetus to efforts aimed at putting an end to conflicts and crises of the continent. The opening ceremony of the High‐Level Retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa concluded with the launch of the “Drawing competition: Peace and Africa” by Dr Ping and Mr. Rabah Madjer, AU Peace Ambassador and renowned former international football player. During the first day of the Retreat, participants shared views on the peace and security challenges in Africa and brainstormed on trends and prospects. It ended with a panel presentation on the challenges of peace and reconciliation in Somalia. Presenters placed emphasis on the weakness and fragility of the Transitional Federal Government, the attainment of the authorized strength of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the resurgence of piracy. As part of facilities offered, a Peace Studio will be at the disposal of all media for interviews during the period of the meeting. For requests for interviews and any other information, please contact: Ms Yaye Sene - seney@africa-union.org epsilone10@gmail.com


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