Category Archives: Africa

PAYNCoP Gabon Identifies Youth Organizations on Culture of Peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

by Jerry Bibang, National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon

The National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP Gabon) organized yesterday, Wednesday 03 July 2019, a workshop on the theme: “Understanding and promoting the culture of peace”.


Photo © PAYNCoP Gabon

The seat of UNESCO served as a framework for this activity which brought together several leaders of youth organizations, including the National Youth Council (CNJ), the Christian Youth Union of the Evangelical Church of Gabon (UCJEEG), FECAM, AISSEC Gabon among others.

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( Click here for the French original..)

 

Question related to this article.

Will UNESCO once again play a role in the culture of peace?

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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In his opening remarks, the representative of Unesco, Mr. Juste Tindy-Poaty, praised the dynamism of the management team of the National Coordination of PAYNCoP Gabon who, less than a month after its training, was able to organize this workshop for the leaders of associated youth movements.

He also invited the participants to make good use of the knowledge received before and he encouraged them to take action because, “the culture of peace is not only discourse and theory, but it is also action in the field”.

The first paper, moderated by Jerry Bibang, National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon, focused on the elements of understanding the concept of “culture of peace” including the origin, the definition, the tools and especially the international normative instruments that support this concept. Several UN instruments, including Resolution 2250 (Youth, Peace and Security) and Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) were highlighted. He stressed that the culture of peace is not rsimply the absence of war. It involves values, attitudes and behaviors that favor living together. These include respect for freedom, human rights, social justice, equality, democracy, solidarity, tolerance, dialogue and many others.

Speaking on the sources of financing related to the culture of peace, Joannie Mahinou, the Legal Affairs Officer of PAYNCoP Gabon, discussed the possibilities of financing from Unesco through the Participation Program (PP), the different funds of the culture program such as the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund (ICP), the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) and the Humanities and Social Sciences Program Fund. Also, funding opportunities in the United Nations system as well as other donors were presented.

PAYNCoP Gabon plans to continue sharing this information with youth organizations in the country.
 

UNAMID Holds Open Day and Hakamat (Praise Singers) Workshop in Central Darfur

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An article from UNAMID, United Nations – African Union Hybrid Operation In Darfur

Organized under the theme: “Peace and Peaceful Co-existence”, the Open Day, held in Rockero town, was aimed at inspiring the youth community to choose the path of peace, promote a culture of tolerance, create solidarity and encourage dialogue amongst different segments of society who reside in the area thereby creating an environment where community members can interact freely.

The Open Day event activities included traditional and cultural performances, peace related songs, drama and a quiz on UNAMID transition processes and imminent exit from Darfur. Branded promotional items were given to quiz winners including water rollers distributed to several physically challenged persons.

In his remarks, Mr. Issam El Deen Rajab, the Acting Commissioner of North Jebel Marra Locality, commended UNAMID efforts towards consolidating peace and stability in Darfur. He outlined several projects the Mission has initiated in Rokero, including the establishment of a police station, a rural court and weapons storage capacity. “UNAMID initiative to access northern Jebel Marra, despite tough road challenges in the area, has opened access for humanitarian communities to regularly visit the area and provide related humanitarian assistance to the local population. We are really grateful to UNAMID for this move”, said Mr. Rajab.

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Question(s) related to this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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Speaking at the same occasion, the Rokero Youth representative, Mr. Abdallah Hassan not only appreciated UNAMID peace efforts in their Locality but also requested the Mission to support the rehabilitation of the Golo-Rokero road and to fund youth and women related activities and capacity building programs in the Locality.

Addressing the gathering on behalf of CPIS, Mr. Mouroulaye urged the local community in Rokero to continue to preserve the positive atmosphere that currently exists in the area. He emphasized UNAMID’s unwavering commitment to achievement of sustainable peace, explaining that the Open Day program, is one of the tools the Mission uses to cultivate a culture of tolerance, solidarity and dialogue among different sections of society.

On 2 July, CPIS, in conjunction with the Women’s Union in Golo, central Jebel Marra Locality, conducted a one-day “Chant for Peace” Hakamat Workshop in Golo town. Forty-five Hakamat, (traditional praise women singers known for their warrior chants), drawn from different areas in Golo, including Arokero IDPs gathering site, attended the workshop which is part of the Mission’s community outreach activities, aimed at channeling peace messaging through the Hakamat’s repertoire to reinforce peaceful co-existence in the community.

