On September 1-2, 2010, IPI’s Africa Program in collaboration with the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union (AU) to the United Nations (UN) in New York convened a retreat of African Permanent Representatives in New York to discuss ways in which to strengthen the voice of the Africa Group at the UN. The Africa Group, made up of the fifty-three African countries is the largest regional group at the UN. This important meeting, the first since 2003, was attended by forty-eight Ambassadors of African missions and African experts of the six UN Committees.
The first session, which was open to UN officials and partners, was attended by the Permanent Representatives of the Africa Group; Ambassador Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN; H.E. Mr. Vijay Nambiar, UN Chef de Cabinet, who welcomed the retreat of the Africa Group; Cheikh Diarra, Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA); Dr. Edward C. Luck, IPI Senior Vice President for Research and Programs who drew attention to IPI’s longstanding work on Africa; and Francesco Mancini, IPI Senior Fellow and Director of Research, who shared a visual presentation on Coping with Crisis, Conflict and Change: Global Perspectives. IPI’s Africa Program major supporters, the Permanent Representatives of Germany, Finland and Netherlands also attended the opening session.
The main retreat discussions of the Africa Group were held behind closed doors.
IPI’s support of the retreat underscores its cooperation with the AU to facilitate the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture, under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the AU and IPI signed in May 2010.