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Communiqué of the 13th meeting of the panel of the wise of the African Union

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Panel of the Wise of the African Union (AU) held its 13th meeting at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, on 13 April 2013. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and Member of the Panel of the Wise. The opening ceremony was addressed by Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.

The meeting had been preceded by the Second Retreat of the Panel of the Wise and similar structures within the Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, from 11 to 12 April 2013, under the theme “Institutionalization of the Pan African Network of the Wise (PanWise): Contribution to the Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”. The Retreat was a follow-up to the Retreat which took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 4 to 5 June 2012, during which participants agreed on the need to strengthen, coordinate and harmonize their relations, reach out to local and national conflict prevention and peacemaking initiatives and actors and bring their Mechanisms under one umbrella – the Pan-African Network of the Wise.

The Addis Ababa Retreat, which, in addition to members of the Panel of the Wise and similar regional structures, brought together institutions and actors involved in mediation and conflict prevention at all levels, reviewed and adopted the Framework for the Functioning of the PanWise. The Addis Retreat also developed a “Plan of Action 2013-2014”, with concrete tracks of work and areas of collaboration.

The successful establishment of the PanWise is a significant contribution to the Golden Jubilee of the OAU celebrated this year under the theme “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”. Indeed, it emphasizes and puts into practice the ideals of the Forefathers of the OAU, Pan-Africanism, solidarity and unity of purpose.

Following its own internal deliberations in closed sessions on 12 April, the Panel agreed to submit swiftly the “Framework” to the Peace and Security Council and through it to the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments at the Summit in May 2013. A similar process will be undertaken by the regional counterparts of the Panel of the Wise at the levels of each of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

The Panel updated its programme of activities for the rest of the year 2013 based on the report of the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the current conflict situation in Africa.