ACCORD publishes report on 4th AU High Level Retreat

Panelists presenting at the retreat. From left to right: Mr Hervé Ludovic de Lys, then UNICEF representative in Côte d'Ivoire, Ms Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, former Prime Minister of Chad, and Mr Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide. (copyright by AU Peace and Security Department)

The AU's Golden Jubilee Retreat was held under the theme of promoting peace, security and stability in Africa.

The latest publication by the African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) articulates information and ideas generated from the proceedings of the Fourth African Union (AU) High-Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa, which was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 29 and 30 October 2013 under the theme ’50 Years of peacemaking in Africa: A critical retrospective of OAU/AU peacemaking’.

The Golden Jubilee Retreat was hosted with the objective of providing stakeholders with a platform to undertake a broad assessment of mediation experiences in Africa and to discuss lessons learnt and opportunities for collaborative efforts to prevent and manage conflict. The event also aimed to foster greater understanding among stakeholders of the dynamics of mediation and conflict transformation in Africa, and to reflect on the AU’s Agenda 2063 and other related peace and security priorities.

The report contains information from plenary and parallel discussions which centred around:

  • understanding mediation trends and progress made in transforming conflicts in Africa;
  • articulating instruments and strategies crucial to the fulfilment of the peace and security agenda;
  • understanding the pillars of the AU’s Agenda 2063, and challenges to these; and
  • strategising on ways to enhance coordination and harmonisation of the activities of various peacemaking stakeholders, as well as to operationalise conflict resolution instruments and policies.

Inclusivity was highlighted as an important ingredient of successful mediation, while opportunities to enhance capacities to address humanitarian needs and incorporate gender perspectives, particularly with regard to the inclusion of women in peace processes, were also foregrounded.

Discussions on Africa’s peace, security and development challenges also took place during the retreat. The report contains synopses of these, as well as recommendations made by various scholars, experts and practitioners to reinforce existing institutional foundations to achieve a peaceful, united and prosperous Africa.

The report serves as a reference point for policymakers, civil society organisations and other institutions and actors working in partnership with the AU and member states in the areas of conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy.

Publication of the report was made possible through collaboration with the AU Commission and the generous support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

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Article by:

Natacha Kunama
Coordinator: Peacemaking Unit