Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THE African Union Peace and Security Council must strive for well-defined working methods for it to be able to deal with an increasingly hostile peace and security environment, and ultimately silence the guns on the continent and beyond.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava made the remarks while officially opening the 14th Retreat of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in Victoria Falls last week.
Minister Shava said it is a strategic and necessary step towards strengthening the implementation of AU decisions and to steer the continent towards the ‘Africa We Want’ as espoused in Agenda 2063.
“It is only through well-defined working methods that the council will be able to tame and transform the increasingly hostile peace and security environment on our continent and beyond,” he said.
Minister Shava said Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections next year will present an opportunity for the country and continent at large to showcase Pan Africanism and peace.
“Zimbabwe will hold its general elections in 2023. We are thus, presented with another rare opportunity to, not only show the world that democracy thrives in our country but to also consolidate our engagement and re-engagement process,” he said.
He said the country looks forward to the usual Pan Africanist support of the AU to ensure that the will of the people of Zimbabwe prevails and is fully respected.
Minister Shava also paid gratitude to the Peace and Security Council and the entire AU for the unwavering support towards the removal of the calamitous sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
He said the country will remain grateful to the progressive members of the global community for their principled stance against sanctions as Zimbabwe is indeed a friend to all and an enemy to none.
Minister Shava said the retreat presents a unique opportunity to objectively refine the manner in which the council manages its business and delivers on its mandate.
“The Peace and Security Council has to continuously develop the capacity to effectively confront the complex and multidimensional challenges as envisaged by the principle of African solutions to African problems,” he said,
The implementation of the African Union (AU) Master Roadmap to Practical Steps of Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030 is a key component to this process.
“The outcome of this retreat should enhance the effectiveness of the Council as the AU’s standing organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts,” said Minister Shava.
He bemoaned the glaringly hostile international relations which have direct ramifications on peace and security in developing countries, particularly in Africa.
Minister Shava said Africa should therefore remain cognisant of these extra–continental factors that include the Russia-Ukraine conflict, recurrent pandemics as well as energy and food insecurity on the continent.
He called for strengthening of partnerships with other bodies in acknowledgement of the connection between international peace, security and sustainable development.
“The retreat comes at a time when we have to sharpen our collaboration with other stakeholders at the global level. It will be crucial that this esteemed Council continues to review, improve and further strengthen its working methods and candidly address the gaps in the PSC Protocol in order to enhance the council’s effectiveness in determining the direction of the continent on matters of peace and security,” said Minister Shava.
Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the AU, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye said the fight for peace and security remains relevant as the continent grapples with global and continental challenges.
“We must now strive to silence the guns, we must not waver on our several aspirations and on sustainable development. It is equally important that we address the best working methods to tackle emerging threats that continue to ravage the continent,” he said.
Comm Adeoye said the council must be the voice in all matters in Africa, be the centre for conflict prevention and an enabler in fighting conflict.
He said the council should remain the verifiable source of multilateral solutions to Africa’s insecurity and hope for the future. – @ncubeleon