UNOAU holds annual retreat
On 25 March, UNOAU held its annual retreat virtually. The retreat took place just over a week after the new leadership of the AU Commission (AUC) took office and provided an opportunity to reflect on recent developments that have impacted the UN-AU partnership in peace and security and align priorities with those expressed by the new AUC leadership.
Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) was present at the opening session. He interacted with UNOAU staff and outlined his Five-Point Priority Action Plan for the first 100 days as following:
- Rebranding and revamping the new department of political affairs, peace and security ensuring that it delivers as one, its capacities are enhanced, and that it operates with transparency and full accountability;
- Re-energizing the early warning and conflict prevention work of the Commission, ensuring that governance is mainstreamed and that early warning leads to early action;
- Strengthening collaborative action with the RECs within the context of subsidiarity, complementarity, and comparative advantage ensuring focus on climate security, operationalization of the African Standby Force (APSA/ASF), development of a Common African Position on financing for AU Peace Support Operations (AUPSOs), and the operationalization of the PCRD Centre in Cairo;
- Strengthening support to democracy and overhauling the AU’s election observation work;
- Setting up a working team to engage with key partners on strategic issues regularly, and in particular to have such meetings with the UN on a quarterly basis, with UNOAU as the lead interlocutor on the partnership on peace and security between the UN and the AU. Additionally, he requested that UNOAU advocates for the AU within the UN.
Within this context he emphasized the importance of strengthening collaboration between the two organizations in the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security Agendas and addressing the issue of Children in Armed Conflict.
He stressed his intention to strengthen collaboration and engagement with the UN, particularly UNOAU, noting already close collaboration with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOAU, which will continue.