 “I now fully understand my changed role as a hakama.  I have to play the role of peace builder through chanting for peace and peaceful co-existence in our society,”  said 45-year old Haja Tibin Mohamed at the end of the workshop, whilst Fatima Adam Issa, 30 years old, another Workshop participant, observed that in the past, Hakamats used to compose and sing songs for the service of war, but that after attending the Workshop, she “will use the songs to bring the people together as we learned that these songs are an important in the peace process. Local songs are very powerful and have impact in the minds of men who are truly touched by them. Let us use these songs in the right way, to build communities, not break them,” Ms. Issa added.

 “A Hakama has a great role to play in promoting peace across Darfur region, local songs can bring peace to Darfur if used in the right way. These workshops reform Hakamat’s understanding and contribute positively to the peace process in Darfur, bringing people together, “Nimat Ishaq Adam, one of the workshop participants chanted at the of the workshop.

UN chief welcomes power-sharing deal between Sudanese military and opposition

…. HUMAN RIGHTS ….

An article from UN News

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday he was “encouraged” by reports of a newly-inked power-sharing deal between the Forces for Freedom and Change – a coalition of opposition and protest groups – and Sudan’s ruling military council.
The two sides have reportedly agreed to share power for three years, and then hold elections for a return to full civilian government. Mr. Guterres welcomed the decision to establish transitional governing bodies, and congratulated the African Union, Ethiopia and the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), for their role in mediating the talks.

Video from Deutsche Welle

News of the deal reportedly brought thousands of people onto the streets to celebrate and raised hopes that a peaceful transition of power can take place, following months of turmoil since December’s civilian revolt began.

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Questions related to this article:

How effective are mass protest marches?

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The Secretary-General, said a statement from his Spokesperson, is now encouraging all stakeholders to “ensure the timely, inclusive, and transparent implementation of the agreement and resolve any outstanding issues through dialogue.”

The statement also noted that Mr. Guterres welcomes the parties’ commitment to conducting an independent investigation into the violence perpetrated against peaceful protesters, including the events on 3 June, when security forces and militia fired on pro-democracy protesters in the capital Khartoum, leaving dozens dead and many more injured.

The UN chief expressed his solidarity with the people of Sudan, and reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to assist in the transition process.

Following a series of strikes and protests early in the year, long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by his top generals in April. Hopes were high that the military and opposition could reach a deal, but since the military-led violence of 3 April, talks were at an impasse until the latest round of negotiations began in the capital Khartoum earlier this week.   

Just last Sunday, there were nationwide demonstrations demanding the transfer of power to civilian hands, in which at least seven were reportedly killed, with more than 180 injured.

On Wednesday, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Sudanese authorities to lift restrictions on the internet and launch independent investigations into all acts of violence against demonstrators, and allegations of excessive force, including attacks on hospitals. Ms. Bachelet said her office had received numerous allegations that excessive force had been used by security forces against protestors.

Africa: DUT’s ICON Introduces Peacebuilding Studies to International Students In DRC

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article by Nduduzo Ndlovu from the Durban University of Technology

The International Centre of Nonviolence (ICON) based at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted a five-day workshop at the La Sapientia Université Catholique, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo from 10 to 14 June 2019


Pictured: Prof Geoff Harris, Dr Joseph Rudige, Fr Innocent (Rector of La Sapientia Université Catholique) and Dr Chrys Kiyala.

The main aim of the workshop was for each of the six participating universities to develop a draft strategic plan to introduce postgraduate studies in peacebuilding. Subsidiary aims included promoting the use of participatory action research and building relationships between universities in the Great Lakes region.

“The six universities have begun working on strategic plans to establish Peacebuilding within the next couple of years; they have established a coordinating committee and are exploring ways of collaborating with each other; and three members of their academic staff will commence PhDs in Peacebuilding at DUT next year,” said ICON’s Professor Geoff Harris.

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Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

Where is peace education taking place?

