Conflict Prevention as a Priority for Africa in the 2010 African Year of Peace and Security

“Completely new dimensions of issues like the sources of conflict, and the spectrum of conflict resolution mechanisms among others were excellently exposed during the Programme and I for one come off this process empowered and energized for the work ahead.” -- Participant 2010 Regional Training Programme

2010 has been proclaimed as the Year of Peace and Security in which African citizens unite their efforts to promote their commitment for peace. UNITAR’s Ninth Regional Training Programme to Enhance Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22-30 March) brought together 38 mid and senior-level officials from 23 countries coming from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Offices of Presidents or Prime Ministers and Embassies to the African Union. Participants also included staff from the Secretariats of the African Union and sub-regional organizations, from UN peace operations in Africa, as well as senior staff from key non-governmental organizations.

Resource persons included senior regional organization staff, a Special Representative of the Secretary-General, a mediator involved in the Darfur peace process along with world renowned researchers and practitioners in conflict prevention and peacemaking.

Participants analyzed sources of conflict on the continent, and engaged in interest-based negotiation and mediation, through team exercises and case studies presented from East Africa, the Sudan, West Africa and other regions.

During the visit to the African Union Headquarters Mr. El-Ghassim Wane engaged in a dialogue with participants on the mandate and initiatives of the African Union Commission on Peace and Security, and on current and emerging successes and challenges to peacemaking. He highlighted the importance of African leadership and regional and sub-regional organizations as crucial to preventing conflict and achieving sustainable peace on the continent.