-For the first time
For the first time, Liberia has been given the opportunity to chair the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, which will run for October 2019, a release has said.
Ambassador Robert Y. Lormia, II, is the first Liberian ever to be elected to chair the African Union Peace and Security Council that is ongoing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to the release, at the opening session on October 10, Amb. Lormia expressed delight that Liberia has finally assumed the chairmanship of the Peace and Security Council.
He assured the Council that Liberia will do everything within its power to ensure that this lofty objective of the Union to secure a continent that enjoys lasting peace is achieved.
Amb. Lormia continued, “It is only through secured Peace and Security that the continent will sustain growth in economic, infrastructural and human capital development.”
He paid tribute to the memory of Edward Wilmot Blyden, a Liberian whose vision for Pan-Africanism, Lormia said, laid the basis for the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).
He also honored the memory of Presidents William V. S. Tubman of Liberia, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea and Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who laid the cornerstone of the OAU, at their historic summit in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, Liberia.
Amb. Lormia assured members of the Council that Liberia will bring its experiences in peacekeeping and security sector reform gained during its dark period to bear on the work of the Council.
According to him, Liberia has a long history of contributing to peacekeeping operations on the continent as it was among the first countries on the continent to commit troops to the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Amb. Lormia said under his chairmanship, Liberia will be co-chairing the 13th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting between the African Union Peace and Security Council as well as the United Nations Security Council in Addis Ababa.
Amb. Lormia’s tenure will also oversee the preparation of a joint field mission of the AU Peace and Security Council and EU Peace and Security Council to the Sahel Region, according to the release.
“Joint Missions of this nature is a clear indication that peace and security issue is a collective concern that needs the collective actions of all stakeholders,” Amb. Lormia said.
He said the Council will consider matters of enhanced collaboration with other international bodies such as the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) and the EU Peace and Security Council, to forge sustainable partnerships and address peace and security issues on the continent.
“As chairman of the Peace and Security Council, we know that this new link with other member states will bring us new knowledge and new ideas in developing a Comprehensive Peace and Security plan for our continent to the extent that we will address the challenges associated with attaining peace and stability,” Amb. Lormia said.
He said that the Kingdom of Morocco, as Chair of September, thanked the Council for the warmth, cooperation and openness as demonstrated by a profound fraternal African solidarity.
Liberia joined the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) in 2018 for a two-year term. The Peace and Security Council is a standing organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. It works in support of peace building and post conflict reconstruction, humanitarian and disaster management.
Alongside this mandate, the AUPSC is a collective security and early warning arrangement to respond to crisis situations.
The Council is comprised of 15 member states representing various regions on the continent, including Liberia, which is among four countries that represent the Western region. The Council meets in closed sessions, open meetings and informal consultations to deliberate and facilitate timely and efficient responses to conflict situations.