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Addis Ababa, 13 November 2020: The Peace and Security Department of the African Union (AU) Commission convened, virtually, the second meeting of the AU Steering Committee on Security Sector Reform (SSR) on 5th November 2020. The key objective of the meeting was to enable exchange of ideas and experiences on SSR coordination at national and regional levels.

The meeting brought together over fifty (50) participants from the AU Commission, AU Liaison Offices, the Pan African Parliament, the Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Mechanism’s (RMs), and international partners. Observers included the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS). AU Member States implementing SSR initiatives, including the Central African Republic, The Gambia, the Republic of Guinea Bissau, the Republic of Madagascar and the Republic of Mali also participated in the meeting. The Republic of South Africa participated as co-chair of the UN Group of Friends on SSR.

The meeting was opened by a representative of the AU Commission, who thanked participants and expressed appreciation to the United Nations for the partnership and the support in organizing the Meeting.

The AU Commission presented the Draft AU Three-Year SSR Strategy 2021-2023, whose objective is to provide assistance in strengthening national and regional capacities for the effective implementation of the AU Policy Framework on SSR. The meeting welcomed the Strategy, and noted that it will contribute to enhanced coordination and synergy on SSR in the Continent.

The meeting recognized the contribution of SSR in achieving the objective of silencing the guns in the continent. It also noted that the RECs are engaged in enhancing Security Sector Governance in order to fight transnational security threats at the regional level.

The Member States’ delegates highlighted the challenges related to the very limited human and financial resources for the effective implementation of SSR activities, and called for improved coordination among stakeholders, which will enhance national ownership, as well as sustainability of SSR processes. The need to streamline national interest with international partners’ objectives was strongly recommended.

Participants encouraged the Commission to accelerate finalization of the draft AU SSR strategy and submit to the AU organs as next step.

Posted by SitroomCom

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