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The 29th African Union Summit endorsed new members of the Panel of Wise

The PoW is one of the critical pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Organized as a five-person panel, the PoW constitutes highly respected African personalities from various segments of society who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of peace, security and development.

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04 August 2017

The 29th African Union (AU) Summit held on 2-4 July 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia passed numerous decisions that could potentially augment the performance of the Union. Key amongst these were the approval of the new members of Panel of the Wise (PoW) and the decision to operationalise the Pan African Network of Women Mediators.

 

The PoW is one of the critical pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Organized as a five-person panel, the PoW constitutes highly respected African personalities from various segments of society who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of peace, security and development. The panel is tasked with supporting the efforts of the AU’s Peace and Security Council and those of the Chairperson of the Commission, particularly in the area of conflict prevention.

 

With due regard to regional representation, the Summit appointed four new members to serve the PoW for the next three years. The new members will be responsible for proactively soliciting mechanisms to prevent the occurrence of conflicts within their respective regions. The new members for the respective regions are:

 

  1.     Western Africa - H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 24th and current president of Liberia and winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

 

  1. Northern Africa - Mr. Amr Moussa, Former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2001 to 2011.

 

  1. Western Africa - Mrs. Honorine Nzet Bitéghé, Gabon's Former Minister for Social Affairs and currently tasked with Gabon's efforts for gender parity.

 

  1. Southern Africa – H.E. Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, Former President of the Republic of Namibia.

 

Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, Former Deputy President of the Republic of Uganda, is the only member who retained her position in the panel and will continue to represent the Eastern Africa region till her tenure expires.


As part of the reform taking place at the AU, the Summit also decided to strengthen the preventive role of the PoW by hastening the establishment of national peace infrastructures; which mainly include setting up national early warning systems and situation rooms.


Furthermore, the Summit endorsed the Pan African Network of Women Mediators (PanWise) as a subsidiary body of the PoW. Since its establishment, PanWise has been working with the AU in conflict prevention and resolution.  Its contributions in supporting women in conflict and post-conflict settings both at high-level and grassroots levels was well-noted at the Summit.


The Summit further decided to include the outgoing members of the PoW to the Group of Friends of Panel in line with the Assembly's decision [AU/Dec (XV)] and report of the Chairperson of the Commission. 

 

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