Participants at a two-day stakeholders’ meeting in Accra, Ghana, want African countries to establish functional national infrastructures for peace and also make them financially autonomous
PARTICIPANTS at a two-day stakeholders meeting in Accra, Ghana, last week, have issued a 10-point declaration calling on African countries to establish national infrastructures for peace. They also want a National Peace Fund to be established to ensure that the institutions for peace have financial autonomy. The national peace infrastructure 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 Fund, harmonisation, complementarity, subsidiarity, coordination, and legality,” the meeting declared.
The participants made up of government officials, non-state actors, including regional, international and civil society organisations ended the meeting stating that “The primary responsibility for establishing, developing and sustaining national peace infrastructures belong to the stakeholders in member states, especially governments, civil society organisations, the private sector and the media”. The consultation meeting was also 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.
The meeting, which was co-organised by the UNDP, AUC and ECOWAS in collaboration with the government of Ghana, recommended that national peace infrastructure be established within three years in member states where they do not already exist and existing ones revitalised with national plans of action to be developed that 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.
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, mobilisation or 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. It also 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 technical meeting on or before November 30, 2013, in Nigeria, and annual meetings convened together with the African union and Regional Economic Communities, RECs, to strengthen joint planning, coordination, experience sharing, lesson 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 the conflict prevention and mediation.
It was opened by John Dramani, President of Ghana, represented by Hannah Tetteh, foreign and regional integration minister while Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, justice minister and attorney general, presided at the closing ceremony. ECOWAS delegation to the consultation meeting was led by Salamatu Hussani Suleiman, commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, who represented Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the commission’s president.
— Sep. 23, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT