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1 February 2021 ( Bishoftu, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mediation Support Unit (MSU) this morning kick started three days National Consultative Workshop for representatives of National Institutions of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia with an objective to provide technical assistance to build the Member State’s National Institutions’ to engage in Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation.

The three days National Consultative Workshop will also identify existing national normative frameworks on Mediation, Dialogue, Conflict Prevention and peace building, assist in developing national capabilities and productive capacities for viable partnerships and Identify priority needs of the institutions by conducting a capacity needs assessment.

Dr.Aleu Garang, Director of IGAD Mediation Support Unit (MS) welcomed the participants and briefed on the background of the Assessment of the National Conflict Prevention Architecture, developed jointly by IGAD/UNDP in 2014.  Dr Garang briefed the participants on objectives and the expected results of the three days workshop.

Hon. Siraj Fegessa, Director of IGAD Peace and Security Division, in his opening remarks highlighted that “the IGAD region is faced with many challenges with related conflict and insecurity. However, through IGAD’S collective efforts we have shown our capability to prevent, mitigate and resolve these conflicts in a responsive manner”.

The workshop was officially opened by H.E. Dr. Koang Tulman, State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In his opening remarks, Dr. Koang Tulman expressed that “Resolving conflict through violent is a big failure and has lasting consequences because it is not only destroys human lives and properties; it also destroys human relations and could lead to cycle of violence. So nipping conflict in the bud through dialogue before degenerating to violence is the best way of conflict resolution”.

In 2012 the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) was established to undertake mediation efforts and provide support to mediation interventions in order to mitigate violent conflicts. The MSU works on conflict prevention through preventive diplomacy and mediation, strengthening the capacities of member states in conflict prevention, peace building and mediation. This entails working with a wide network of organizations and experts in order to effectively respond to conflict situations as they arise as well as mitigate the recurrence of conflicts.

 As part of its mandate to build the normative capacity of IGAD in preventive diplomacy and mediation, MSU undertook an assessment to identify the existing peace and mediation infrastructures in IGAD Member States, and the assessment result showed that many of the IGAD member states lack the relevant peace infrastructures and apparatus that promote, facilitate and enhance conflict prevention and mediation. As a result, one of the recommendations of the assessment therefore, was to institutionalize preventive diplomacy and mediation support through setting up peace infrastructures structurally embedded within relevant national organizations. To this end, MSU plans to build and support the capacities of the member states in order to institutionalize preventive diplomacy and mediation in a structured manner, as well as identify the capacity needs of these national institutions.

The Consultative Workshop was funded by the European Union through the IPPSHAR Programme.

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