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  • on 20.07.2010
  • at 08:00 AM
  • by Staff

AU appointed peace ambassadors for Africa 0

The commission of the African Union have announced the appointment of an Advisory Council and Peace Ambassadors to support the implementation of the 2010 Year of Peace and Security.

The Advisory Council and Peace Ambassadors were drawn from multiple sectors and multiple regions, with appointees declaring that they are ready to make peace happen.

For the Advisory Council, all African Nobel Laureates and other eminent Africans were approached. Twelve Council members have accepted the position to date, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk, Salim A. Salim, Alpha Oumar Konaré, Graça Machel, Mo Ibrahim and Prof. Wangari Maathai.

Notable African personalities in the areas of sports, culture, music and the arts were approached to be Peace Ambassadors. They include Manu Dibango, Angelique Kidjo, Paulina Chiziane, Michael Essien, Waris Dirie, Abedi Pele, Maria Mutola, Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita.

The announcement was made during the inaugural meeting of the Year of Peace and Security Advisory Council Members and Peace Ambassadors held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa last week.

The 26 will support the Commission in conflict resolution and peace building efforts on the continent by advocating for the ratification and implementation of various AU instruments and commitments. This will include the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, mobilising resources, generating popular support and awareness and implementing specific activities developed by the Commission such as encouraging businesses to sign the Make Peace Happen Industry Charter and encouraging schools to use the Make Peace Happen Lesson Plan.

They will also play a key role in the implementation of various activities leading up to and on Peace Day.

Speaking during the official opening of the meeting, AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said that it was important for Africans to take ownership and direct as well as participate in the implementation of the Year of Peace and Security programme. He commended the personalities for choosing to be part of the initiative.

“The successes and courage you have demonstrated in your own fields of endeavour will serve as inspiration to all of us, as we collectively tackle the challenge our continent faces today: The Quest for Permanent Peace and Security,” said Ping.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss the programme of work of the Advisory Council and Peace Ambassadors in the implementation of the Year of Peace and Security. The group affirmed their commitment to making peace happen in Africa in 2010 and beyond and their readiness to begin to engage various groups and institutions in the context of the Year of Peace and Security.

According to a statement, the AU Commission is implementing the Year of Peace and Security through a multistakeholder approach, in line with one of the guiding principles of the implementation of the programme, that of inclusivity and partnership.

The inaugural meeting with the Advisory Council and Peace Ambassadors is to be followed by a joint meeting with humanitarian agencies to map out areas where they will be able to work together to distribute humanitarian supplies and materials on Peace Day (21 September).

Established by a UN resolution in 1982, Peace Day provides a unified rallying point for Africa to show that peace is possible.

The AU is working towards a day when all Africans can experience peace simultaneously; the cessation of hostilities in conflict zones will allow for humanitarian relief, such as vital food, water, mosquito nets and other emergency supplies, to be provided to people living in those areas.

It will help to create an unprecedented moment of collective unity that will highlight further the objectives of the Year of Peace and Security and establish a stronger platform for a conflict-free Africa.

The AU is encouraging Africans to take up several activities on Peace Day, such as community work, football games and the utilisation of the Make Peace Happen Lesson Plan.

By- africagoodnews

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