ECOSOCC Holds Symposium Addressing the Intersection of Peace, Climate Security, and Migration


The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), held a symposium, focusing on the critical nexus of peace and security, climate security, and migration, from 14-15 March 2024.

The two-day symposium, as part of the European Union African Peace and Security Architecture IV (EU APSA IV) programme, was organised in partnership with the AU Commission's Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (AUC-PAPS), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing the continent.

Climate change increasingly acts as a catalyst for socio-political instability and migration, exacerbating vulnerabilities in communities and threatening peace and security. The urgency of these challenges is underscored by alarming statistics, with 3.6 billion people globally highly vulnerable to climate change and projections indicating up to 132 million more could fall into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate change impacts.

The symposium forged a cohesive strategy among African Union member states, civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, think tanks, and other key stakeholders to address the complex dynamics at play. It specifically developed policy recommendations to support the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) in preventing and managing conflicts exacerbated by climate change and migration, and to advance durable solutions to climate-induced displacement, integrating conflict sensitivity, peacebuilding, and gender considerations.

The symposium opened with remarks from Mr. Khalid Boudali, Presiding Officer of ECOSOCC, who highlighted the urgency of addressing the intertwined challenges of governance, climate-induced security threats, and their impact on peace and migration.

"The nexus between peace, security, and governance is pivotal, accentuating the significance of this collaborative platform. Peace and stability serve as prerequisites for combating the multifaceted challenges posed by climate-induced security challenges that amplifies conflicts and undermines security measures,” said Mr. Boudali.

Similarly, Mr. William Carew, Head of Secretariat of ECOSOCC, emphasized the urgency of addressing the challenges posed by climate change, security, and migration, stating, "Climate security in Africa is an increasingly pressing issue that poses significant challenges to the continent's sustainable development and stability. With its diverse ecosystems and vulnerable populations, Africa is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events, droughts, floods, amongst others."

Mr. Raymond Kitevu, Conflict Early Warning Expert at COMESA highlighted the role that CSOs can play in mitigating climate induced conflicts and urged CSOs to actively contribute to the discussions at hand.

The structure of the symposium included thematic sessions, roundtable discussions, and plenary sessions over two days, focusing on policy development, strategic approaches, and actionable recommendations.

An expected outcome is a comprehensive policy paper on the nexus of peace and security, climate security, and migration, enhanced cooperation and partnership among AU Member States, CSOs, and other stakeholders, and strategic and actionable recommendations for the AU, RECs, RMs, and member states.