… 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)
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.