On 25 October 2016, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) and the European Union Political and Security Committee (EU PSC) held their 9th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, as part of their regular dialogue within the framework of the Africa – EU partnership.
The Joint Consultative Meeting was preceded by an informal Joint Retreat of the AU PSC and the EU PSC, held on 24 October 2016, which provided a platform for an informal exchange on countering terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism, as well as on migration. Both meetings took place in a constructive atmosphere, facilitating substantial exchange and the convergence of approaches on different topics.
Responding to the Press on the relation of peace and security and job creation for the youth, a common challenge in Africa and Europe, Ambassador Walter Stevens, Permanent Chair of the EU PSC said, ‘When you talk about youth; it´s a big challenge, they need to find education and jobs. Need to create conditions to attract private investment, public money is important but not enough to provide to the fast growing population, especially Sahel. Private investors need certainty, security, stability; this is the responsibility of the governments. The role of governments is to create opportunities for the population. We are together in this. ‘
Ambassador Catherine Muigai Mwangi (Kenya), Chairperson of the AU PSC for the month of October 2016 on her side emphasised the joint actions the two PSCs could perform to strengthen cooperation, funding peace activities in Africa and discussed the possibility to have joint missions, replicating success of the last joint mission in Mali.
The discussion during the Joint Consultative Meeting focused on conflict and crisis situations in Africa namely, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, Sahel/Mali, South Sudan, Burundi and Guinea Bissau, as well as the enhancement of AU and EU cooperation on peace and security issues and the support to AU activities in these areas.
And finally, on enhancing EU-AU cooperation on peace and security issues, the AU PSC and EU PSC renewed their commitments to enhance cooperation between both continents, with a view to consolidating peace where it has been restored. They underscored their determination to further deepen the existing partnership that aims at promoting peace and security and at preventing crises and conflicts, as well as providing support to peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction efforts on both continents.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Catherine Muigai Mwangi (Kenya), Chairperson of the AU PSC for the month of October 2016, and Ambassador Walter Stevens, Permanent Chair of the EU PSC.
The AU PSC and EU PSC agreed to meet again in 2017 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia and to undertake a new joint field trip in the region.