Experts call for functional national infrastructures for peace in Africa

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Government officials, non-state actors, including regional, international and civil society organizations rose from their meeting in Accra, Ghana, calling for the establishment in Africa of functional national infrastructures for peace with institutional and financial autonomy through the creation of National Peace Funds as one of its components.

“The primary responsibility for establishing, developing and sustaining national peace infrastructures belong to stakeholders in Member States, especially governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and the media,” declared the two-day consultation which was attended by Government ministers and officials of ECOWAS Member States, the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) as well as representatives of research institutions and the media.  

In their 10-point declaration, participants in the meeting, co-organized by the UNDP, AUC and ECOWAS in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, recommended that national peace infrastructures be established within three years in Member States where they do not already exist and existing ones revitalized with national plans of action to be developed to seek to transform structural dynamics.

"This should be based on conflict risk assessments, and taking advantage of existing capacities and opportunities available within civil society, government, security services, the private sector, with annual progress reporting conducted and submitted to national Parliaments, ECOWAS and the African Union Commissions," they recommended.

The national peace infrastructures should be underpinned by the principles of “national ownership and leadership, sustainability, inclusiveness, gender sensitivity, institutional and financial autonomy through the establishment of National Peace Funds, harmonization, complementarity, subsidiarity, coordination, and legality,” the meeting declared.

Stakeholders in Member States “shall reinvigorate and integrate indigenous and other alternative dispute resolution methodologies into local and national efforts,” the declaration added.

It urged the ECOWAS Commission to facilitate the establishment, development and synergy building of national peace and security infrastructures in close cooperation with the African Union, the UNDP and other development partners, through the creation of space, mobilization of resources, capacity enhancement, technical cooperation and experience sharing.

Stakeholders shall facilitate the self-empowerment of civil society, particularly women, youth, religious and community groups, and the media in the crafting and implementation of peace agreements, as well as in post-conflict peace building, affirmed the declaration.

Furthermore, it recommended that peace infrastructure within the region and the continent should be encouraged to meet regularly for experience sharing, peer learning, and support, with technical support from relevant partners, while stakeholders shall work to ensure the establishment of linkages and synergies between the national processes and the regional and continental peace and security infrastructures.

To this end, stakeholders are to ensure the holding of a Technical meeting on or before 30 November 2013 in Nigeria, and annual meetings convened together with the African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to strengthen joint planning, coordination, experience sharing, lessons learnt, and reporting, to the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU.

The Accra meeting, held under the theme: “Building National Peace Infrastructures: Strengthening National, Regional and Continental Coordination in Conflict Prevention,” was a follow up to the June 2013 consultation in Addis Ababa by the UNDP, AU and RECs on the enhancement of RECs capacities for conflict prevention and mediation.
-0- PANA VAO 11Sept2013

11 september 2013 14:43:15




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