At a time when the African continent faces a multitude of peace and security challenges of a transnational nature – terrorism and violent extremism, forced migration, piracy and transnational organised crime to name a few – this panel critically revisits the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) under implementation since 2002 by the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). Over the last decade, significant efforts have been made to operationalize the five core APSA pillars (i.e. the Peace and Security Council, the African Standby Force, the Panel of the Wise, the Continental Early Warning System, and the Peace Fund) as well as strengthen and equip the AU Commission to undertake preventive diplomacy and mediation interventions. In addition the African Union is currently embarking on a wider set of policy aims, including long-term structural prevention of conflict and mitigation of structural vulnerability in member states.
While progress has been made by the AU and the RECs in resolving some of the crises faced by the continent through the APSA – including effective policies and practices for the deployment of peace support operations and regional taskforces as well as a proven ability to undertake various types of good offices, fact finding, conciliation and mediation efforts – many challenges remain. Indeed, for many millions of Africans, insecurity is today not solely a function of internal armed conflict (rebellions, violent coups, civil wars) or inter-state conflict, but increasingly of transnational threats. To what extent is the APSA in its current form able to address situations where these two dimensions (internal and transnational) converge? What lessons have been learned over the past decade that should inform the adaptation of these mechanisms to current threats? How should the AU and the RECs apply the subsidiarity principle in addressing these challenges, while at the same time developing further the Union’s strategic partnerships with the United Nations and the European Union, respectively?
Please submit your abstracts by e-mail to: [email protected] latest by 15 March 2016.