9th High Level Seminar on Peace and Security (Oran Conference) in Oran City, Algeria

10 Dec 2022

9th High Level Seminar on Peace and Security (Oran Conference) in Oran City, Algeria

From 7 to 9 December, the Government of Algeria hosted the 9th High Level Seminar on Peace and Security (Oran Process) convened in Oran City, Algeria, under the theme “Assisting Incoming African Members on the UN Security Council in preparing to address Peace and Security Issues on the Continent”. The Conference was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, and Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of December, Geoffrey Onyeama; and was attended by AUPSC members; the current, incoming, and outgoing African Members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council (A3) and Friends of the Seminar including Chad, Niger, Ethiopia, Angola and Egypt. Partners invited included Switzerland, Norway, ISS, and the UN, represented by the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) to the AU and Head of UNOAU.

In his welcoming remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the National Community Abroad of Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra, underscored that at a time when “the world is going through increasing tensions and mounting polarization against the background of a major crisis that threatens to revive one of the darkest chapters of human history”, a meeting of minds bringing together the AUPSC, the A3, and other key stakeholders was timely. In his remarks, the Chairperson of the meeting also reiterated the timeliness of the meeting, in the context of “the myriad of challenges facing Africa, particularly the increasing proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, the rising scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, as well as recent trends of Unconstitutional Changes of Government”.

The Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of Kenya, and outgoing coordinator of the A3, Alfred Mutua, expressed appreciation to the AU member states for having accorded Kenya the opportunity to represent the continent at the UN Security Council and highlighted priorities that need to be further pursued, including: strengthening PSOs; enhancing the linkage between climate change and instability; rebuilding post-conflict, reconstruction and development architecture; and building partnerships with external countries and regional organisations in the area of peace. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, Manuel Gonçalves, expressed appreciation to the AU member states for their support leading to its election to the UN Security Council and pledged full support as it prepares for its two-year term at the UN Security Council starting in January 2023. 

The Seminar discussions were organised along four thematic sessions, namely, (i) Disarmament and control of illicit small arms and light weapons: Silencing the Guns in Africa; (ii) A debate on African Responses to Emerging Threats to Peace and Security in the Continent - Addressing the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa; (iii) Imposition and application of sanctions by the international organizations and partners on AU Member States; and (iv) The AUPSC and the A3: better coordination for strengthening Africa’s voice within the UN Security Council.

Discussing the topic on countering terrorism, Under-Secretary-General Lacroix highlighted the need for targeted interventions to ensure that social networks and the “dark-web” are not used to facilitate and promote terrorism and violent extremism and called upon the multilateral systems to target avenues used by terror networks to channel finances for terrorism operations. Discussing the topic on Small Arms and Light Weapons, SRSG UNOAU called for the deployment of all possible strategies to fight the temptations of pursuing the systematic use of arms to address political challenges. Regarding the topic of sanctions, he stressed that sanctions are not an end in themselves, and that they should complement political strategies towards peace conflict prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts. The meeting adopted recommendations on the best means and ways to further enhance cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between the AUPSC and the A3, as well as to further enhance the effectiveness of the A3 in championing African interests in the UN Security Council.