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The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooper, Mr Alvin Botes, has concluded his Working Visit to Algeria, where he participated in the Ninth High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa.

The purpose of the high-level seminar was to enhance coordination, cooperation and coherence between the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the African Union member States serving in the UN Security Council, known as the A3.

The High-Level Seminar focused on thematic issues related to:

disarmament and control of illicit small arms and light weapons,
addressing the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa,
impositions and application of sanctions by the international organisations and partners on the AU Member States, and
strengthening Africa’s voice within the UN Security Council.

The High-Level Seminar made a number of recommendations focussing on, among other things, addressing governance challenges and consolidating effective state authority.

The seminar also said states should positively respond to the legitimate grievances of their populations and that national, regional and continental early warning mechanism must be enhanced.

On responses to the emerging threats to peace and security, the High-Level Seminar recommended:

the adoption of integrated, multidimensional and development-oriented holistic approaches,
addressing structural root causes and factors that facilitate terrorism and violent extremism,
regulating new digital technologies that facilitate terrorism, thereby cutting the financial lifeline for terrorist and extremist organisations including by effectively regulating the cyberspace and
the establishment of a counterterrorism unit within the African Standby Force as well as the Ministerial Committee on Terrorism.

On the imposition and application of sanctions by international organisations and partners on the AU member states, the High-Level Seminar said, among other things, that sanctions should be measured proportionately and must be strictly targeted at the perpetrators of violence and instability.

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Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.