CAIRO: Egypt has assumed the monthly presidency of the African Peace and Security Council as of Nov. 1, said the country’s ambassador to Ethiopia and its permanent representative to the African Union.
Mohamed Gad added that this is the second time that Egypt assumes the presidency of the council, which is responsible for implementing AU decisions and is somewhat similar to the UN Security Council.
Its 15 member states are elected by the AU Assembly to reflect regional balances and other criteria, including the ability and political will to contribute militarily and financially to the union.
Gad said the Egyptian presidency of the council aims to enhance its role in high-priority peace and security issues in Africa.
He added that the Egyptian presidency comes at a time of increasing security challenges facing the continent, foremost of which are terrorism, extremism, organized crime, ethnic tensions, internal political crises, climate change and natural disasters.
He said the Egyptian presidency will hold a ministerial session on combating terrorism by dismantling extremist discourse and ideologies.
The session will witness the exchange of experiences and best practices between countries, especially in light of the growing terrorist threat in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Central Africa.
Gad said there will also be a session on protecting medical facilities and staff during armed conflict, and a session to study the consequences of climate change on peace and security in Africa.
“This is in the context of preparing for Egypt’s expected hosting of the UN Conference on Climate Change in 2022,” he added.
Egyptian diplomacy in African multilateral forums pays special attention to addressing the root causes of conflicts, preventing their recurrence via peace-building and stabilization activities, ensuring full respect for international humanitarian law and improving humanitarian access, he said.
Developments in Sudan and Somalia will be monitored by the council in order to formulate an appropriate response to them, Gad said, adding that they are sister countries of particular importance to Egypt and its national security, and have wide repercussions in terms of regional and continental security and stability.
He said the council, under its Egyptian presidency, intends to conduct a field visit to Somalia in order to review developments on the ground and provide necessary support in confronting the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
Gad added that he is expected to hold consultations with the AU Commission, the UNSC presidency and the UN Peacebuilding Commission.