H.E. Amb. Bankole ADEOYE, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Secretariat of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) at the Parliament’s Headquarters in Midrand, as part of his working visit in the Republic of South Africa.
The courtesy visit marked the Commissioner’s first official encounter with the PAP since his election in February 2021. Speaking to management, Commissioner Bankole outlined plans to work with the PAP to revitalise good governance, democracy, peace, stability, security, and human rights across Africa. H.E. Amb. Adeoye also sought to reaffirm the strategic importance of the PAP within the AU architecture, and its role as a parliament in the mainstreaming of political governance.
“As the relevant AU structures work to resolve the impasse that has left the PAP without political leadership since May 2021, the main purpose of my visit is to galvanise the team and convey our readiness to work with the PAP, given the intertwinement of our mandates. There are numerous issues on which the collaboration between our two institutions is critical,” said H.E. Amb. Adeoye.
He added: “Indeed, the power of a continental parliament is necessary as we tackle the unconstitutional change of governments, peace and security, election governance and the inclusion of women and the youth in the affairs of the AU. This is precisely why the PAP was set up. We, therefore, need to find the best formula to enhance our synergies in these areas, especially given the current advisory role of the PAP as we wait for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol. Our ongoing collaboration on the African Union Election Observation Missions (AUEOM) is an example of how we can successfully work together,” said H.E. Amb. Adeoye.
In line with an Executive Council decision taken in February 2010, the PAP and the African Union Commission, through the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, participate in joint AUEOM. The decision provides for the PAP to contribute 40% of observers, as well as cooperation between staff from both organs in the organisation of the missions.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr, Gali Massa HAROU, Acting Clerk of the PAP described the courtesy visit by the AU Commissioner and his delegation as a morale boost for the Secretariat of the legislative organ of the AU. He expressed appreciation for the Commissioner’s message of solidarity and vote of confidence in the PAP.
“We look forward to a revigorated relationship with the Department for Political Affairs, Peace and Security once the Bureau and other leadership structures of our Parliament are in place. Today’s visit by the Commissioner is a positive sign for the PAP as we navigate through the current political challenges. We are grateful to H.E. Amb. Adeoye for his words of encouragement and we are confident that our collaboration with his Department on issues of common interest will grow stronger,” said Mr. Harou.
During the Eleventh Extraordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 17-18 November 2018, the AU Assembly rationalised and established six (6) portfolios, among which Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) was created as a merger of two separate departments namely (i) Political Affairs and (ii) Peace and Security. The new department focuses on one of the four key priorities of the African Union, in particular, (i) political affairs, (ii) peace and security, (iii) economic integration and (iv) Africa's global representation and voice.