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The workshop was led by Professor Geoff Harris and Dr Chrys Kiyala from ICON, assisted by Dr Joseph Rukema from Sub – Saharan Africa University, Goma. There were 22 participants,18 from five Congolese universities, two from a University in Burundi and two student observers from the Sub-Saharan University of Africa. One participant – Theodore Mbazumutima is a recent PhD graduate in Peacebuilding from DUT and another participant – Josephine Mauwa Kimanu is a current PhD student with DUT.

Prof Harris elaborated on some of the aspects of the workshop. “We used a participatory and experiential learning approach. Some lectures were necessary but the best learning,we feel, took place in small groups as participants wrestled with the issues and came up with promising insights. We did not prescribe how peacebuilding programmes should be organised. This can happen in a number of ways and we were aware that many factors will influence the choices which any University will make,” he said.

“We encouraged the use of participatory action research, an approach with which ICON has particular expertise, and helped participants to develop draft plans of how they might set up their own peace programme and the shape these might take,” he added.

Prof Harris also expressed appreciation at the commitment from Rector of La Sapientia Université Catholique that his University will coordinate future cooperation between the five universities with DUT. “It is very likely that three of the participants will commence PhD studies with ICON in 2020. Overall, we are confident that the workshop will act as a springboard for efforts to develop a culture of peace in the region,” said Prof Harris.

The workshop was funded by a grant from the NRF’s KIC Africa Interaction programme and enjoyed generous hospitality from La Sapientia Université Catholique.

2019 SVNP Annual Conference: Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

An announcement from the Wilson Center

A Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Conference co-hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Africa Program, the Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix (CERAP), and Centre Ivoirien de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CIRES) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 


Photo from 2018 conference

Africa is the world’s youngest continent with nearly 60 percent of its estimated 1.3 billion population in 2020 between 0 and 24 years old (UN Population Division). This ‘youth bulge’ will play a major role in shaping Africa’s future. The African Union has made engaging the continent’s youth in mainstream development agendas a priority on Agenda 2063. As Africa’s security landscape has evolved and the nature of conflict has changed, the narrative surrounding youth has often been a negative one framing youth either as threats to peace and stability or as victims lacking agency. A more nuanced and complete understanding is needed to inform effective policies that engage youth in peacebuilding in Africa as well as tap into ongoing peace efforts and innovations by youth.

This conference will take stock of key questions, gaps, challenges, and opportunities regarding youth and peacebuilding in Africa. The conference will also share lessons learned, best practices, and policy options from policymakers, experts, and practitioners on transforming and advancing the agenda for youth and peacebuilding in Africa.

We hope that you will join us for these in-depth, forward-leaning discussions involving leaders from 22 African organizations working on peacebuilding in Africa. Please plan to arrive 15-20 minutes before the start of each session.

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Question related to this article.

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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Day 1: Tuesday, July 16
[15, Avenue Jean Mermoz, Cocody, Abidjan, ]

8:45 am-10:00 am – Keynote: Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa: Challenges, Gaps, and Opportunities
 
10:30 am-12:00 pm – Assessing the African and International Peacebuilding Architecture: Where and How Do Youth Fit In
 
1:30 pm-3:00pm – Building a Culture of Peace: Educating Youth for Peace
 
3:30 pm-5:00 pm –Youth Unemployment and Peacebuilding in Africa
 
Day 2: Wednesday, July 17
8:45 am-10:00 am – Youth, Gender, and Peacebuilding in Africa
 
10:30 am-12:00 pm – Policy Perspectives on Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa
 
1:30 pm-3:00pm –Youth as Innovators in Peacebuilding: Dialogue with the Next Generation of African Peacebuilders
 
3:30 pm-5:00 pm – Looking Ahead: The Future of Youth and Peacebuilding in Africa
 
About the Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding:
This conference is held as part of the Wilson Center’s Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP). The SVNP is a continent-wide network of African policy and research organizations that works with the Wilson Center’s Africa Program to bring African knowledge and perspectives to U.S. policy on peacebuilding in Africa. Established in 2011 and supported by the generous financial support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project provides avenues for African researchers and practitioners to engage with, and exchange analyses and perspectives with U.S., African, and international policymakers in order to develop the most appropriate, cohesive, and inclusive policy frameworks and approaches to achieving sustainable peace and state-building in Africa.

PAYNCoP Gabon learns about the culture of peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Sent to CPNN by Jerry Bibang, National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon.

