Namibia to focus on security, youth and climate change

PSC Report asked HE Emilia Ndinealo Mkusa, Namibia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) what her country’s priorities are for November?

We are proud to continue our efforts to promote peace, security and stability on the continent. We do so by addressing situations in countries and regions such as Sudan, Mozambique, Chad, the Sahel and South Sudan, and by advancing pertinent thematic issues. As a child of international solidarity, Namibia is mindful of the importance of collective action for peace, security and, ultimately, development. This will inspire our focus for the month as we work closely with other PSC members.

Also, November is African Youth Month. We will, thus, continue – as will the rest of the world – to champion the cause for youths as agents of change and role-players in the peace and security agenda. We will consider African youth ambassador programmes and highlight AU member states’ progress in domesticating the AU Continental Framework for Youth, Peace and Security, particularly through the development of national action plans.

Namibia is mindful of the importance of collective action for peace, security and development

Namibia further seeks to promote solidarity and support countries in political transition and post-conflict to prevent relapses. We will receive a briefing on the AU Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) activities undertaken during the year, lessons learnt and best practices. This briefing will coincide with the AU’s annual PCRD awareness week from 21 to 25 November 2022.

What is the AU’s role in continental climate security, and will Africa reach a common position before the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled (COP27) between 6 and 18 November?

The African continent contributes the least to the climate change crisis, but is among the most vulnerable to its droughts, floods and cyclones. The AU, thus, has taken a proactive and an inclusive approach to climate change. Important is the development of the AU Climate Change and Resilience Development Strategy and Action Plan (2022 to 2032) and the Green Recovery Action Plan to coordinate and support the continent’s response.

Namibia seeks to support countries in political transition and post-conflict to prevent relapses

Also, climate change and security are standing items on the PSC discussion agenda. A preparatory meeting will, therefore, be an important platform to present the key messages on the nexus between peace and security, and climate change, in preparation for COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The outcomes are expected to inform the common African position to be presented at COP27 and beyond.

What does the PSC hope to achieve through the 9 November ministerial meeting on the situation in Mozambique and operations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM)?

Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, is expected to chair this meeting. The PSC looks forward to an update on progress achieved against SAMIM’s mandate, its constraints, possible assistance needed and other key issues. It should also be updated on the Cabo Delgado Reconstruction Plan. Further, it is expected to endorse the communique of the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government, which extended SAMIM’s mandate.

What major decisions are expected from the updates on Sudan, South Sudan and the deployment of 3 000 troops to the Sahel region?

The session on Sudan will focus on the protracted post-coup crisis in the country, which remains unresolved. Despite efforts by the trilateral mechanism of the AU, UN and Intergovernmental Authority on Development to enable negotiations between the military and civilian leadership, concrete agreement remains elusive. The meeting is expected to take stock of developments that have characterised the situation in Sudan since the PSC’s previous session.

The extension of South Sudan’s transition was agreed to in light of outstanding issues in implementing the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. These include the completion of the permanent constitution-making process. The session will reflect on this and other developments in the implementation of the peace agreement. The transition was extended from 23 February 2023 to 22 February 2025.

Africa is among the most vulnerable to droughts, floods and cyclones caused by climate change

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government approved the deployment of 3 000 troops in the Sahel. However, that has not materialised. The session will deliberate on this outstanding issue and provide a way forward. 

What is the objective of the meeting between the PSC and the AU Commission on international law?

The parties will explore the theme, ‘Peace and security in cyberspace: The African contribution to developing rules on international law governing cyberspace’. The session will be an opportunity to articulate a common African position on the application of international law and rules to address peace and security threats emanating from activities in cyberspace.

What is the aim of the retreat between the PSC and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) that will take place in Durban, South Africa?

This second joint retreat will focus on strengthening the nexus between governance, and peace and security on the continent. It will do this by enhancing PSC and APRM cooperation on early warning for conflict prevention in harmony and synergy with the African peace and security, and governance architectures.

It will also provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share experiences and best practices on this important theme. Notably, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa will present their peer review reports on early warning for conflict prevention to enhance strategies and efforts to address the root causes of continental conflicts.

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