"The African Union(AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) was operationalised in March 2004 and celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2009. The Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC Protocol) assigned a mandate that since its inception the PSC has sought to implement in letter and spirit. The PSC is the sole organ within the AU that is responsible for decision making on all issues relating to the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa. By December 2009, the PSC had convened more than 200 meetings and had authorised preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and post-conflict reconstruction efforts in a number of countries on the continent, including Somalia, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Burundi. The PSC also deployed efforts towards the resolution of issues of unconstitutional change of government, in addition to reflecting deeply on how to prevent the recurrence of this phenomenon. This monograph provides an appraisal of the first five years of the functioning of the PSC, following its operationalisation. It is an appropriate time to assess the extent to which the PSC has upheld its mandate, as well as address the challenges that it has faced in fulfilling its functions."