Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas – Diplomat extraordinaire …champions AU’s agenda to ‘Silencing the Guns’

Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas – Diplomat extraordinaire …champions AU’s agenda to ‘Silencing the Guns’

● Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas

Number of Ghanaians have excelled and con­tinue to excel on the diplomatic missions and other international assignments. Some notable names would readily come to mind and that of Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas is no exception.

His portfolio has grown over the years with the most recent being his appointment as High Representative for Silencing the Guns by African Union (AU) Chairperson H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The chairperson, mak­ing the announcement, was thrilled that Dr. Chambas’ outstanding credentials and commitment to Pan-African­ism and Agenda 2063 would help him succeed in his new position.

Silencing the Guns is an initiative of the AU promulgat­ed in 2016 to ultimately end all forms of conflicts on the African Continent by the year 2020. However, due to many setbacks the initiative could not be achieved as a result the AU extended the initiative to 2030.

In order to implement the AU Master Roadmap on Practical Steps to Silence the Guns, the release states that the High Representative will prioritise promoting and en­ergising advocacy, mediation, and preventive diplomacy as directed by the Chairperson of the Commission.


Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas is a politician, attorney, diplo­mat, and scholar from Ghana.

From 2014 to 2021, he held the positions of Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWAS) and Special Rep­resentative of the UN Secre­tary-General for West Africa.

Between 2013 and 2014, Dr. Chambas served as the Joint Chief Mediator (JCM) and Joint Special Represen­tative (JSR) of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), respectively.

He held the position of Secretary General of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) from 2010 until 2013. .

Dr. Chambas presided over the 15-nation Economic Com­munity of West African States (ECOWAS) from 2006 to 2009 before taking the helm of the ACP.

Beginning in February 2002, while ECOWAS es­tablished a Secretar­iat, he again served as the organisation’s Executive Secretary.

Dr. Chambas, a former member of the Ghanaian par­liament, worked as the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister in 1987 and the deputy minis­ter of education in-charge of tertiary education from 1997 to 2000.

He played a key role in the ECOWAS mediation efforts in Liberia between 1991 and 1996 and actively took part in the negotiations that resulted in the agreements that ended the Liberian civil war.


As the Head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr

 Mohamed Ibn Chambas, urged government and stakeholders to provide more support for women leaders and groups so they could continue their “transformative works” towards ensuring peace and security on the African conti­nent and beyond.

He noted that women, over the years, had played lead­ing roles in the mitigation of conflict but their impact was still limited due to inadequate resource allocation, hence the need to scale up institutional support.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General was speaking at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra to commemorate the 20th an­niversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel.

Held under the theme: “Beyond 2020: Building Local Capacity to Advance the WPS Agenda in West Africa and the Sahel”, the symposium brought together experts from the sub-region to discuss prog­ress made as well as areas to improve upon.

Call for gender parity

Dr Chambas indicated that immense achievement had been made in the implemen­tation of the resolution for the past 20 years but there was still more to be done, especially for women in peace and security.

While acknowledging the role of African women leaders in peace processes on the con­tinent, he noted that women represented only two per cent of mediators in peace process­es. That, he emphasised was woefully inadequate hence the need for gender parity to remain the core of peace and stability discussions on the continent and beyond.

“We have to back our actions with the requisite financial and political support and give more opportunities for women and the youth to advance sustainable develop­ment and peace”.

“We need to work and invest in gender parity and women empowerment to achieve the goal of preventing conflict and ensuring peace and prosperity in the region,” he said.

However, he said the inclusion of women in peace process should not only be about “increasing the num­bers” but should as well focus on the protection of women’s rights and interest and seek­ing justice for the vulnerable

By Portia Hutton-Mills

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