Peace and Security Council

At the first ordinary session of the Assembly, a protocol was adopted establishing the Peace and Security Council (the “Council”; entered into force on 26 December 2003) to oversee the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the continent. It consists of 15 members, based on equal regional representation with national rotation, who are elected by the Executive Council and endorsed by the Assembly.  These members meet in continuous session and operate out of the Headquarters of the African Union.

The Peace and Security Council is considered the main pillar of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Key institutions that support the work of the Council and function as part of the APSA include:

  • AU Commission
  • Panel of the Wise
  • Friends of the Panel of the Wise
  • Pan-African Network of the Wise
  • Peace Fund
  • Continental Early Warning System
  • African Standby Force
  • African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises
  • Military Staff Committee
  • Committee of Experts

The Peace and Security Council is responsible for (Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, Article 3):

  • Promoting peace, security and stability in Africa, in order to guarantee the protection and preservation of life and property, the well-being of the African people and their environment, as well as the creation of conditions conducive to sustainable development
  • Anticipating and prevent conflicts. In circumstances where conflicts have occurred, the Peace and Security Council shall have the responsibility to undertake peacemaking and peacebuilding functions for the resolution of these conflicts
  • Promoting and implement peace building and post-conflict reconstruction activities to consolidate peace and prevent the resurgence of violence
  • Coordinating and harmonising continental efforts in the prevention and combating of international terrorism in all its aspects
  • Developing a common defense policy for the Union, in accordance with article 4(d) of the Constitutive Act
  • Promoting and encouraging democratic practices, good governance and the rule of law, protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the sanctity of human life and international humanitarian law, as part of efforts for preventing conflicts

How does it help tackle violence against women?

In order to fulfill its responsibilities, the Council and its supporting bodies have undertaken work to ensure gender is mainstreamed throughout the APSA framework.  This includes progress towards the implementation of the global women, peace and security agenda and the development of regional and national action plans.

Supported by UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, other action includes:

iconLockWant more? Read through the APSA Architecture Roadmap 2016 -2020 and the AUC’s Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa’.