The 899th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), held in Luanda, Angola, on 5 December 2019, requested the AU Commission “…to evolve a draft Common African Position ahead of the review…of the UN Peace Building Architecture planned to take place in 2020...” This request is consistent with the implementation of Agenda 2063, especially its flagship programme of Silencing the Guns in Africa, as well as underlining Africa’s role as an important stakeholder in international peacebuilding efforts.
Accordingly, this Common African Position (CAP), developed in implementation of this PSC decision, outlines the critical issues that will guide the engagement of African countries during the Inter-governmental process of the 2020 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture (UN PBA).
It should be recalled that, the concept of peacebuilding was introduced by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, in the document “An Agenda for Peace” in 1992. It was conceived as an integral part of UN efforts to promote peace and found its place among the organisation’s more traditional instruments, namely preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping. In his efforts to improve the UN interventions in this regard, in October 2019, the UN Secretary-General launched the process for the next quinquennial review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. The last review was conducted in 2015. The 2016 UN twin resolutions A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282 (2016), adopted by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, respectively,, call for a “comprehensive review of United Nations peacebuilding” to be conducted during the 74th session of the General Assembly. In addition, Resolutions A/RES/71/276 and S/RES/2413 (2018) requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly, at its 74th session, “a detailed report in connection with the next comprehensive review of the peacebuilding architecture, focusing on continued implementation of resolution 70/262, and progress in the implementation of the recommendations and options contained in his report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace.”
The CAP is premised on the AU strategies, policies and programmes on peacebuilding and inputs from the following Departments in the Commission, namely,
Peace and Security, Political Affairs, Gender Women and Development, the Office of the Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security as well as the AU Missions in South Sudan and Sudan. The document has also benefitted from consultations with the African Caucus on Peacebuilding at the United Nations in New York, Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) and African civil society organisations, as well as think tanks on the continent. The CAP is, therefore, Africa’s contribution to the 2020 review of the UN PBA with a view to enhancing the performance and output of the nascent global peacebuilding architecture.