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Peace and Security

In the News: 2010 - A Year of Peace and Hope in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - “2010 will be a year of many challenges. While in the past few years, the number of violent conflicts has been significantly reduced, thanks to the collective determination and efforts of Africa, far too many African countries remain trapped in a vicious cycle of conflict with its attendant deadly consequences. Armed conflicts in Africa kill thousands of people every year, create humanitarian disasters, wipe out livelihoods of ordinary people, and make sustainable economic development impossible. There is also a more profound loss: the destruction of hope for a better future.”

It is with these words that Mr. Lamamra Ramtane, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security started the official launch of “2010, Year of Peace and Security in Africa” to the African Heads of State and Government gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the 14th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly, which is running from 31st January to 2nd February 2010.

During the ceremony, a flame of peace was symbolically handed over to the newly elected Chairperson of the AU, Mr. Bingu Wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi by Mr Akere Muna, Presiding Officer of the ECOSOCC. Mr. Muna urged the Assembly “to leave no stone unturned to Make Peace Happen! African people cannot expect less from you”.

During the Year of Peace and Security in Africa, in each of the 53 Member states of the AU, a Flame of Peace will travel around the country in order to promote the initiative and to involve all African citizens. Mr. Bingu Wa Mutharika, in his statement of acceptance of the flame on behalf on the Assembly pledged to give greater visibility to ongoing and past efforts by the AU and to speed up the implementation of “commitments made by our countries to various AU instruments relating to peace and security”. He also undertook to link the efforts to promote peace and security with the efforts being undertaken on the ground by ordinary communities and to mobilize resources to support peace and security efforts on the continent.

In the Tripoli Declaration on the Elimination of Conflicts in Africa and the Promotion of Sustainable Peace adopted by the Special Session of the Assembly of the Union, held on 31 August 2009, the Assembly decided to proclaim 2010 as the Year of Peace and Security in Africa.

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