African Union Panel of the Wise meets Geingob

05 Mar 2018 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 MAR (NAMPA) – Members and friends of the African Union Panel of the Wise (AUPW) paid a courtesy call in President Hage Geingob at State House on Monday.
The delegation was led by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba in his capacity as AUPW chairperson.
Geingob told the AUPW the core work they are dealing with, which is African peace and security, is very important.
“If there is no peace in our countries, we cannot think of development. We don’t have a choice but to support your work,” he said.
The Head of State also said diplomacy fails when people go to war, therefore preventive diplomacy is very key.
He emphasised that sometimes, governments start their own problems by oppressing their own people, then later blame the African Union (AU) or the United Nations for not solving the problem.
“It is us who should stop either killing one another, jailing one another, because inclusivity in governance spells harmony and exclusivity spells conflict,” Geingob told the AUPW, outlining that this is the diplomacy the panel must bring for Africa’s transformation.
Former Vice President of Uganda Specioza Kazibwe, in her capacity as deputy chairperson of the AUPW, emphasised that they have agreed to work in line with the mechanisms that have been put in place by AU heads of state to coordinate activities in the continent.
“We believe the preventive and peace building arm of the AU, together with the country mechanisms, is ready to take off.”
Kazibwe stressed that the AUPW needs support and action from African states, “because it is a collaborative approach, which is to put together all the capacity we have in Africa so we do not say we don’t have the money, we don’t have the human resources, [or] we don’t have the mechanisms in place”.
The AUPW is a consultative body of the African Union composed of five appointed members chosen for the North, East, South, West, and Central regions of the continent.
It is the AU’s most high-profile structure for preventing conflict, conducting on-the-ground fact-finding, presenting policy options and brokering agreements, and provides opinions to the union’s Peace and Security Council on issues relevant to conflict prevention, management and resolution.
The panel has been in existence for 10 years and changes its members every three years.
Each member is accorded a second term and after that, the member becomes a friend of the panel.