The National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP Gabon) took part, on Saturday, June 15, 2019, in a capacity-building workshop on the concept of “culture of peace” organized by the bureau of UNESCO in Gabon representing the United Nations.


Photo © PAYNCoP Gabon

The activity brings together several organizations working for the culture of peace in Gabon including the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace, the Pan-African Network of Women for Culture of peace and sustainable development, women of the press for the culture of peace, Unesco clubs, etc.

For the organizers, the aim of this workshop was to provide the civil society organizations with a better understanding of the concept of “culture of peace” and tools for the implementation of activities related to this concept.

In his introduction, Mr. Fazzino, the Representative of UNESCO, welcomed the participation of the various organizations before recalling the goals of this workshop. It will be first to show how the culture of peace contributes to the objectives of sustainable development and how to take action through projects that can be financed. He provided guidance on how to seek funding.

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( Click here for the French original..)

 

Question related to this article.

Will UNESCO once again play a role in the culture of peace?

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

(Article continued from left column)

The first paper, moderated by Dr. Joris Tindy Poaty, PhD in philosophy and expert at UNESCO, focused on the origins of the concept of “culture of peace”, its definition and the international instruments related to this concept. The term was used for the first time at a congress in Yamoussoukro in 1989, while the culture of peace has its source in the constitutive act of the United Nations organization whose mission is to build a peaceful world, he recalled. A full definition of the culture of peace may be found in UN Resolution 52/13 of 15 January 1998.

UN resolutions relating the culture of peace include resolutions 1325 (women, peace and security), 2250 (youth, peace and security), 2419 as well as UNESCO’s recommendation on education for understanding, cooperation and international peace. Other important instruments that contribute to the culture of peace include the Seville Manifesto and the Manifesto 2000.

Participants also received a communication describing the process of project development. It was facilitated by an expert from the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (Unoca). From planning to evaluation, to the implementation of a project, all stages were explained to the participants in order to better equip them in project writing.

Noémie Dalle, a trainee at UNESCO, spoke about funding opportunities for projects related to the culture of peace. She reviewed funding opportunities in UNESCO, the United Nations system and other donors.

For the participants, this workshop responds to several concerns. “We are coming out with common language elements in terms of the culture of peace, but also the appropriate approach to project writing and especially the funding opportunities to launch projects on the ground” concluded Jerry Bibang, the Coordinator of PAYNCoP National Gabon.
 

Celebrating arrests, but still pushing for change, protesters rally in Algeria

…. HUMAN RIGHTS ….

An article by Ulf Laessing in Reuters

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the Algerian capital for the 17th consecutive Friday, demanding the removal of the ruling elite and prosecution of former officials linked to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.


Demonstrators carry banners and flags during a protest demanding the removal of the ruling elite and prosecution of former officials linked to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in Algiers, Algeria June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
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After 20 years in power, Bouteflika quit on April 2 under pressure from protesters and the army, but protests have continued.

The demonstrators are pushing for radical change and seeking the departure of senior figures, including politicians and businessmen, who have governed the North African country since independence from France in 1962.

There was no official count, but a Reuters correspondent estimated that the number of people protesting was higher than last Friday. It was still smaller than in the weeks before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in May, however.

At this week’s rally they celebrated the arrest of several former officials and business people linked to Bouteflika on anti-graft charges, demanding more action.

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Questions related to this article:

How effective are mass protest marches?

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“You have built prisons, you will be imprisoned there all,” read one banner held up by protesters marching through central Algiers, scene of mass dissent since February.

On Thursday, the supreme court remanded ex-prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal in custody over graft allegations.

State media also said police had arrested Mourad Eulmi, head of the private firm SOVAC, a partner of Germany’s Volkswagen AG, at a car assembly plant in the western province of Relizane in connection with “corruption cases”. It did not elaborate. Volkswagen declined to comment.

On Wednesday, the supreme court ordered the detention of another former prime minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, for alleged involvement in corruption.

Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have also been placed in custody by a military judge for “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority”.

Protesters rejected an offer from interim President Abdelkader Bensalah to hold a dialogue with all parties after authorities postponed a presidential election previously planned for July 4. No new date has been set for the vote.

“We need real dialogue”, read one protest banner. Protesters have rejected Bensalah as too close to Bouteflika.

