The spokesman for the African Union (AU) said Africa’s heads of state and government have pledged to continue finding solutions to resolve continental conflicts in observance of the U.N. International Day of Peace Tuesday.
El-Ghassim Wane told VOA the continental body will evaluate the celebration of peace and security in Africa this year, and the next step forward.
“We believe that it is an opportunity for us to take stock of what we have achieved, to look at our own shortcomings, to chart the way forward, and to see how best we could speed up the efforts being made to address peace and security issues on the continent.”
The African Union declared 2010 to be a year of Peace and Security during its special session on the Consideration and Resolution of Conflicts in Africa on 31st August, 2009 in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, was quoted as saying the International Day of Peace presents African heads of state and government the opportunity to renew their Tripoli pledge and show their commitment to peace.
“While peace cannot be achieved in a day, (it) affords Africans the opportunity to celebrate notable successes in the realm of peace-building and to put peace in practice through a collective, cooperative moment of unity.”
Critics say the continental body has not been overly successful with resolving conflicts plaguing the African continent. Wane said the A.U. continues to make strides in addressing security challenges in Africa.
“Regarding, specifically, the year of peace and security, I believe it has been a good opportunity for us to deepen our relationship with civil society, and finally, and most importantly, to sensitize the ordinary Africans about the challenges of peace and the need for everyone to get involved in the quest for peace.”
He also said that the A.U.’s work is largely informed by the commitment of “member states to further democracy, good governance, to ensure conflict prevention and to consolidate peace where it has been achieved.”
In 1982, the U.N declared each 21st September as a Day of Peace. It is seen as a global call for ceasefire and non-violence.