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Opening statement by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, AU commissioner for Peace and Security


Opening statement by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui AU commissioner for Peace and Security


Ministers of Defence and Representatives of Member States,

Chair and Members of the Bureau of the African Chiefs of Defence Staff and Heads of Safety and Security Agencies,

Representatives of Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to welcome the Ministers of Defence and Heads of Safety and Security here present, as well as all representatives of Member States and RECs/RMs to this 11th Ordinary Meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security – the STCDSS. We recognise the importance you attach to this critical platform and its broader objectives. I therefore wish to assure you that the Commission works tirelessly to effectively implement the decisions adopted by the STCDSS for updates to subsequent meetings.


Ladies and Gentlemen

I wish to commend the hard work done by the Experts during the preparatory phase of this meeting, which in turn enabled the smooth deliberations of the Chiefs of Defence and Heads of Safety and Security during their meeting yesterday. As a result, I am confident that this 11th meeting of the STCDSS will continue with the same spirit of collaboration, and will conclude not only with a comprehensive document, but with a stronger commitment and renewed sense of urgency to address the security challenges that confront our continent.

In this regard, I wish to briefly highlight the key milestones that have been achieved since your last meeting on 9 January 2018:

First: Since the inauguration of the Continental Logistics Base – the CLB - on 5 January 2018, progress has been made in stockpiling the first batch of strategic stocks that will facilitate rapid deployment. The process to preposition the second batch of equipment in the five Regional Logistics Depot of our RECs/RMs is also underway.

Second: Advancement has been made towards the finalisation of the draft MoU between the AU and RECs/RMs, which was initiated pursuant to the declaration of your 10th meeting. By the next meeting of the STCDSS, this milestone would have been achieved in line with the direction you will provide today.

Third: Consultation with RECs/RMs are underway towards the development of the AU PSO Doctrine. These consultation are expected to conclude next week, after which the drafting and validation process will commence. The revision of the ASF concept will also be facilitated subsequently in alignment to the strategic vision and objectives of the PSO Doctrine. I therefore wish to assure you that the draft PSO Doctrine will be submitted to your next session for consideration.

Finally: and in line with the directives that you will provide, the Commission looks forward to facilitating the process for the endorsement of the draft Policy on Conduct & Discipline; and the draft Policy on Prevention and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. These policies are critical for the credibility and effective operation of our PSOs. In this respect, I wish to express the AU’s appreciation for the support and efforts of Member States in enabling us reinforce our commitment to uphold international norms and standards.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have enumerated only a few of the issues that pertain to the topics on today’s agenda. But I also wish to highlight other positive developments that have taken place in the past months.

First is the development and adoption of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of areas affected by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin. The provides a framework for commensurate action to respond to the humanitarian, security and governance issues that allowed Boko Haram the territory to undertake its nefarious action.