The 3rd Programme Steering Committee meeting of the CPMR-ESA took place on 26th and 27th October 2009 at the Chaminuka Lodge in Lusaka.
The two-day meeting was attended by the representatives of COMESA, EAC and IGAD. Others included officials from the African Union Commussion (AUC), European Commission Delegations of Ethiopia and Zambia, the Inter Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC) and the regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA).
After adopting the circulated agenda, the meeting got down to business. The PSC went through its Memorandum of Understanding thoroughly and made several corrections and amendments. The members also decided to split the document into two, i.e. the MoU and the rules of procedures.
It was further proposed that the CEOs of COMESA, EAC and IGAD would append their signatures to the document during the next IRCC or CEOs meeting whichever comes first.
Thereafter, Dr Atnafu Tola highlighted some of the key progress made in the CPMR Component of the Programme and also shared some of the major challenges experienced. He further outlined the progress on the development of the IGAD Peace and Security Strategy.
The participants praised the work done so far, especially on the strategy development describing it as an all encompassing, ambitious and crosscutting programme touching every aspect of life. They however, made several suggestions for consideration.
Building on the expressed interest of partners to support the strategic plan and its activities in the Horn of Africa, it was suggested that deliberate efforts should be made to involve and engage other non traditional partners in raising funds.
Furthermore, IGAD member states were urged to commit themselves to the implementation of the strategic plan and assume a leading role of ensuring the sustainability and ownership of its programmes. In addition, the meeting recommended that linkages between the strategy with CPMR and other regional as well as continental and international peace and security initiatives should be drawn and synergies built.
Mr Leonard Onyonyi of EAC and Ms Elizabeth Mutungi of COMESA presented progress reports on the SALW and War Economy Components of the Programme respectively. Two representatives from the AUC also made a presentation linking CPMR-ESA with AU Peace and Security Architecture.
They pointed out that the AU Peace and Security Council Protocol recognizes the integral part played by Regional Mechanisms in the field of peace, security and stability in Africa, hence the need to have their activities harmonized to ensure consistency with those of the AU. The CPMR is linked to APSA in so far as it is a Programme for conflict prevention, management and resolution in the IGAD, EAC and COMESA.
The IGAD Peace and Security Strategy, the COMESA War Economy Program and the EAC SALW Program not only address conflict prevention, management, resolution but also stabilization, and this is a key link to APSA that is essentially designed to promote peace, security and stability in Africa.
On the adoption of CPMR Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System, the meeting stated that there is need for capacity building to ensure efficient utilization of the system. It was also suggested that the consultant could benefit from the Conflict Sensitive Approaches (CSA) being used by many regional and international organisations involved in humanitarian assistance, development and peace building.
Furthermore, reference to the original project documents is paramount in order to capture the rationale, justification as well as the baseline data for M&E purposes.
As a way forward, the RECs were urged to carefully review the report from the consultant and send their comments to IGAD CPMR not later than 13th November 2009. These will then be collated and forwarded to the consultant to finalize the report.
With regards to the Mid Term Review of CPMR-ESA Programme, the three project coordinators were instructed to immediately develop TORs for the MTR to start in January 2010. The TORs should therefore be finalized by 4th December 2009.
The official from RECSA also made a presentation of its mandate and activities to the PSC. The participants thanked him as they now understand the relevant of RECSA and its relationship with the CPMR programme.
The next PSC meeting will be hosted by IGAD Secretariat.