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The Panel of the Wise: A comprehensive introduction to a critical pillar of the African Peace and Security Architecture

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This paper is an attempt to provide a comprehensive introduction to the recently established Panel of the Wise of the African Union. It commences with an overview of the developments leading up to the establishment of the Panel of the Wise, its structure and basic workings as well as the activities undertaken by this organ since its inauguration on 18 December 2007. Despite the short lifespan of the Panel, several preliminary observations are discussed and some recommendations for a further enhancement of the Panel’s contribution to peace, security and stability on the African continent are made.

About the author

Jamila El Abdellaoui is currently a senior researcher in the Conflict Prevention Programme at the ISS office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to joining the ISS, Jamila worked for the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) as a programme officer in the ACCORD office in Bujumbura, Burundi, from July 2003 to December 2005. Thereafter she continued her studies in the Middle East and South Africa and in August 2007 she joined ACCORD’s head office in Durban, South Africa, as a senior department officer in the Intervention Department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in European Studies with a specialisation in Public Administration and a master’s degree in International Law (with a focus on International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law).

This paper was published with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany and Humanity United in the United States of America. In addition, general Institute funding is provided by the Governments of Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.