THE Economic, Social and Cultural Council (Ecosocc) is organizing a high-level multi-stakeholder dialogue on the engagement of civil society organizations with the African Union (AU) on the European Union (EU) program of support to African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
The meeting is attended by members of the AU Committee of Permanent Representatives (PRC), members of Ecosocc, staff of the African Union Commission and staff of Comesa.
The overall objective of the meeting is to facilitate a multi-level high-level dialogue with AU Member States, CSOs and peace and security experts, in order to enhance civil society contributions to conflict prevention, crisis management and reconstruction and post-conflict reconstruction. development.
In particular, the meeting will increase the knowledge of CSOs on the mechanisms put in place to enhance their engagement with the AU, as well as their participation in AU programs related to conflict prevention, management and resolution. , democracy, governance, constitutionalism, rule of law, human rights and transitional justice.
The meeting is further expected to bridge the gap between the AU and CSOs; and build on the expertise and capacities of CSOs in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Opening the meeting, Dr. Dharmraj Busgeeth, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Mauritius to Ethiopia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, commended Ecosocc for convening the meeting and assured Ecosocc of PRC’s support of the AU and in particular of Mauritius in the deployment of its initiatives and programs.
The President of Ecosocc, Mr. Denise Kodhe, in a keynote address, called on delegates to support the Organ in carrying out its mandate by building the capacity of CSOs to engage with the African Union.
He further urged African CSOs to support and advise African leaders on issues affecting the continent.
The Head of the Ecosocc Secretariat, Mr. William Carew, commended African CSOs for positioning themselves as key actors and partners in mitigating violence and facilitating the conditions needed to build lasting peace. in Africa.
“This is why Ecosocc has always been committed to fully implementing the Livingstone formula and Maseru conclusions, especially in light of the EU-APSA IV project, because in addition to updating Agenda 2063 , the successful implementation of this project will also serve to position Ecosocc as a viable and reliable actor at all stages of conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa,” he said.
Mr. Carew gave an overview of the work that Ecosocc has undertaken, including the production of policy-related materials, such as policy briefs and policy brochures; civil society toolkits and manuals to build the capacity of African CSOs to function effectively as development partners of the African Union.
So far, Ecosocc has produced more than 25 policy-related outputs such as policy manuals and toolkits on: monitoring Agenda 2063 at national, regional and continental levels and strategic planning for organizations civil society; Conducting advocacy within African civil society and raising funds for civil society organizations
Others include the development of a new strategic plan for Ecosocc and research and policy studies on: “Assessing the impact of Covid-19 response measures on women and girls in Africa ; Research study on “Civil Society and the AFCFTA: Consolidating African Integration in the New Single Market; Research Study on “Civil Society as Partners in Emergency Response – The Case of Covid-19”: Research Study on Government-Civil Society Relations in Africa: Building a More Constructive and Fatefully Partnership misinformed: Examining the role of social media misinformation on Covid -19 and lessons for future emergencies.
In addition, Ecosocc is currently finalizing the development of the legal and operational frameworks in line with the relevant decisions of the AU Executive Council relating to the establishment of national sections of Ecosocc, the establishment of a mechanism for accreditation for African CSOs and the modalities of engagement of the African Diaspora in the operationalization of Ecosocc.
Mr. Raymond Kitevu, Conflict Early Warning Expert – Governance, Peace and Security, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) reiterated Comesa’s commitment to peace and security initiatives and highlighted the importance of the meeting in bridging the gap with CSOs and strengthening engagement with them.
Ecosocc, as the civil society organ of the AU, has been instrumental in expanding the CSO space in various thematic areas, particularly in the area of peace, security, governance and human rights.
As part of the mandate of the Organ, Ecosocc has established a platform for CSOs to engage in efforts to promote peace, security, stability, good governance and the protection of human rights. man in Africa. Article 8, sub-articles 10, 11 and 20 of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) Protocol, as well as Livingstone’s formula and Maseru’s conclusions – all of which are important elements of Aspiration 4 of the AU’s Agenda 2063, which envisions a peaceful, fully functional and operational African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) — to guide Ecosocc’s initiative to build the capacity of CSOs in these areas. — AU