On 31 August 2009, the Heads of State and Government of Africa, meeting in Tripoli, Libya on the occasion of the Special Session on the Consideration and Resolution of Conflicts in Africa, declared 2010 to be the Year of Peace and Security on the continent, proclaiming in paragraph 9 of the Tripoli Declaration:
“We are determined to deal once and for all with the scourge of conflicts and violence on our continent, acknowledging our shortcomings and errors, committing our resources and our best people, and missing no opportunity to push forward the agenda of conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace keeping and post‐conflict reconstruction. We, as leaders, simply cannot bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans”.
The objective of the Year of Peace is to give an opportunity for Governments, Leaders and people of Africa to further push peace processes in Africa and contribute towards the realization of peace and security in the Continent.
The IGAD Conference
The Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) intended to take this opportunity in order to provide a space for reflections on some of the key peace and security issues in the Region before the end of the year.
Broad areas of discussions
I. Emerging/Contemporary peace and security challenges in the IGAD region
Discussions on major peace and security challenges in the Region more importantly focusing on the emerging challenges such as terrorism, piracy, and other scourges, and reflect on how these elements threaten peace and stability in the Region and exchange views on ways by which efforts in the Region could be enhanced.
II Experiences of countries in the IGAD Region in the areas of Conflict Prevention, Management, and Resolution.
A panel of Member States shall present papers on experiences of their respective countries in Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution and reflect on how these experiences could support the Region in preventing conflicts.
III looking into the indigenous knowledge for peace
The importance of harnessing indigenous knowledge for conflict prevention would be discussed by way of considering the Ethiopian and Kenyan perspectives.
IV The roles and contribution of women, the CSOs, and the Media towards peace in the Region shall be discussed on the basis of presentations from panellists’ in those areas .
V Looking back to the peace processes in the Region
Peace processes in the Region particularly the Sudan peace process and efforts on Somalia shall be reflected on.
VI Institutionalizing Mediation Efforts
The importance of establishing Mediation Support Units in Africa shall be discussed by way of analyzing African Mediations and processes in IGAD.
VII Building collaborative peace and security arrangements in the IGAD Region- Challenges and Prospects
Reflections on common concerns, challenges and prospects for a Regional mechanism, to deal with conflicts and common security concerns.
Panellists present papers , more inputs by discussants to be followed by plenary session.
1. Enhanced understanding of joint forums led by member countries themselves that could open ways for a regular joint dialogue forums on common peace and security concerns
2. Broadened perspectives of IGAD Peace and Security programs as benefitted from reflections in the conference
3. Improved understanding of the objectives of the African Year of Peace.
Venue: Nairobi, Kenya – 25-27, November 2010