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The functions and powers of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union



PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL
Composition
The Peace and Security Council is one of the main organs of the African Union. It comprises fifteen members elected by the Assembly. All the members are accorded equal rights. To ensure continuity, ten of the fifteen members are elected for a term of two years, and five are elected for a term of three years. 
In electing the Members of the Council, the Assembly is to apply the principle of equitable regional representation and rotation.

Further Requirements of membership 
1. Commitment to uphold the principles of the Union.
2. Contribution to the promotion and maintenance of peace in Africa
3. Capacity and commitment to shoulder the responsibilities of membership.

Chairmanship
The chairman of the Peace and Security Council is usually proposed by the Chairperson of the Commission and member states.

Quorum
To form a quorum at meetings, two-thirds of the total membership of the Council must be present. The decisions of the Council are guided by the principle of consensus. In the absence of a consensus, the Council is allowed to adopt its decisions on procedural matters by a simple majority. Decisions on all other matters are made by a two-thirds majority vote of its members voting.

Objectives of the Peace and Security Council
Promote Peace in Africa
One objective of the Peace and Security Council is to promote peace, security and stability in Africa, so as to guarantee the protection and preservation of life and property, the well-being of the African people and their environment, and the creation of conditions conducive to sustainable development.

Anticipate and prevent conflicts
Where a conflict occurs, the Peace and Security Council’s objective shall be to make peace and build peace.

Post-conflict Reconstruction
Another objective is to promote and implement peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction activities to consolidate peace and prevent the resurgence of violence.

Co-ordination and Harmonization
The Council is tasked to co-ordinate and harmonize continental efforts to prevent and combat international terrorism in all its forms.

Common Defense
The Council is also tasked to develop a common defense policy for the Union, in accordance with article 4(d) of the Constitutive Act.
Democratic Practices
The Council is also to promote and encourage democratic practices, good governance and the rule of law. It also must protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the sanctity of human life and international humanitarian law, as part of efforts for preventing conflicts.

FUNCTIONS & POWERS OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL
Promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa
It is the function of the Security Council to do the under-listed
a. Undertake peace-making and peace-building functions to resolve conflicts where they have occurred
b. Institute sanctions whenever an unconstitutional change of government takes place in a member state.

Presents regular reports to the Assembly
The Council is to submit regular reports to the Assembly on its activities and the state of peace and security in Africa, and decide on any other issue which has implications for the maintenance of peace, security and stability on the continent.

Humanitarian action and disaster management
The council is tasked to support and facilitate humanitarian activities in times of armed conflicts or major natural disasters.

Promotion of good governance or democratic values
The Peace and Security Council is also tasked to ensure the promotion of democratic practices, good governance, the rule of law, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the sanctity of human life and international humanitarian law among Member States of the Union.

Liaison with the United Nations
The Security Council is to liaise with the UN and other international organizations to attain Peace and security on the continent.

Peace-building and post-conflict resolution
The Council is to promote and encourage the implementation of AU, UN and other relevant international conventions and Treaties on arms control and disarmament.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Describe the composition of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
    b. Highlight five functions of the Security Council of the African union.

2. a. What are the objectives of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union? 
    b. Highlight five functions of  the African Union.

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