Armed forces chief Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaed Salah, who has been managing the transition, has called on parties and protesters to meet among themselves to discuss a way out of the crisis.

He also called for the prosecution of officials accused of being corrupt, after which the wave of arrests started.

Agroecology and peasant agriculture to preserve biodiversity

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from AVSF, Agronomes & Vétérinaires Sans Frontières

On May 6, 2019, in its report on biodiversity, the IPBES [Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services] alerted us about the short-term threat of extinction of nearly 1 million animal and plant species. Agricultural and livestock farming are partly responsible for this disaster, while agroecology and peasant agriculture represent an urgent alternative to preserve biodiversity.

In 2017, we warned of the worrying erosion of agricultural biodiversity: 75% of edible varieties have disappeared in 100 years (FAO). The bulk of human nutrition is based on only 12 plant species and 14 animal species! In the past 10 years, at least one domestic animal breed has disappeared each month (and its genetic characteristics with it), and 20% of the world’s cattle, goats, swine, equine and poultry breeds are at risk of extinction. At cause: the promotion of a productivist agriculture with high capital investment and synthetic inputs, looking for very high yields in the short term. Agroecology under peasant farming conditions is a solution: it relies on agricultural biodiversity, values ​​it while protecting it, and in doing so contributes to the maintenance of biodiversity as a whole.

Agricultural biodiversity is a part of biodiversity that, through agricultural production, contributes to the food of populations as well as the preservation of ecosystems. It is particularly important for maintaining the productivity and resilience of cropping and farming systems in precarious and vulnerable environments. It is this great diversity of plant species and animal breeds adapted to the local environment that guarantees the survival of many peasants from Africa, Asia or Latin America on their farms and pastures, even in difficult climatic conditions and on fragile soils.

In countries of the southern hemisphere, initiatives have multiplied in recent years to upgrade local species and sustainably preserve agricultural biodiversity. These initiatives, often developed at the family farm level, have highlighted the close relationship between food security and biodiversity.

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(Click here for the original French version.)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

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Two projects that preserve agricultural biodiversity

In the north of Haiti, small producers are processing quality cocoa, made from old varieties, criollo and trinitario, typical of the Caribbean. Renowned for their finesse and powerful aromas, these beans are mainly intended for high-end chocolate, like the criollo which represents only 5% of world production, and is therefore a sought-after variety. Although chocolatiers are highly demanding, these beans have so far been poorly valued on the world market. Why ? Because these Haitian beans were not fermented, a primordial step that releases the “precursors” of aromas. AVSF has therefore trained producers of FECCANO farmers’ cooperatives in the fermentation techniques of these ancient varieties. Several fermentation, collection and packaging centers were installed for the producers of the 8 cooperatives. A cocoa that is today highly paid on the organic, fair and quality markets in Europe, for the benefit of both producers and biodiversity: grown in the heart of woodland gardens in association with many shade and fruit trees and other crops , cocoa plays an important role not only in food security, but also in maintaining fertility and biodiversity in general.

Throughout West Africa, peasant farming is characterized by the diversity of livestock breeds that it values. These breeds have exceptional adaptive capacities that have earned their durability, as well as resistance to certain parasitic diseases, such as trypanosomiasis, transmitted by tsetse fly and endemic throughout the region. Nowadays, this sustainability is threatened by the disturbing erosion of the diversity of local breeds, increasingly squeezed by introduced breeds for their higher productivity in milk and meat.

In Senegal, AVSF is supporting breeders’ organizations to improve the value of endemic ruminant livestock (the Ndama breed for example) and to demonstrate its competitiveness both in the markets and for the resilience of populations in the face of climatic or economic shocks. This breed is of small size, with good fecundity. Its speed of growth and its satisfactory qualities confer to it undeniable butchery qualities. This valorization is done through the organization of competitions, exhibitions and fairs specific to these species and races.

Through its numerous projects, AVSF has been working with farmers in the South for 40 years to preserve and reclaim agricultural and animal biodiversity and thus ensure their food security and that of the urban populations they feed.

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Read our background file

(Thank you to Kiki Chauvin, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

PAYNCoP Gabon organizes a conference on the challenges of building peace in Africa

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

Sent to CPNN by Jerry Bibang, Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon (translation by CPNN)

As part of the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the death of President Omar Bongo Ondimba, the National Coordination of the Pan-African Youth Network for Peace Culture (PAYNCoP Gabon) organized, on Saturday, June 8, at the House of the United Nations, a conference on the theme: “The new challenges of building peace in Africa.”


