UNOAU holds annual retreat
UNOAU held its annual retreat in virtual format on 25 March 2021. The retreat aimed to provide an opportunity for the Office to outline its priorities for the year ahead and to reflect on recent developments that have impacted on the UN-AU partnership in peace and security. The retreat took place just over a week after the new leadership of the AU Commission (AUC) took office, hence also provided an opportunity to discuss and align the priorities of the Office to those expressed by the new AUC leadership.
The AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, addressed the retreat and interacted with UNOAU staff. He outlined his five-priority action plan for his first 100 days – 1 year in office as follows: i. 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; ii. Re-energize the early warning and conflict prevention work of the Commission, ensuring that governance is mainstreamed and that early warning leads to early action; iii. Strengthen 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; iv. Strengthen support to democracy and to overhaul the AU’s election observation work; v. Set up a working team to engage with key partners on strategic issues on a regular basis, and in particular to have such meetings with the UN on a quarterly basis, with UNOAU as the lead interlocutor.
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 as well as addressing the issue of Children in Armed Conflict. He stressed his intention to strengthen collaboration and engagement with the UN, in particular UNOAU, noting the already close collaboration with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOAU, which will continue.