H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs (Nigeria) delivering his Welcome Address
1.11.2022 Abuja - The ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture (EPSAO) project is supporting the first Inaugural Lessons Learned Forum on African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations and the African Standby Force from the 1st to 3rd November 2022. The event was organized by the AU.
The forum which is currently holding in Abuja Nigeria has brought together members of the AU Peace and Security Council (representing the five regions of Africa), members of the Military Staff Committee of the AUPSC, Heads of missions of the AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) /Regional Members States (RMs), leadership of the AU Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, the United Nations and other key partners.
At the end of the 3-day inaugural forum it is expected that the lessons learned from PSOs conducted by AU, RECs/RMs and coalitions of States will inform the reconceptualization of the ASF.
The opening session was chaired by H.E, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs (Nigeria). In his welcome address, he reiterated the importance of African states coming together in a forum that would afford them an opportunity to discuss the challenges experienced in Peace Support Operations and the techniques used to mitigate these challenges. While urging the forum to come up with solution models based on peculiarities inherent in Africa, he also applauded the AU for taking the great initiative and thanked all supporting partners for their contributions.
Ambassador Bankole Adeoye espoused the significance of the forum stating the need for the African continent to come together to work as partners to ensure peace, security, and development in the continent. He stated that “Peace is achievable if all stakeholders put in the necessary work to eradicate evil and propagate peace”.
Also speaking at the event, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, expressed concern over the rising insecurity in the West African States. He however expressed hope for a more “collaborative approach by all countries to tackle the menace of insecurity across the ECOWAS region”.
This event was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), The African Union, the African Standy Force and the GIZ EPSAO Program, with the financial support of the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).