(click on image to enlarge)

The meeting which brought together mainly the leaders of youth organizations was punctuated by three communications. The first, led by Jerry Bibang, National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon, focused on youth involvement in peace and security issues.

According to the speaker, young people are the most important age group in Africa and Gabon. As a result, they are the main artisans and victims of conflicts and wars. Therefore, it is important for them to be involved at all levels in peace and security issues. For the Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon, it is simply a question of implementing Resolution 2250, adopted since 2015 by the United Nations Security Council. This resolution recommends that states involve young people at all levels in matters of peace and security, particularly during prevention, mediation, conflict resolution and post-conflict activities. The involvement of young people is one of the challenges in peacebuilding, concluded the National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon.

(click here for the French version)

Question for this article:

.

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

For Dr. Jean Delors Biyoghe, the new challenges of peace-building are many and varied. They can be summed up in the good faith of mediators, the fragility of the states, the problem of bad governance, the securisation of cyber-space and many others.
 
Indeed, according to this political scientist, the actors in charge of mediations often have a conflict of interest when resolving crises or conflicts. How can you convince a Head of State to leave power peacefully and democratically if you yourself are undemocratic? the speaker asked. The obsolescence of conflict resolution strategies is also one of the challenges. Instead of building peace, we are witnessing the imposition of peace, the speaker noted. This is the case, for example, in Mali and the Central African Republic.

In addition, the rise of multinationals, coupled with the proliferation of fragile states, is another challenge to peacebuilding. According to the speaker, building peace requires that the social and economic needs of citizens are met. We can not really build peace if the vital needs of the people remain dissatisfied.

The third communication, provided by Theophane Nzame-Biyoghe, focused on the political and diplomatic action of Omar Bongo Ondimba as a champion of peace. The speaker reviewed the various crises and conflicts resolved by the former Head of State, particularly in Angola, the Central African Republic and the Congo … a commitment to peace that has earned him several international awards including the prize “Golden Laurel of Peace”, awarded by the International Peace Trophies Jury, the MANAHAE Peace Prize, awarded by South Korea in recognition of these efforts for the restoration of stability and the resolution of armed conflicts in the Central African subregion. For Theophane Nzame, Omar Bongo Ondimba leaves a legacy that all Gabonese should appropriate, even if peace remains an ideal in perpetual construction.

PAYNCoP Gabon Advocates for Youth Involvement in Peace and Security Issues

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

Sent to CPNN by Jerry Bibang, coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon (translation by CPNN)

The National Coordination of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP Gabon) recently met with a UN delegation, sent by the UN Secretary-General, as part of the strategic review of the UN Regional Office for Peace in Central Africa (UNOCA).

The multidisciplinary team, led by the former Special Representative of the SG of the United Nations, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, came to assess the work done by UNOCA in the sub-region. Among several civil society organizations invited to take part in the assessment, the National Coordinator of the Panafrican Youth Network for Peace Culture took advantage of the opportunity to advocate for youth involvement in peace and security issues.

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( Click here for the French original..)

 

Question related to this article.

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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For Jerry Bibang, youth is the largest and most important social category in the subregion and in the world. Young people are therefore the main artisans and the victims of conflicts and wars. It is therefore necessary to involve these young people, at all levels of process in issues of peace and security, particularly in prevention, mediation, post-conflict activities, etc.

According to the National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon, it is simply a question of implementing Resolution 2250 (youth, peace and security) in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Security Council. Also, the first person in charge of PAYNCoP Gabon invited the UN team to support activities and projects related to the prevention and promotion of the culture of peace. Despite our commitment, our goodwill and our ideas, if we are not supported, our action will remain limited, he said.

The problem of legal recognition of civil society organizations was also highlighted. All the organizations present, in particular, the women’s press network for peace, the Gabon Group Resolution 1325 platform, the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CDDH-Gabon), the NGO Brainforest and PAYNCoP Gabon unanimously acknowledged that the difficulty of obtaining legal recognition is an obstacle to the mobilization of funds for associations and NGOs. Hence they requested advocacy with the government to make efforts on this issue.